Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde
Try to be yourself! This is the most common advice we receive from our friends, family, teachers, and well wishers. But unless you understand and accept yourself first, you cannot be yourself. It is of utmost importance for you to identify the real you and be true to your self. Then, people around you will start seeing you in that light and accept you, understand you, and love you the way you are.
Remember that change is the only constant thing in life and so you will also change with time. Your self is dynamic. Do not be rigid and cage your self in your past. We all make mistakes. But learning from those mistakes and continuing to grow is life. So, understanding and accepting yourself is also a continuous process.
As we grow, we realize that pleasing everyone is not possible. So, not everyone will like you. Learn to accept that fact and do not change your self for everyone. If you change yourself for one person or a few people, others might not like you that way; its a vicious circle. So, do not bother about people who judge you without knowing you. Life is too short to hurt yourself thinking about people who do not even deserve to be a small part of your life. Remember, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt. This does not mean that you start believing that you are perfect and have no weaknesses. We all have our demerits. Nobody is perfect. So, just ignore sarcastic illogical disrespectful comments but welcome respectful constructive criticism that will help you improve and be a better person. But change if you think you need to change, not because others want you to change. Also, never compare yourself with others and do not allow anybody to compare you with others.
Another important aspect we miss out on is to be open about our weaknesses. So, what if you are fat? So what if you unintentionally did something stupid? Learn to laugh at yourself, your imperfections, acknowledge them in front of people. This will relieve you of the insecurity and fear of embarrassment in public. Always keep in mind, “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ~Frederick Douglass
Develop and protect your self-esteem. You are unique and special. Nobody is like you. Originality comes out of sincerity to oneself. So love your strengths and embrace your shortcomings. They are both a part of you and they both together make you different from the rest of the world. So, when someday you are the target of sarcasm or ridicule, just smile, feel respect for yourself, protect your self-esteem, shrug your shoulder and say, “Well. But that’s how I am! This is me.”
To conclude, I would say that there is also a dark side to this…”Be yourself” is about the worst advice you can give to some people. ~ Tom Masson 🙂