In order for one to be themselves, it will be necessary for them to feel confident enough to do so. Therefore, if this is not in place, it is not going to be possible for one to express their true-self.
One way of looking at it would be to say that one’s true-self is the top of a table, and the confidence they have to express this part of them is the legs that support it. So, in the same way that one wouldn’t be able to be themselves if they didn’t feel confident; the table wouldn’t be able to be used without the legs.
A Waste of Time
As a result of this, it is easy to see why telling someone to just ‘be themselves’ is not always going to work. If one was to hear this and they didn’t feel confident, it could end up bouncing straight off them.
One is not going to be able to follow this advice unless they start to feel different about themselves. Yet, if the other person doesn’t realise this, they could wonder what the problem is.
A Lack of Empathy
This could be someone who has been able to be themselves for as long as they can remember. And as this is what is normal for them, they are unable to put themselves in another person’s shoes, so to speak.
Through being this way, one is unlikely to feel as though this is someone who understands what they are going through. If anything, one could feel as though this person is trying to undermine them.
One is then going to be someone who comes across as having no confidence and their true-self will be covered up. They are then going to be used to doing what other people want, and this means that their needs are generally going to be overlooked.
Other people could typically describe them as being shy or reserved, and they might even see them as being an introvert. There is then a strong chance that one will be a follower, as opposed to a leader.
An Empty Existence
Through doing what other people want and not having the ability to do what they want, their life is unlikely to be very fulfilling. They could be used to feeling frustrated, powerless and helpless.
One could feel as though they are on the sidelines, watching other people live the kind of life that they want to live. And while one could have people around them who understand what is taking place, they could also be surrounded by people who don’t.
What this will then do is stop one from getting the support that they need, and they could feel as though these people hold them back. This is because they won’t be able to see them for who they are.
There is the chance these people are also out of touch with themselves, and this is why they are not aware of what is taking place. Nevertheless, if one doesn’t reveal their true-self, it is to be expected that they will be treated in this way.
However, if one doesn’t feel comfortable enough to reveal their true-self, it doesn’t mean that they will come across in this way. Instead, one can end up coming across as someone who has it all together.
Yet as they don’t feel comfortable enough to be themselves, it can be hard to believe how they can come across in this way. As due to how they feel, there is going to be no reason for them to be this way.
What this is likely to come down to is that one will be putting on an act, and this act will allow them to receive approval from others. Through receiving this approval, it will allow them to come across as confident.
At a deeper level, they are going to be the same as the person above, but that’s the only thing they will have in common. Through developing a false-self that allows them to be accepted by others, it stops them from having to face how they feel.
So on one side, this will allow them to fit in, but on the other, it is still going to stop them from being able to listen to themselves. From the outside, it can seem as though they live life on their own terms, but this will be nothing more than an illusion.
Ergo, if other people no longer responded to them in the same way, they would soon end up falling down. It will be as if they were being pumped up by other people responses, and now these responses are no longer there, they will have deflated.
A Different Experience
If, on the other hand, they were in touch with their true-self and they felt comfortable expressing this part of themselves, this wouldn’t take place. How they come across towards others wouldn’t be an act.
It would be built on firm foundations, and they wouldn’t need other people to approve of them. The strength they have to be themselves would come from within, and there would be no reason for them to hide.
A Closer Look
What can define whether someone feels comfortable enough to be themselves or not can be what took place during their early years. If this was a time when their needs were generally met, there can be no reason for them to hide their true-self.
Yet, if this was a time when they were abused and/or neglected, it can cause them to feel ashamed of themselves. Their true self is then not going to be something they can’t accept; it will be something they have to hide at all costs.
As if they were to reveal themselves, it would be seem as something that would cause other people to reject and/or abandon them, and they might even believe that they would be harmed. What this shows is how much of an effect one’s childhood can have on their adult years.
If one finds it difficult to be themselves, they might need to work with a therapist. This will give them the chance to look into what it taking place within them and to move forward.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.