How To Be Yourself – 5 Simple Strategies
Everywhere you turn there are messages telling you to be like her, be like him, be like them. We are bombarded with these toxic messages that say don’t be yourself because you are not good enough. This is why so many people suffer from low self-love, self-worth, and self-confidence. We have high-expectations thrust upon us that we can never meet. If you want to feel good about yourself again, and you want to learn how to be yourself in a world that tells you not to be, then this article is for you. Be yourself with these 5 simple strategies.
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1. Learn To Appreciate Yourself
You will never learn how to be yourself if you do not appreciate who you are. Instead of beating yourself up for your mistakes and shortcomings appreciate your accomplishments and strengths. Here are a few strategies that will help you.
Know What Your Strengths Are
What are you good at? How do you positively impact those around you? To be yourself, these are things you should know. We all have strengths but we may have to dig deep and silence our inner critic to appreciate them. If you are thinking to yourself that you have no strengths, realize that is your inner critic talking. You do have strengths. Your job is to figure out what those are.
If you need help, our Confidence and Self-Esteem Course contains an entire section on personal strengths. To learn more, click here.
Another way to appreciate yourself is to be kind to yourself. Stop beating yourself up for everything. Instead, encourage yourself when you feel down. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes. Be proud of yourself for your accomplishments. Affirm your worth with affirmations. Start treating the person in the mirror a little kinder. The next time you catch yourself being hard on yourself, pause and ask if you would treat a close personal friend this way. Probably not. See yourself as a close friend and act accordingly.
Recognize Your Successes Daily
You can also learn to appreciate yourself which will help you be yourself by remembering your successes daily. We all have little successes throughout the day but they are overshadowed by our obsessive focus on our shortcomings. The more you recognize the amazing things you do, the easier it will be to appreciate who you are. A great way to keep track of these successes is to journal each night before bed. Write even the smallest of things that went right for you. The more you fill your journal, the more you realize you are a successful person, and the easier it will be to be yourself.
2. Learn How To Be Yourself By Avoiding The Comparison Trap
You cannot learn how to be yourself if you are always trying to live up to other people’s standards. It is perfectly fine to use comparison to motivate you to reach goals, but when comparing causes you to look down on yourself and where you are in life, then it is toxic and you have fallen into a comparison trap. Two great ways to avoid the comparison trap is to realize comparing is unrealistic and unfair, and by being grateful for what you have.
Comparing is Unrealistic and Unfair
Comparing is unrealistic and unfair because it usually compares apples to oranges. We often compare our worst with their best. Everyone has flaws and everyone makes mistakes even if you do not notice them. So if you are hesitant to be yourself because you think you are not up to par with others, trust me they have issues too. You may not be perfect, but neither are they.
Another way to avoid the comparison trap is to be grateful for what you have. Stop focusing on what others have and appreciate what you have. Be grateful for the people who love and support you for who you are. Have gratitude for the positive experiences you’ve had. Be grateful for the things that make you, you. Be proactive when practicing gratitude as well. Make it a part of your daily routine. Pick yourself up a gratitude journal and make a commitment to write in it daily.
Here are a couple of our gratitude journals that may meet your needs:
If you are deeply concerned about what others think of you, it will be difficult to be yourself. Learning to appreciate yourself and avoiding the comparison trap (the two strategies we talked about so far) will go a long way in letting go of what others think of you. Focus on your strengths, be kind to yourself, and recognize your successes daily. Also, realize that comparing is unfair and unrealistic, and practice gratitude. Some other great ways to stop worrying about what others think of you are to be confident in your decisions and to imagine the worst.
Being Confident in Your Decisions
When you know you are making confident decisions you won’t worry so much about what others think. That’s because you are the one who took the time to do the research and weigh the pros and cons, not them. If you get criticized for your choices after you made well-thought-out decisions, the criticism won’t have as much sting.
Imagine the Worst Happening
Fear is a powerful emotion that is often tied to caring what others think. You fear criticism. You fear letting others down. These types of fears will keep you obsessed with the way others think of you and will prevent you from learning how to be yourself. An effective way to face your fear and overcome them is to face them often. Imagining the worst allows you to do this in a low-threat way. Picture others judging you. Imagine people laughing and mocking you. How would it make you feel? Live in those emotions over and over and what you’ll discover is that your fears will get weaker and weaker. Soon the worst will not affect you in any way.
4. Learn How To Be Yourself By Doing Things That Make You Happy
What makes you happy? What puts a smile on your face? Spend more time doing things that you love. We get so busy with the everyday grind and doing for others that we lose touch with who we really are. Doing things that bring us joy will reconnect us to ourselves. You will feel like YOU again! Be open to trying new things as well. Are there any hobbies you’ve been wanting to try? Are there meetup groups or organizations you’ve been interested in? Get involved.
Many people fail to do things that make them happy because of obstacles getting in the way. Here are a few of these obstacles and how to overcome them. Once you do, you’ll be on your way to being yourself.
Guilt is a big reason why people fail to do things that bring them joy. They feel as though they are disappointing others or letting them down in some way. Do not let this stop you from doing things that make you happy. A great way to overcome guilt is to question it? Are you really going to hurt someone or let others down? Questioning your guilt will help you overcome it.
All of us have the same amount of time in a day and all of us can use the excuse that we have no time. The problem is not lack of time, the problem is with your priorities. If you make self-care and doing things for yourself a priority you will always have time. Make a commitment to yourself and put you first from time to time.
Energy Zappers are other people who consume so much of your time and energy, you can’t even think about doing something for yourself. Think about the people in your life. Who drains you? Who makes you feel bad after spending time with them? Aim to spend less with these people.
If you want to learn more about how to prioritize yourself and self-care check out our Self-Care ToolKit here.
5. Silence Your Inner Critic
The only one that can prevent you from being yourself, is yourself. People who struggle to be themselves have an internal negative dialogue that tells them they are not good enough. That people will see them in a negative light and that what other people think matters. You must shut this inner critic down if you want to learn how to be yourself. Using affirmations is a great way to do this.
When your inner critic speaks up, silence it with positive affirmations. For instance, if it says, “people will laugh at you,” you say, “I’m proud of who I am no matter what others think.” If your inner critic says, “You aren’t good enough,” you say, “I’m more than enough.” The key is to counter whatever negative thing you tell yourself. You may not believe these affirmations at first, but in time you will.
If you feel like you aren’t being yourself and you are tired of it, use these five simple strategies to learn how to be yourself. Learn to appreciate yourself, avoid the comparison trap, stop worrying about what others think, do things that make you happy, and silence your inner critic. You should be proud of who you are. Life is too short for you to be anything other than yourself.
What is stopping you from being yourself? Let us know in the comments below.