How can I be myself? How did you find out who you are?
At first you might think that we’re all just “being ourselves” but are we REALLY?
How much time do you spend in your own head trying to figure out what to say to make that hot waitress like you? Or what stories did you fabricate so that dad wasn’t upset when he found that dent in his car door? Or maybe you over sold your story to the guys in the locker room?
Every time we fabricate the truth, or enhance our stories with others, is so that we can manipulate what others think of us. Because we’re genetically evolved to NEED social connection and influence… otherwise we’re excluded, rejected, or worse.
Basically we FEAR that others will dislike us or reject us, and we learn this as soon as we learn to talk. Thanks to mom and dad teaching us to be “good boys” and not to be “bad boys” in order to receive their approval and love. And the training to be “who others want us to be” begins.
So “being ourselves” becomes a juggling act of doing and saying things that others want, even if we don’t REALLY agree with them.
But there’s another reality we rarely have the guts to test… and that’s a reality where we stop pretending certain things, and we start being a little more honest about what we are thinking. And this is dangerous because the world is filled with people who have expectations of us, and will let us know immediately when they disapprove.
Being rejected is the ultimate test of ourselves.
Telling a group of friends we’re not really interested in going out and getting drunk can quickly turn into powerful peer pressure and resentment.
But this is where we find our true selves. In the heart of the storm.
“A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Sailor”
Being ourselves basically means taking off our “social mask” and allowing others to think and feel what ever they want about us.
Obviously the problem with always doing and saying things that people want or expect from us leaves us in a place where we stop expressing our truest selves and instead expressing our fearful selves.
Our “fearful self” lies and manipulates in order to receive the percieved safety of group approval and acceptance. It’s the fearful self that just gives in and agrees with the group instead of speaking out with honest thoughts and opinions. Our fearful selves get peer pressured into doing things we don’t really want to do. We get bullied and pushed around by own friends as way to feel safe.
This leaves us victims to the whims and nature of others.
It not only leaves us resentful of the world, but makes others resentful of us. Other people DON’T WANT the responsibility of making us happy. They THINK they want us to do and say what they want… but they definitely don’t want the pressure of always keeping you happy by making your choices for you.
So when others don’t approve of us what happens?
We feel shitty.
We lose self confidence.
We get needy and desperate.
And being needy and desperate pushes people away, especially women we’re wanting to date.
But wait.. there’s another way!
With some courage and patience you can discover another reality where others seek your approval and opinions, instead of the other way around.
There’s another way where we can take off our Social Masks and instead just “be ourselves” .. which just means we get to no longer spend endless energy seeking approval, worrying about what we’re going to do and say or how it will impact what others might think of us.
You see… there’s a difference between caring about how people feel and caring what they think of us.
Obviously we share the earth with other people and it helps the world when we are willing to consider how others feel when we talk and act in this world. We shouldn’t all walk around ignoring that other people exist, or have feelings.
So I’m not saying it’s wise to walk around grabbing ass, punching dudes, or stealing shit without a care for how it impacts other people.
What I AM saying is that you matter.
You are responsible for YOU first. Not second or third.
Just like everyone else.
So let other people manage their own thoughts and feelings and stop trying to manipulate them by not being your truest honest self.
It not only helps the world, when you express your honest thoughts and feelings, but it also lifts you above the crowd. Because only leaders seem to be able to do this.
You’re not always going to say the right things, and you’re not always going to be right in your opinions of the world. Sometimes we do or say the worst things thinking we’re right only to later discover we were idiots.
And that’s the risk of the honest person, and of the leader.
They go into the scary room first. They walk ahead and take the risks of being wrong.
Because there’s power in honesty. People respect it. They love it. And they follow it. And women desire it.
Women will chase a man who’s brutally honest over the doormat who just says what he thinks others want to hear.
The pay off is personal pride and power, even when we’re often wrong. Because a leader accepts responsibility for being wrong, learns and moves on. It’s the cowards who dread being wrong, and then stop trying.
Because failure only occurs when we stop getting up and trying again.
Sometimes you will win. And sometimes you will learn. But you will never fail.
So if you want to “find yourself” then you need to accept the risk of rejection and stop editing yourself around others. Get yourself “okay” with the judgements and ridicule of others.
Learning to ignore the good and bad opinion of others is the most YOU possible. It’s empowering and builds pride, character and confidence.
The BEST place to start “finding” ourselves is in our own thoughts, because this is where the outside world infects us first… we hear the judgements of our parents, friends, mentors, all in our heads when we’re making decisions, taking actions, feeling things… those inner demons are the first things worth silencing. A
ny inner voice that judges or lies (like the ego) is just another way we’re hiding our selves from ourselves.
So I say start there… it starts by just noticing your own thoughts… your inner judgements. Any thought that makes you feel shame, or fear, needs to be challenged or ignored.
We can’t fight out inner thoughts, but we can ignore them. And over time they lose power and they fade.
What we resists persists. Do practice noticing your inner dialogue and notice what thoughts empower you, an what thoughts fill you with fear, embarrassment, shame, resentment or regret. It’s the negative thoughts that are not YOU… they’re just the randomness of our minds. Our minds fill with chaos and noise naturally, that’s where creativity comes from.
It’s up to you which thoughts you decide to cling onto, and which ones you giggle at as they comes and go.
I hope the helps you get started finding yourself.