4 Tips for Being YourselfLet go of who you think you should be and embrace who you are. ~Brené Brown
Do you ever fear that who you are isn’t enough — you put on a mask and become someone you’re not to avoid rejection?
This has been me for most of my life. From a young age I never felt as though I was good enough. Growing up as an introvert surrounded by extroverts was what first got me questioning myself.
Everyone seemed to love the opposite of what I was. I felt unloved, and I became ashamed of myself.
This was the beginning of many years of self-destruction. I so desperately wanted to be accepted and loved by others. I did whatever it took to be what I thought people wanted to see. Even if it wasn’t in line with who I was and what I truly valued.
I hid behind a mask. I pretended to be someone I wasn’t. It was my protection from allowing people to get to know the real me so I could avoid rejection. This is how I lived for 23 years.
Your Authentic Self
I hit rock bottom. My only option was to put the mask down and let my authentic self be seen. It terrified me.
Slowly my transformation took place. I started exploring who I was without judgment. I began to accept myself, even the parts of me that I had been ashamed of for so long.
I opened up to the people closest to me, slowly showing them parts of my true self. It was uncomfortable at first but then became liberating. I was finally free.
To my surprise, my family and friends embraced me. This gave me the courage to open up even more. I realized I am enough and I always have been. I just couldn’t see it.
My life changed in a way I never thought was possible. By embracing the real me and knowing that who I am is enough, this allowed true joy and happiness to enter my life. I started to feel the happiest I’d ever been.
Here is how you can embrace who you are.
1. Know You Are Enough
There are always areas of our lives where we don’t feel like we’re enough. Not skinny, pretty, rich or smart enough. We wish we were more outgoing, had a better house, car or job.
The truth is you don’t need to be or have anything more to feel worthy. You are worthy right now — no matter your weight, age, income, job, whatever your life circumstance may be.
Let go of thinking that when you become skinnier, smarter, have a better job, etc., then you will be enough. You are enough right here, right now just the way you are.
2. Tame the Fear
This is something I personally struggled with. The fear of being judged, criticized or rejected overwhelmed me and prevented me from letting my authentic self be seen.
Opportunities would come up where I wanted to let myself be seen, such as expressing how I truly felt but the fear would take over me. What I want to say could spark judgment.
This is when I would imagine the worst possible outcome, imagining the worst kind of rejection, like the people I loved the most never wanting to speak to me again.
This never happened. I realized I was worrying and imagining things that would never even eventuate. Now when opportunities arise I know it never turns out as bad as I think and I don’t predict the reaction of others to be as horrible as I used to.
We are really good at imagining the future to be much worse than it actually is. Remember that it never turns out as disastrous as you imagine it to be. It’s natural to feel scared, but don’t allow it to stop you being who you are.
3. Have a Mantra
I find that when the fear comes up it helps to have a mantra. It calms you and stops the fear from taking over.
I use mantras such as “I can do this,” “I am enough” or “Be you bravely.”
It helps to keep you focused on what matters: being true to you.
4. Surround Yourself With People Who Love You
Being surrounded by people who love and care about you will create the supportive environment needed to allow yourself to open up and let people get to know the real you.
Not everyone is going to like the new you — that’s ok. Do not fear this. Don’t become someone you’re not so people will like you — be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
By being yourself you create more space for the right people to come into your life. You deserve to be surrounded by people who love, respect and appreciate you.
To be yourself is a courageous act. It was difficult in the beginning but it got easier with time. The fear still comes up today whenever I’m faced with a situation where I must let myself be seen.
Even though I feel the fear, I continue to stay true to who I am. I know the fear is only temporary. Staying true to you is what matters most. When you do, it’s the most rewarding feeling.
Have the courage to push past that fear, and be you bravely. Know you are enough. Always. Remember you are beautiful just the way you are.