When was the last time a quote jumped out at you from the page? The last time you read a sentence or two that shut down all the chatter in your mind and made you take a hard look at your approach in life?
For me, it was just yesterday. And these were the words that jolted me out of auto-pilot.
“In trying to speak and write only to please others, we can lose touch with our real self.”Joy Kenward, The Writer’s Creative Workbook
Why did these words impact me so strongly? Because at that moment, I realized how they apply to our lives on many levels.
No, it’s not new news. “Being your true self” is something that’s talked about ad nauseam. Yet still, how easily we forget the importance of the concept. You should always be yourself.
When we lose our real selves in trying to please others, it not only affects how we speak and write but also in how we show up in life.
By approaching life with a people-pleasing filter, we are shutting out our real selves. And by doing this, we are missing the boat. Life is passing us by, and a lot of us are wasting time trying to be someone we’re not.
So how about you? Are you showing up as your real self? Or are you showing up in the ways you think will gain acceptance from others?
Are you listening to your inner voice? Are you following your heart and being true to who, deep down, you know you should be?
Or are you shutting down your inner voice and your real self for the sake of fitting in and making everyone else happy?
Can We Please Stop the People-Pleasing?
In a time when more than ever, people are talking about self-expression and self-acceptance, it seems that a lot of us are still bound by our people-pleasing habits. We’re talking the talk, but not necessarily walking the walk.
Because for a lot of us, being our real selves is just plain hard. We know we’re supposed to living our most authentic lives and being real. But for various reasons, we’re stuck.
I can honestly say that sometimes I still struggle with just being myself. Even after all of the self-help books and therapy (and there has been a lot of therapy) I hold back. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
Learning to embrace myself and fully show up has been a struggle my entire life, but I’m finally stepping into who I really am.
Slowly, deliberately, I am figuring it out. I am letting go of the person I think I’m supposed to be and being who I am meant to be.
What Keeps Us From Being Our Real Self?
So what gives? Why do we hold back? And why is being true to ourselves so hard?
Because deep down, we’re scared people won’t like us for who we truly are.
We all know we’re supposed to “just be ourselves” and not worry about what others think. But deep down, rejection hurts. When someone rejects who we truly are at our core, it’s painful.
“Be you.” “Always be yourself.” “Be real.”
We hear this all the time. And while it feels good to give yourself permission to always be yourself, it can also be hard knowing sometimes, people just aren’t going to like you that much.
In fact, some people aren’t going to like you at all.
It used to bother me a lot when someone didn’t like me. I would rack my brain trying to figure out why. What did I do? What did I say? How can I make this better?
At forty-six years old, I am finally getting it:
Sometimes, people won’t like you no matter what you do. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t say anything wrong. You can’t make it better.
And you’ve got to learn to be okay with that.
Always Be Yourself and You Will Attract the Right People
What’s the point in saying the things you think you should say and doing the things you think you should do, only because it’s what you think other people want?
That’s no way to build an authentic connection. You might as well be real so you can attract others who like you for who you really are. Those people are going to be your people.
I think about the women I’ve met over the years, and how with some of them, I felt uneasy and awkward.
I felt like I had to act a certain way or hold certain opinions in order to be a part of the group. I’ve endured lots of uncomfortable silences and stumbled through clumsy conversations.
Well, guess what? Now that I look back, I can see that it didn’t do me any good anyway.
By not being myself, it didn’t forge any great friendships or bonds. I would have been just as well letting my hair down and just being myself.
The outcome would have been the same, still likely not great friends, but I would have been a lot less stressed and a lot happier.
The right people for you are going to like who you are at your core. There’s no point in trying to be someone else because you’re not going to attract the right people that way.
Why You Should Always Be Yourself
Be yourself, because the world needs you. Despite how hard it seems, you’ve got to embrace being your real self.
Be yourself. Do it.
Because even though it might feel scary, it feels good.
Do it for your own mental health. Do it because we need to see the real you.
When you aren’t you, you are depriving others of seeing what makes you unique and special.
The world needs the real you. We need your story. Your flair. Your personality.
Be yourself to connect. I mean, honestly, isn’t that what most of us want? To be seen? To be heard? To feel like someone else gets it? To build authentic connection?
Deep down, aren’t we all longing to share our inner voice and our real self?
Stop silencing your inner voice. Stop squashing the real you. The world needs to see you as your true self. Not who you think you need to be.
Always be yourself. Go be you.