Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Be what you want to be, not what others want to see!

It's quite possibly the most commonly used phrase in the history of advice: Be yourself. But it's such a vague adage. What do they really mean when they tell you to be yourself? And is it really as easy as it sounds?

·         Respect others as much as you respect yourself. While being yourself means expressing yourself and your opinions, dreams, and preferences, it certainly doesn't mean ramming these down other people's throats! Everyone has needs, dreams, and wants that are equally deserving and it's up to each one of us to acknowledge the other's value as much as our own. Therefore, avoid being rude, thoughtless, or egotistical in your journey to being yourself.
·         Fads and trends are a personal decision. While some people avoid them like the plague in the name of "individualism", others recognize them for what they are - groupspeak for fun and sharing in a particular period of time. Whether or not you choose to follow trends and participate in fads is entirely up to you; it doesn't mean you're not being yourself when you've made the choice for yourself to do so.
·         Be bold. As the famous song says: "Life's not worth a damn, until you can say 'I am what I am'!" and your sincerity at uttering such words is paramount in boldly proclaiming that you rock.
·         It can be hard to show your true interests at times, when others don't care or mock them, but stand tall and simply expect others to at the very least, respect your choices. Having an air of authority and friendly expectation will do more than acting grievously wounded or angry when others disrespect your personal preferences. Remember, humor is far more likely to disarm and charm than irritability and a foaming mouth.
·         Balance bad habits and rein them in. Addiction to drugs, alcohol, internet, gaming, whatever, is disrespectful to the self and ultimately hurts the self more than any others. Find self-calming techniques in more constructive ways, such as meditation, relaxation, writing, music, sport, being active, cooking up a storm, etc.
·         While some may call you names and speak ill of your choices to be your weird, goofy self, most will respect your courage and certainty of self. And it is not a beauty parade where you're seeking votes of approval anyway. Others like friends in their lives who live tall, proud, and differently because it gives them the strength to show themselves in the same light.
·         Work on the things that you dislike about yourself instead of seeing them as stumbling blocks to being a whole person. A too-large butt, a pimply face, a hatred of foreigners, alienating others with your anger, etc. – these are all things you can make a decision to fix or change, and the sooner, the better! Improve your self-esteem and your future by constantly working on the things you're less than pleased about yourself and finding solutions that stick.
·         Change is a constant. So changing who you are over time is inevitable, and is always likely to be a good thing if you've been stayed informed, relevant, and clued in to the world around you and have allowed your personal development to be a top priority in your life.
·         Set an example for others instead of criticizing them. You don't like what you see? Show them how to be better by being living proof of your own preferred way.
·         It might help you to see that everyone is showing you a mirror of yourself. In this way, what reflects back at you is 90 percent what you're giving out. And you have 100 percent responsibility for yourself and your own actions!
·         A Buddhist tale tells of the importance of facing things we'd rather not at times: Three monks went toward a gate. The first monk went up to it but a snarling dog was there. He shook with fear and ran but the dog ran after him and ate him. The second monk went to the gate and also ran away but the dog caught up with him and gobbled him up. The third monk approached the gate and sized up the dog quickly. He gave the dog no time to bark but charged at him yelling fiercely. The dog whimpered, placed its tail between its legs and ran like mad away from the monk. The moral of the tale is to face your fears before they eat you up. Being yourself includes facing your fears and not letting them get the better of you, for as soon as you let fear run your life, you start marching to other people's tunes, often tunes aimed at making you subservient, obedient, and in conformity with their preferences.
·         Don't lie to others and yourself, to make your life easier, or to fit in,or make others around your more happy, and or comfortable, You are beautiful as you are, and or will be!
·         Knock peoples socks off as the best 'you' that you can be!
·         No one can be a better you than you can be.
·         "Life's not worth a damn, until you can say 'I am what I am'!"
·         ‎"no one can make you feel inferior without your consent"-Eleanor Roosevelt
·         The best part about being you is......No one else can be you, Only YOU
·         ‎"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken"- Oscar Wilde
·         A dead end is not a place to stop; it's a place to turn around and start over again.

