Be Your Self. How often have you heard that instruction? About a million, right?? Well, it's not so easy to do, I know that. But it is ALWAYS super important to practice, especially when you are under pressure to conform. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that conforming is the fastest road to Zombieland. If you conform all the time, you will eventually lose sight of your essential YOU, your true Self. So, I'm here to give you 8 ways to follow the instruction and rediscover YOU: 1) Define your Self, on your own terms. Oscar Wilde said it best: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. But who is that Self? What does it mean to you to be YOU? One way to find out is to ask yourself a bunch of questions about yourself. Go back and do my exercise of 200 things: Take a half hour and write down 200 things about YOU. That's right, 200. From the color of your hair to your favorite color. When you get to #98 and you think you can't think of any more, think again. You are full of surprises, I am sure of it. 200.
2) Let the past be the past. If you keep re-reading the same old chapter in the book of your life, how will you ever get to read the next chapter?? Allow yourself to grow. Scary? Yes. Worth the risk and the pain? Absolutely. Turn. The. Page.
3) Quit caring about what other people think of you. Cold turkey! Some people will like you and some won't. Why care? If you are being your true Self, living on your own terms and someone doesn't like that true expression of you, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate your relationship with that person. If it is a toxic relationship, treat it like the poison it probably is and bring it to the nearest hazardous waste dump right away. You will thank your Self very soon, trust me!
4) Be honest, with your Self and with others. What have you got to hide? If you feel like you are holding too many secrets (for yourself or for someone else), write them down. Once they are written down, burn them (safely!) and watch them disappear as they turn to ash. Or, if you're feeling really bold, tell a trusted friend. Maybe that friend can help you to stop hiding and start living.
5) Treat yourself as well as you would treat a best friend. Do whatever you can to be nice to your Self. Talk to your Self like you would talk to a really good friend. Be supportive. Say nice things. Give yourself a hug! You need love, affection and emotional support as much as the next person. Maybe even more. If you can't reach out to a real, physical friend, at least reach out to YOU.
6) OWN and express your individuality and style. If you want to wear red lipstick every day, wear it! If you want to follow a vegetarian diet, do it! If you want to make friends with that new mom from the park with the cute twins, go for it. If you want to take a run at lunchtime every day, good for you! There is no reason to let anyone dictate these things to you. You deserve to make your own decisions.
7) Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing your Self to others is the best, quickest way to drive yourself mad. As in crazy. YOU are the only YOU on this Earth. Everyone else has their own challenges and struggles, the ones meant for them. Why spend your time trying to be like someone else (what would Oscar Wilde say to that??) when you could be spending it more wisely figuring out who YOU really are. The next time you catch yourself making a comparison between your Self and that model on the cover of whatever magazine, STOP! Make a quick list of your top ten best accomplishments or features. Got great hair? List it. Great at scrapbooking? List it. Play an instrument like nobody's business? That's right, list it.
8) Accept that some days you're IT and other days you are just... not it. Sometimes, you will be the center of positive attention. People will want to be with you, sit next to you, call you and ask your advice. Other days, people might roll their eyes at or even ignore you. But if you can respect your own Self, shrug it all off and say, "Whatever! I am who I am!" then others will respect you, too. Bonus: You will no longer have to rely on others for your sense of Self.
1) Make a decision to take some action 2) Try out one of these 8 Ways to Be Your Self 3) Tell someone else about this eZine. Why keep a good thing to yourself?
Till next time!