3 BENEFITS OF BEING YOURSELF
We live in a society that sets life standards for us. We sometimes find ourselves in front of difficult choices, whether it is at school or in our workplace, that have to do with how we should behave, rather than with who we are. We are pressured to be unique and homologated at the same time, and whereas some people might have the strength of getting over society’s constrain for perfection, some of us feel trapped and frustrated. If you have ever struggled with wanting to express more of who you are to others but feeling like you could be rejected, keep this in mind: you are not alone!
Learning how to free ourselves from society’s expectations not only will make us feel better, it will also open us to new, infinite possibilities. What are, in practice, the benefits of being yourself? I am going to introduce you to what I argue are the most relevant benefits of at least trying your best to be yourself.
1. It empowers you
All of us are influenced by expectations, even if on different levels. Our parents, friends, professors, and employers probably have an idea of who we are and what our role is in society. What matters is not letting their perception of us become our perception of ourselves. If your dad, say, thinks you would make a great engineer, that does not mean you would actually make a great engineer. He might think that because of what he projects onto you.
But if being an engineer just isn’t your call, you should never let your dad’s — or anyone else — opinion affect your education or job decisions. None of us like letting our parents or loved ones down, and that’s exactly why we should embrace our nature and do what we love to do. If we do something because we feel like it’s our duty to do so, or because we are going to make someone really proud of us, we are tricking ourselves into believing we are going to be happy as well. Being yourself takes courage, but it also pays off because it liberates you.
2. Attract like-minded people and to grow with them
When you liberate yourself from the ghost of OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINION, you will be able to direct all of your energies into becoming the best version of you. Being yourself is not something you can do overnight. You must work hard for it, dive deep into your soul, maybe change your mindset, and most importantly surround yourself with people who are also interested in self-improvement. If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you will end up absorbing negative energy and unproductive criticism.
Don’t be afraid to speak up your mind for fear of being left behind. Insecure people will always be out there, and the more you work to be yourself, the more they will undermine you… It’s sad, I know, but being yourself might require you to be selective sometimes. And that’s okay, because you will start attracting the kind of selfless, profound, intelligent people you’ve been secretly looking for your whole life. I’m not saying it will happen quickly, but have faith it will happen.
3. Follow your passion
Being yourself in all situations and spheres of life and getting to know yourself more is an act of self-love. Loving yourself is as important as being yourself: the two things are complementary, one cannot go without the other. Aligning your actions with your inner self is the best way to find out what you really are passionate about. And if you already know what your passion is, stick to it! Your truth is going to give you the strength and the courage to keep your enthusiasm alive. We need to listen to our inner voice, to be kind to ourselves, to follow our desires and ambitions, to fight back at the social conventions that are imposed on us.
You don’t need to look for approval outside of yourself: if something makes you happy and fulfilled, that means you have approved it already within yourself, and that’s the only thing that counts. Cultivate your interests, learn from your mistakes, do not be too harsh on yourself. Celebrate the real you, the one you want the world to experience. Let it become your trustworthy guidance throughout life's ups and downs.