·         Not caring about how others perceive you doesn't mean letting go of the grooming and etiquette. Basic respect for yourself and others is founded in the rules of etiquette to ensure that we can all live together in harmony and with a basic level of expectation for how we will interact with one another politely. The less manners we use, the less we respect others, and ultimately, ourselves because we're trying to be domineering and arrogant rather than cooperative and considerate. Use your manners widely, and be thoughtful of others.
·         Do not confuse cultural and social expectations with your desire to be unique. Sometimes thumbing your nose at convention will lead you to be ostracized or worse, so use your common sense when flaunting your individuality!
·         Love your friends but don't fall into walking to their rhythm alone. Keep yourself individual and spread your time around various different people and activities with others so that you don't end up unwittingly behaving like a "clone" of your friends within one inner circle.
·         Striving to be something you're not can be healthy when it involves improving academic, sport, and social interactions skills. It can be highly harmful when you're striving to "be like" someone else just to have their popularity, appearance, and attitudes rub off on you. Keep unique by keeping your perspective focused on building your strengths through the inspiration of others, not through becoming like them.
·         Flaws deserve celebration because the mere act of acknowledging them takes such strength. However, flaws that can be remedied through study, focus, or other means should not be neglected through laziness or disinterest. Fix what you can about yourself where the cost of not doing so will dampen your enthusiasm and reduce your enjoyment of life.
·         It doesn't always pay to "be yourself". Sometimes to get ahead in life you need to fulfill what a company, a school, a powerful person wants from you. Sometimes you may need to be what they seek for a short time just to reach goals of your own choosing. You could stand on principle and thumb your nose at the situation and lose out as a result, or you could temporarily swallow your pride and fake it till you make it, nurturing your real self outside the particular context (at home, with friends, etc.) until your own authority is more powerful. It's not always a dastardly dead to submerge your real self until your time comes; you need to be the best judge of that in the path you've chosen in life.
·         Know when going with the flow is more beneficial than digging your heels in on something. Example: Sometimes it's better to agree to going to a rock concert for a band you don't enjoy to spend time and have fun with your friends, than it is to take a stand for your own personal views on the quality of the band's music and miss out on the fun and time spent with good friends. That's about compromising... and being respectful of others' preferences, rather than about soiling your own. Again, think manners and good socializing. In turn, they are more likely to be responsive to coming along to things you'd rather do.
·         If it turns out that being yourself means you end up living in a cave all your life because you truly don't fit in anywhere, maybe it's time for a rethink. You may be thinking selfishly, as opposed to independently. Or, as an example, perhaps it is a much more drastic external situation like being a gay person born to a homophobic family or into a homophobic community or culture: If a community of people raised the way you were, that shares the same values and even the same standards of appearance, would react in a hostile way to something so real, or so personal or private about you... that's just an overall bad situation! It doesn't make you a bad person or make the real thing untrue. It's almost impossible to be yourself in that kind of situation. At that point you face hard choices about where and how to live. The choice that works for you best is the one to make. In those situations, even though it seems that way, you're not the only one. Many people throughout history have relocated in order to live without fear of prejudice. It has been to many people's happy surprise, that not all of them lost their family ties when coming out. *While it's true that hiding it or lying about who you really are can work for a time, truth seems to always come out in the end. It is more advisable to put that effort used to hide or obscure one's true self, into finding or creating a space or relationships or community where one can be themselves!
My child: Behaviour at school
My child: Grades, grades, grades….
My child: The parents meeting, also known as ‘’Dance of the Vampires ‘’
My child: My child does not like to read
My child: The child forgets school supplies and duties

1 comment:

Carole said...

Nice blog. You might like this quote about "being yourself"