Be Yourself And Be Free!
It seems we are all expected to conform to some sort of predetermined idea of social acceptability – to behave in the way society says we SHOULD. Sadly, this happens from such an early age.
My friend's daughter had only been two weeks at the nursery when staff felt it necessary to bring up to her mother how her child is too loud, not independent enough at mealtimes, and says "oh no" too much, when she should say "yippee" as this is less negative.
What on earth is going on when a child is criticized for being different and a mother made to feel she is failing in some way because her child doesn't do what she SHOULD?! She is a child and not a robot!
Surely we can be allowed to find our own way of expressing ourselves instead of fitting into a convenient mould?!
We get these messages so early in life, about what is "acceptable" and what is not, that we often feel the need to hide parts of our self in order to fit in.
We wear masks and feel afraid just to be ourselves.
Sometimes we even forget who we really are underneath all the things we pretend to be (or not to be) so that people will like and accept us.
For those days when you feel that you are putting on a mask based on how you think you ‘should’ be acting or that you are adapting who you really are in order to please others, here is a quick checklist for getting back to your authentic self:
1. Spend some time alone every day
You cannot hear your own inner voice when it is drowned out by the demands of others.
2. Express the real you
Hiding behind a persona built on what you think you ‘should’ be is never going to bring you peace or meaningful relationships.
3. Take responsibility for your own life
You take back your power when you accept that you are the one making things happen in your life.
4. Be grateful for what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t
If you focus on what you feel you are lacking, you will always be dissatisfied.
If you look for things to be grateful about, you will find many.
5. Don’t give a s**t about what other people think of you
Why waste time worrying about what other people MIGHT think?! They are probably too busy worrying about their what people think about THEM anyway!
6. Avoid comparing yourself with others
There will always be someone smarter, stronger, prettier or funnier than you.
These superficial things are not really important and comparison only causes pain. Only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday!
7. Set healthy boundaries and learn to say ‘no’
As part of being true to yourself, set healthy boundaries with others and practice saying ‘no’ when it helps you look after yourself.
8. Do what you love and not what you think you ‘should’ do
Are you happy with how you are spending your days or do you need to consider making a change?
9. Be open and honest in your communications
The more you speak the truth and be real with people, the deeper you will connect in your relationships.
Today, can you be completely true and kind to yourself, accept every bit of you and break free from the "shoulds" of society?
Be yourself! You are amazing just as you are!
About the author: Jo Ritchie
After 17 years working in the corporate world not feeling like she was being true to herself, Jo redesigned her life to follow her bliss. Now she is a personal and business coach who travels the world, runs workshops, blogs and speaks about her experiences. Jo uses her background in martial arts, with her training in yoga teaching, coaching and NLP, to empower others and encourage them to find their own power within. Take a look at her website and also see her Facebook page for regular self-development tips.