How many of us have given the advice or heard someone say just be yourself? This is a phrase you have likely heard many times but it isn’t always easy to follow through on. Is this really the best advice someone can give or is the lazy piece of advice made to help someone feel better? We have all said just be yourself to someone but today I want to analyze this phrase and find a more acceptable phrase to go in its place. The problem with saying “just be yourself” is that most of are us growing and not everyone has a clearly defined idea of what their own “self” may mean. We are all on a journey and our idea of self is evolving constantly. We should rather be promoting to be the best version of yourself which involves constant growth and competence. We will discuss why just being yourself is quite lazy and how this phrase impedes growth in the most important aspects of life. Having your sense of self stay concrete will make it difficult to develop the skills you need to constantly push yourself to become better. Here are some areas where you can find greater self-confidence and strive to be better:
Competence in all areas of your life-In life you must know what you are doing. This means learning as much as possible about all the important aspects of your life. For instance, if you have the desire to make an apple pie but never made one before, put this down as something to try soon. Take the initiative look up the recipe online, start watching videos or ask family or friends to for advice. Building skills and competencies also builds confidence but these skills don’t just come to us magically. Start building your knowledge and learn new skills regularly to become better as a person.
Health & Wellness-Healthy eating, exercising, calming the mind. Why should focus on wellness be treated as a large priority? Shouldn’t you value the thing that takes you everywhere and is with you 24/7? This means eating quality foods, not cheap processed foods for proper nutrients and vitamins so you can have energy fewer doctor visits. Exercise and stretching your body is so important because if you don’t use it you will lose it. You want to improve your health and body by stretching especially if you sit all day. As humans throughout history we were used to being active and today that has fallen by the wayside. We were made to be active and our bodies need it. Just like a car if a car sat without being started tuned up it eventually just rusts and no longer is useful. Calming your mind is also very important which many people forget to do. Take 5-10 minutes a day to meditate and reflect what your intentions are for the day. If you are religious this is where you would practice prayer and reflect on that prayer. If you are not in the right health and state of mind the below aspects of life will be more difficult to accomplish. Without focusing on wellness you can feel a lack of energy, be regularly sick, or stressed out so focus on yourself first by being competent in healthy eating, exercising and stress relievers. Never stop learning what the best ways to bring a focus on wellness into your lifestyle, don’t treat wellness as temporary or try fad remedies to boost your progress. Wellness is something that needs to be part of your regular routine.
Dating/Marriage-Relationships should also be a huge area where you are constantly learning and growing. If you are dating you should be learning on who you are and what type of partner you want as well as the types of relationships you want. Know your standards and know when to settle as this can lead to stress and strain on a relationship. Fate and waiting for the one is going to leave you waiting. Hollywood has given us the false idea that our soulmate will fall on our laps one day. Instead, we need to learn skills on how to 1) socialize 2) date 3) and keep a relationship sustained. Socializing is such an important area in our life but not so many of us try to improve this area by learning how to approach people, conversation starters, networking etc. Socializing will help you get out into the world allowing you to meet more people with which you can start looking for potential people to date by keeping your options open. Women can attest that its ok to approach men! We’ve been taught not to let men take the lead but that is why we don’t meet as many people as we should. Learning how to socialize is not only important for dating but it can help you with your career by networking and by making more friends that will enhance your life. If you are in a relationship or married the key now is to have continual learning and growth on how to keep your relationship sustained. By growing as individuals and letting your relationship evolve, you can make sure it never stays stagnant. Get away, do things individually or you can suffocate each other. You need to have love and desire. The desire is allowing your individuality to shine so your partner sees you as a person who loves their life. Any person that sees you and loves you the way you can confidently love yourself will be excited to share your life with you. This can really relate to any relationship in your life. Learning how to improve your relationships by reading self-help articles can really keep you aware of some of the habits you may have to stunt the growth of your relationships. It’s important to spend time learning about the importance of your role in your relationships so that you are focused on growing the relationship rather than taking it for granted.
Career-Always be looking for growth never stay on the path of least resistance. Take advantage of continuous training, read books to keep your career life alive. Keep your LinkedIn page up to date so you can be accessible for new and better opportunities. Always keep an updated resume ready to go just in case that potential opportunity comes your way. Don’t get comfortable in your job. You want to grow your skills and create better processes. If you feel like you’ve mastered your job, it's time to move up to learn more skills.
Hobbies/Independence-Always have something you love to do that is just for you. One quality will not entice someone alone if you are dating or in a relationship. For instance, if we meet someone and they are advanced in their career, we have a tendency to be impressed because they are smart and ambitious. But If that person just works 24/7 and does nothing else to have fun or they don’t work to improve other areas of their life it can become boring for their partner. You’re not allowing your strengths to negate themselves by sticking to one thing. Take on hobbies you like. Saying you don’t have time, money, energy are also phrases we need to get rid of because what they really mean is that you don’t want to prioritize those things. If you stop with all those excuses and just do it, you will realize you could have been doing it the whole time. By focusing your priorities you will be improving your life by taking on hobbies and interests that make you feel happy and accomplished.
As you can see it’s easy to say “just be yourself” to yourself because it doesn’t involve effort, change or growth. You always want to strive to be a better version of yourself every day because time is ticking and we are not promised tomorrow. What creates happiness is the progress you make, never the destination. If you work to improve these areas of your life every day you will have made some progress on striving to be better. This is what drives you to live in the present enjoying every moment. New skills can enrich your life and breed confidence. So, before you think to say the dreaded “be yourself” to someone or to yourself ask yourself “what can I do to prepare and grow in this area so that I can be the best I can be?”