The Trouble with ‘Being Yourself’
“Just be yourself!”
This is one of those infuriating things that people say which have no tangible meaning. You know it’s exactly what you should be doing, but that doesn’t make it easy to know where to begin… Here’s the problem:
Should you ‘be yourself’ and just stop doing all those things that are necessary – but don’t really light you up? Y’know, laundry, vacuuming, food shopping – all those things can be a huuuuuge time suck and keep you from doing the things which you love.
Should you ‘be yourself’ and tell your boss that you don’t really believe in your work and you’ve secretly always wanted to be a dancer?
Should you ‘be yourself’ and bring your Friday night party self to Aunt Martha’s quiet tea party with her prim and proper pals?
And does it mean you aren’t being yourself if you don’t do any of the above?
The answer, of course, is that it’s all you… Life is all about balance.
When advised to “be yourself”, your thoughts tend to go straight to that truest, best expression of who you believe you are at your very core. But in reality, people are much more complex than that.
You cannot be summed up in one sentence, you aren’t able to fit yourself in one box – put simply, you are not just ONE thing.
You are multi-faceted, multi-passionate and diverse in your interests, roles and skills. You are all this and more…
The trouble comes when we let the every day things define us.
We start to resign ourselves to the idea that the mundane or uninspiring is all we are and begin to view the bolder, more dynamic aspects of our personalities as mere costumes that we get to put on from time to time.
When this happens, we are in danger of losing touch with that element which fires us up and gives us the will to really live.
So we come to my first challenge for you:
Every day, do one thing which keeps you aligned with some part of you which doesn’t get to shine as much as you’d like.
Make a point of doing something for yourself each day which makes your soul sing.
It could be going for a long walk or taking some time to curl up with a good book, it might be looking through old photos of a holiday you loved or learning a new skill, or even putting on your favourite tune and dancing with wild abandon while singing at the top of your lungs… whatever you need to do to feel inspired, do it!
See how diverse and rich your life could be if you’d let ALL the gorgeous things which make you ‘you’ put in a regular appearance.
The more you allow yourself to connect to these moments, the easier it will be to keep moving forward on your path, knowing that it is the right one.