Most of us are who our parents, background, society or religion wants us to be. Even when we think we are liberated from trying too hard to please the world by being who they expect us to be, we still tend to want to be like people we truly admire. I only wonder who the people we want to be like want to be like. Regardless, the most ideal person you should be is YOURSELF. The idea of being oneself however is not as simple as it sounds. We live in a confused world and it is increasingly more difficult to communicate with oneself today than ever. The following simple steps will guide you to be yourself despite personality anarchy that threatens our human race;
1. DISCOVER YOURSELF. As obvious as this may sound, many people get it wrong. It is pretty easy to. Yet it is the first and most important step to being you. How can you be yourself, when you don’t have an idea who really you are meant to be in the first place? You have to learn to pay attention to yourself and listen to your own inner voice.
Ask yourself why you do what you do. Query your every actions and reactions until you learn your likes, dislikes, persona, uniqueness, passion, talents, dreams and everything. Isolate your strengths from weaknesses, and understand what is important to you and what is not. It takes a lot of efforts and disciplined concentration to achieve this in our noisy world. You might also require feedbacks from friends and associate to achieve your objective. Ask them to criticize you and have them do it genuinely. Most importantly, handle their criticisms with maturity and don’t be disheartened if their lists also include some awfully unpleasant things about you. Make them comfortable enough to be able to tell you anything and everything, without any reservations or fear of hurting you. Keep the end in mind. It is towards making the greatest personal discovery of your life – discovering yourself!
2. ACCEPT YOURSELF. Accept your discovery! Embrace your uniqueness. This includes accepting your pedigree and background – pleasant or unpleasant. It also entails accepting your strengths as well as weaknesses. Most importantly, learn to accept things you cannot change about yourself – your past.
3. DEVELOP YOURSELF. As you learn to accept things you cannot change about yourself, don’t forget to learn how to change the ones you can, to be who you are created to really be. Though a piece of gold is still gold when crude, it is best when refined. Then its real value can be revealed and treasured. The same applies to you. You can’t afford to be crude if you want to attain your full potentials. Continuously develop your strengths and diminish your weaknesses. Do everything in your capacity to be a better person today than you were yesterday, by simply committing yourself to a life of ever-growing personal improvement.
4. CONTROL YOURSELF. Be in charge of your own life. Don’t run your life’s affairs by “what will people say” like most people customarily do. Life is personal and your life’s control must not be left at the mercy of external factors. Don’t give the steering wheel of your life to people who have lost theirs. Too many people have lost the control of their lives to what others think for them. They’ve diminished themselves to mere robots who functions on auto commands. Am I trying to say you should ignore peoples’ opinions? Yes! Opinions are as abundant as the over 6 billion of us walking the earth, and everyone wants theirs to rule your life. So, it doesn’t really make any sense trying to make sense of the noise. As a kid I was very mischievous and I erred a lot. Whenever I was indicted for doing something wrong and I try to blame others’ influence for my actions, my dad simply asks, “If he asks you to jump into fire, will you?” I felt truly stupid afterwards.
As important as it is to have role models, mentors, advisers and learn from people, the final control of your life should be yours exclusively. It is your life; therefore, it’s your responsibility. If you really know who you are, you will know what is good for you, even if it is unpopular or unconventional. At the end, what makes you special, unique, and yourself is how much personal control you have over your actions and reactions. Learn to explore your power of choice and use it rightly.
5. ENJOY YOURSELF. This is the ultimate. The whole essence of being yourself is to have the liberty of enjoying yourself. The idea is simple; BE REAL! Only a real person can enjoy himself/herself. Be truthful to yourself and your God. Be spontaneous. Laugh when you feel like. Say what is on your mind. Don’t pretend to be happy when you are not. Don’t act to be who you are not unless you work in Hollywood of course. It will make your life more interesting and uncomplicated. That is the secret of truly sophisticated people.
Real people are like magnets. Like iron fillings to a magnet, they draw people to themselves. Whether you like to come in terms with it or not, people see through you, and whether or not they are honest with themselves about it, they know if you are being real or not. Aren’t we all attracted to a real person? By being yourself you draw into your life, the right people, factors, situations and release the positive energy that will make your very existence meaningful. Indeed, “Your life is an occasion, rise up to it!” …