This is something I’ve reflected on for years, I am me so how hard can it be?
On the surface I think we would all stand up and confirm that we are always true to ourselves but if we really thought about it are we? Human behaviour is fascinating and adapting is what has made us successful, but are we so good at adapting we don’t realise when we’re doing it?
We learn what’s ‘socially acceptable’ and on a primal level our urge to connect with people can overcome what we personally think, feel and do.
I personally can think of meetings where I’ve left thinking why didn’t I say anything when I saw ‘x’ or I didn’t agree with that at all but I didn’t bother to say anything. I had learnt apathy and by nature I am not an apathetic person but noticed that this learned behaviour was contagious and trickling beyond the meetings into my life.
Scary really but not surprising.
We have so many influences from advertising, technology and our personal interactions who’s even in charge of shaping who we are - are we letting others tell us how we should behave?
To be true to yourself you have to take the time to get to know you - no relationship is a given not even with yourself.
Taking the time to explore who you are and what you stand for is the best way to take the reins and be confident in the skin you’re in. With this strong stance you will be less likely to be influenced by external forces because you will know what will feel right.
So what’s stopping us from getting to know ourselves?
- Keeping safe - our brain is designed to keep us alive and safe rather than to challenge and grow into the unknown. It will never tell us to stand against the crowd and certainly won’t encourage us to push out of our comfort zone without us telling it to.
- Change anxiety – If I get to know myself I will have to change and I don’t like change. I will just carry on and ignore that thank you.
- Truth hurts - It’s a hard task to be honest with ourselves, we are very good at blaming external factors as it’s easier than looking inwards.
- Denial - We see others faults loud and clear but we make excuses when it comes to ourselves. ‘It’s everyone else with the problem not me’ is a classic statement to help us avoid the truth.
Is it time to become one with ourselves again?
How to take back control:
- It’s important to spend time getting to know who you are right now, not when you were a child, not yesterday but right this second.
- Once you know who you are accept it, wholeheartedly, the good and the bad that’s what makes us human and we will never be perfect.
- Then go out there and be you – there is no one like you out there so proudly share your uniqueness with the world.