How often have you heard (or given the advice) – “just be yourself.”
It is good advice.
It seems logical.
It seems simple.
I mean, how hard can it be to just “be yourself”?
Being ourselves is the one thing which each of us should excel!
Why then is it is so darn hard to just be ourselves? What messages do you give yourself telling yourself there is something wrong with the way you are? What are you thinking about when you think you need to act a certain way. Do you compare yourself to others? Do you think they’d never struggle or that they are so together and think maybe if you acted a bit more like them you’d be better?
What is so hard about trusting our own instincts? I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking to be successful I would need to be something other than “myself”.
Although I was born to be a social worker, I wasn’t exactly sure I would be a great therapist. My idea of a therapist was someone who was academic, quiet, and easily knew all the correct things to say to clients. When I started moving in the direction of becoming a therapist I really tried to emulate what I thought a perfect therapist was. I wanted to seem smart and be able to spout off theories and explanations. You know what? I just wasn’t very successful at it. I would struggle to build a genuine relationship because I wasn’t being genuine. I gradually learned that I was much more connected and even much more insightful when I just was me. When I let myself use humor, be conversational and quote clichés, I did a much better job. Being a therapist also became infinitely easier and more enjoyable because I was being myself. I’m sure my clients benefited too because who wants to build a relationship with someone who is trying to be someone else.
Next time you see you are struggling, try examining if you are being yourself. Are you trying to fit your behavior into some constructed template? Are you trying to live up to how you think you should be? Try trusting your inner voice. You know what you are doing. You know who you are. Just be you.