What is being yourself, and how do you know when you are being yourself?
When I hear these words it takes me back to an old tv show I used to watch “the wonder years” when a kid gets advice to be himself when talking to a girl he likes. It seems like a bit of trivial advice at first, but to what extent can we truly see our own personality not being itself?
There is so much you can do to be aware of being yourself. And it is not so much a question of what you can do, but whether your willingness to sacrifice exposing the true self that you have hidden so well, to others.
We’re so used to reading social situations and circumstance to which we have an already prepared manner of behavior and speech, that we don’t even notice that we change our behavior.
When you are speaking to your boss you’ve got your boss language. When you’re with friends you’ve got your friends language. When you’re on a date you’ve got your date language. When you’re talking to someone new you’ve just met you’ve got your specific language and behavior, etc.
Sure we notice that we change our behavior but we don’t find it odd, we’re used to playing different roles in different circumstances according to what we believe is appropriate to say and not say, do and not do, in each situation.
Of course there are exceptions, but generally speaking, your boss is not your friend to whom you can bail, and later explain yourself. Your boss probably requires from you a heads up of at least a couple of days, if you decide not to show up. And when it comes to our job, being consistent and predictable is directly related to being responsible.
There are many social stigmas that we follow in order to fit in. So we can’t afford ourselves to be ourselves without risking losing something, like our job. So we either need to ditch our beliefs and take a risk of being accepted and understood as we are or do whatever it takes to fit in. Most will choose the latter option.
But it ain’t all that bad. The same way society expects us to deliver, we expect stuff too, we’re not suckers after all. We expect a raise from our boss, expect our friends to back us up, our spouse to take care of us, etc.
The only problem is when we get tired of our own chosen circumstance and instead of being ourselves – stop pretending to be someone we’re not, we just bitch about how unfair life is. How much we all hate our jobs, our relationships, our engagements. We’ve grown accustomed to the lifestyle that the circumstance offers us, however, we’ve also grown to hate doing our part in that circumstance and that is why we complain.
Instead of taking responsibility and seeing that we are not the victims of our circumstance, we just got tired of doing our part of the deal, people are being dragged by the circumstance believing that they are trapped in it.
Sure it is easy if you stay true to yourself from the beginning and see your life unfold than being “fooled” by what you should be or do and then wake up to that truth. Letting go is not easy. Choosing to be different and committing to that choice is not easy. Returning to yourself is not easy.
But isn’t that nice to know that you can choose to be never again someone else’s pawn, playing by someone else’s rules? If you think that life is unfair and you find it difficult to choose something else, you’re simply not willing to give up on what you have, and that is okay. Start by being grateful to what you have, and see your unwillingness to do your part. You’re not the victim here you’re just waking up, wanting to be yourself.