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How To Be Yourself

We regularly hear the phrase "be yourself", but being yourself is easier said than done. So, how do we be ourself?

In today’s world where it’s very easy for people to lose their independent thought processes and confirm prevalent social practices, it’s a challenging task to retain your individuality. We regularly hear the phrase “be yourself”, but being yourself is easier said than done. We can agree with this when we see how some public figures like journalists, activists, actors, singers or anyone else are brutally trolled on social networking platforms for pouring out their opinions here or during public events. Well, people pay attention to whatever they say or do, because they are influential. However, here I would like to talk about ordinary individuals, like us, and how you should avoid being drifted away by what others do.

The first and foremost thing to be done is to understand who you are. Understanding yourself is very essential and this is something many fail to do. We don’t know what we want from our lives, and in such volatile situations, all we try to do is “fit in”. We try to fit into a crowd where the majority of people similarly do something, and in the process lose our individuality. We feel or are made to feel, humiliated, just because we are not like them. Such things can influence us to try and be one of those people out there. You might not be able to explain this to them, but tell this to yourself -“ I am different, and I am proud to be different, and most essentially, be myself”. Remember that you know yourself the best, and don’t give anyone else the right to think for you and steer your life.

After you’ve understood yourself well, decide who you want to be. Your personality is what you show others on the outside. Believe in whom you are, and reflect the same to people around you. Do not project a fake personality of yourself, because anyone who observes you keenly will get to know you. Even if you successfully fake it before everyone, it’s the inner “you” who knows what you are. To justify what you are doing, you might get into a conflict with your conscience, and say that “This helps me get public validation and acceptance, after all, in a society, what people think does matter.” But you will soon get into that internal strife again, and there will always be an emotional conflict going on inside your mind. This will cause nothing but mental trauma, and deplete you within.

Thirdly, develop the skill of critical thinking. This is not just something academically relevant, but also the most amazing ability you could have. And what do I mean by critical thinking here? It’s all about weighing your decisions based on pragmatism and morality. Whether it be any opinion you are making or any decision, just think if it’s your own decision or is influenced by others.

Finally, be prepared to face criticism. It could be meant to correct something wrong in you. In that case, be graceful enough to accept your mistakes and say “mea culpa”! Try to be cautious about it the next time such a situation arises. Criticism can also pull you down and humiliate you, just because you dare to own your decisions, in a world where everyone’s opinions are aligned with the “societal norms” of today. In such cases, ignore them, but be sure to give them a befitting reply if things get worse. As long as your heart knows you’re right, you have nothing to worry about.

So, it means that you need to be aware and vigilant all the time so that no one else can influence your decisions in the wrong way. You may have idols or people who inspire you, so learn the positive things about them, but again, don’t try to mimic them. Being yourself is not easy, but being so could be immensely satisfying. You’ll be in a position to decide what is right and what is wrong. And this is all you need to be successfully able to do, to retain your individuality.

Image Credits: Olia Nayda in Unsplash

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kshama Misra

Int. M.Tech @ NIT Rourkela. read more...

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