There is a strong chance that there has been moments in one’s life when they have been told to ‘be themselves’. This could be something they have been told before they had a job interview, or before they were going to meet someone for the first time.
The other person may have seen that they were nervous, and this would then have been a way for them to try and calm them down. And through hearing this, one may have found that it allowed them to settle down.
They may have been able to breathe deeply and to no longer worry about what may or may not happen. Said another way, they would have returned to the present moment and it would then have been possible for them to behave as they usually do.
Based on this, it could be said that this saying is very helpful; if someone is feeling tense before they are about to do something, it will allow them to get out of their own head and settle into their body. Yet, as this saying is so simple, it can be easy to overlook how powerful it is.
And, during the moments when they are about to do something important and they are unable to settle down, they can also say this saying to themselves. Therefore, if there is no one around to support them, they can support themselves.
It could be said that it will also be important for one to be themselves when it comes to their day-to-day life. If they were to only be themselves during certain moments, they would spend a lot of their life putting on an act.
When they don’t feel the need to do this and their true-self can shine though, their life is going to be a lot easier. This is because they won’t need to worry about saying or doing the right thing.
They will be in touch with their needs, feelings and preferences, and these aspects will generally define their life. So, not only will their life be easier, but it will also be far more fulfilling than it would be if this wasn’t the case.
The people in their life will know who they are, as opposed to a role they play to fit in. Their need to be seen for who they are is then going to be met, and there will be no reason for them to feel as though they are invisible.
A Strong Connection
And as they are in touch with who they are, it won’t be a challenge for them to notice when they are putting on an act. It would soon stand out, and this will allow them to get back on track.
One way of looking at this would be to say that one is living in the right way, and this is how everyone should experience life. Even so, there are going to be plenty of people who find it incredibly difficult to be themselves.
If someone was to tell them to be themselves, it might not have much of an effect on them. On one side, they will have the need to do so, but on the other side; they are not going to be able to fulfil this need.
One may have been told to be themselves on so many occasions that they are now fed up with hearing this saying. In fact, when someone says this, it could be as if they don’t understand what they are going through.
Instead of being told this, one may want someone to take the time to understand what they are going through. As if they were to do this, they may gradually begin to realise why they are unable to be themselves.
What this shows is that while it is easy to tell someone what do to, it is not as easy to take the time to listen to what they are going through. One could also find that they don’t know who they are.
When one is unable to be themselves, they will need to follow a certain path, but when one is out of touch with their true-self, they will need to follow a different path altogether. If one is out of touch with their true-self, it is going to be a waste of time to tell them to be themselves.
This will be similar to telling someone who is clinically depressed to be happy; it is not going to happen. One is not going to know what their real needs and feelings are, and this is not going to change by telling them to be themselves.
When one finds it hard to be themselves, it can be a sign that they don’t feel comfortable enough to do so. At a deeper level, they could feel worthless, and this can then cause them to believe that they need to hide who they are.
Ergo, if they were to be themselves, it could be seen as something that would cause other people to reject and/or abandon them. There is also the chance that the reason they don’t feel safe enough to be themselves is because they are carrying trauma.
Yet, if one is out of touch with who they are, it could show that there was a time in their life when it wasn’t safe for them to be themselves. Through being in this kind of environment, they may have had to develop a false-self in order to survive, and this would have stopped their true-self from being able to develop.
But whether one finds it hard to be themselves or if they are out of touch with themselves, it could be the result of what took place when they were younger. Perhaps this was a time when they were abused and/or neglected.
If one can relate to this and they want to change their circumstances, they need to work with a therapist.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 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.