Be yourselfIf you’ve read all the other parts of the series you will have a strategy for getting to know yourself and getting to know others. Now I want you to take all that knowledge, roll it into a little ball and then I want you to be yourself.
What does ‘Be yourself’ mean?How many times have you heard someone say ‘Just be yourself’. You’re going for an interview and someone gives the sage advice ‘you’ll be great, just be yourself’ , after you’ve picked them up off the floor and apologised for smacking them in the mouth, you ask yourself ‘what does that mean?’ . Being yourself means you are comfortable with who you are and you are confident enough to realise that not everyone will have the same opinion of you. You will not be at the stage of trying to impress everyone all of the time and you’ll know this is impossible anyway. You’ll know that what others think about you does not matter, and you will save so much time in your life by not worrying about what others are thinking about you. We have all met these types of people before and they are instantly recognisable. They have a quiet confidence about them, they are not brash, not ‘in your face’ confident, not loud, just confident within themselves, not afraid to speak up and not afraid to voice their opinion when needed. That’s what being yourself means. It’s a shame, but most people do not become confident within themselves until later on in life. That comes with all the realisations in life and that it really doesn’t matter what others do, say or think.
How to ‘be yourself’Unfortunately you can’t learn to be yourself by reading this article but I can give you hints on developing yourself enough to really be yourself.
- Know the person you want to be – List all the qualities that you really admire in people and develop those skills within yourself.
- Be quiet for one whole day – For one whole day try and not to breathe a word to anybody. If you are on the phone all day this will be difficult but try not to speak to your colleagues. Watch how others are interacting with each other; watch how they react to you being quiet. You might feel uncomfortable at first but you will soon develop a silent confidence that it is you who is in control of you, and not others who are controlling you. This is a powerful exercise and it’s hard to describe here but I would urge you to try it.
- Be honest – I mentioned this in part 3 of this series. Honesty is a powerful tool, yet it is not used enough. Be honest with yourself, really honest and you will learn a lot about yourself. Be honest with others and you will learn even more about yourself and others.
- Dress the way you want to dress – ‘It’s not the clothes that wear the person it’s the person that wears the clothes’ If you like a particular style of clothing but have never had the courage to wear it, next time you are out, buy the clothes you like, wear them, and hold your head high. This all helps to assert your individuality.
- Like yourself – It might sound a strange thing to say but I love my own company. I could spend days just being by myself and not be bored. I have developed this over time. If you are not comfortable with your own company how do you expect others to be comfortable with you? If you can, spend a few days alone and you will really learn a lot about yourself. I don’t mean sit and watch TV for 2 days, I mean go out shopping, go to a restaurant, go to the cinema, read a book.
- Never gossip – If you’re a gossip, stop it right now. You are giving your power and energy away by gossiping about other people, no matter how much people listen to you when you have juicy gossip.
- Create a set of principles and values – This is another powerful tool to learn. Think about a set of principles and values you would like to live by and start living them, e.g.