It can often be difficult to stay true to yourself in today’s day and age. When someone asks us how we are doing, we tend to give them a quick reply by saying that we are fine, even though we really aren’t. In this fast-paced world, we have grown accustomed to putting on a fake smile and pretending that everything’s okay.
What’s worse is that we feel the need to conform to societal standards. This makes us put up even more masks in an effort to fit in with everyone else. The truth with all of this is that we aren’t truly happy.
So, what if things were different?
What if staying true to yourself was an option?
The only way to truly be happy is to get out of our comfort zone and focus on having the courage to accept our true selves and be authentic. Making a decision to allow your true self to thrive can only occur when we remove the mask and embrace what makes you unique.
How Do I Stay True To Myself?
1. Embrace Your Own Vulnerability
We all have a vulnerable side that we often tuck away and most of us learned to do this from an early age. When someone asks us how we’re doing, we say we’re good. Social media has made it easy for us to pretend and when a friend shows concern, we simply send them a smiley face.
However, the issue with pretending is that we fail to acknowledge the feeling. When we mask our emotions, we are unable to identify what the real problem is and in turn are unable to find a solution.
Embracing your vulnerability motivates you to stand up for what you need. This vulnerability includes your self-expression, your emotions, and all aspects of your existence. It all starts with your personal journey. We have all taken different paths in life and have our own experiences. Therefore, you should embrace your journey as well and avoid competing or comparing yourself to anyone.
As the saying goes, “what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.”
2. Watch Your Attitude and Perspective During Times Of Adversity
Adversity makes us anxious and stressed. We get overwhelmed and wonder how to adjust. The truth is that we will always have some kind of adversity in life. The best way to combat getting anxious or stressed is by taking it a day at a time.
This process involves changing your attitude by focusing on what is happening today, rather than concerning yourself with the months ahead.
Changing your attitude and perspective has the ability to change everything else. Take for example, you may have failed at something. You can change your perspective and attitude by deciding that you will look for the silver lining and trust in yourself to begin again irrespective of the failures, obstacles, or challenges that you currently face.
Choose to adopt a can-do attitude. There may be things in your life that are beyond your control but your attitude and how you respond in times of adversity are well within your control. It is important to understand that change will take place. You may have to start all over again or go back to the drawing board. But, with a positive attitude, things will work out.
3. Do What Makes You The Happiest
Character is all about what you do when no one is watching. It has nothing to do with your success, status, or material possessions. Instead, it’s all about becoming the person that you want to be. This means believing in yourself and embracing a never-give-up attitude.
When you fall down, get up and pick up others who are down as well. That way, you’ll go higher than you did before. When you face a mountain, show others that it can be moved by taking control.
Unfortunately, we can sometimes suffer from ‘inflated egos’ and when things don’t go our way, we get hurt and discouraged. When we fail in our dreams, we develop a negative self-image where we feel that “we are never enough.”
However, happiness stems from realizing that you are enough even without material possessions, status and success. Ask yourself this question, “If you believed that you were already enough, what would you have been able to do?” By believing that you are enough, you can truly live the life you want.
4. Maintain Your Integrity
Maintaining your integrity through being honest and maintaining self respect is important when staying true to yourself. In some instances, we are tempted to lie to meet societal expectations or peer pressure. However, being true to yourself means resisting this impulse and letting people know your true feelings (without being aggressive or rude).
For example, if all of your friends found a certain inspirational book impactful and you didn’t find it helpful, you could say, “I am glad you guys really liked it but I personally didn’t really learn anything new.”
5. Take Responsibility For Your Own Life
Taking responsibility for your life means having self-control and owning up when you make a mistake. Whatever happened in the past is already done, so don’t waste your time dwelling on it. Instead, understand that today you have the opportunity to make the right choices. One way you can take responsibility for your life is by replacing complaints with acts of intention.
Instead of being a victim in your own life, you can seize the moment by choosing your actions. You have the responsibility and ability to change your thinking, feelings, speech and actions. It is important to understand that the thoughts in your mind have an effect on your speech and actions.
When you take responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and speech, no one can push you to think, feel, say or do anything that you don’t want to do.
6. Develop A Vision For Your Life
Most people go about life without having a clear vision. However, having a vision and goals allows you to live life to the full. Goals also allow you to have an understanding of what kind of person you want to be. By writing your goals down, you’ll be able to shape short-term goals that will help you ultimately achieve that vision or dream.
Don’t limit yourself when setting your vision. Your only obligation is to make sure that your dreams are big and understand that it takes courage to actively work towards achieving those goals.
7. Surround Yourself With Friends of Integrity
The people we hang out with have a large influence on who we are and what we ultimately become. It can be toxic for you to surround yourself with people who pressure you to be someone else. You can respect the opinions of others but don’t need to conform to those pressures. Instead, focus on building supportive friends. These are the types of friendships that can let you know when you’re messing up and support you in tough times.
Choose your friends wisely and build relationships with people who are willing to also hold you accountable. This is important if you need to consult someone else about making strong decisions in line with your values. Surrounding yourself with friends that have great integrity, will also help you maintain your own integrity.
8. Examine Your Core Values
Your values are important because they guide your behavior. As such, it is important to take some time to figure out what your personal values are. You can do this by making a list of characteristics you find important, for instance; kindness, commitment, courage, etc.
Ofcourse, your values will change over time, but the point here is to check in on yourself and shed light on your values. Examining your values will help you boost your self confidence, and also ensure that you stay on track with the direction you want your life to go in.
When you choose to stand for nothing, you will fall for anything. The truth is that when you know your values, you know yourself and where you are headed.
9. Discover Your Own Interests
If you want to discover your true self, you need to determine what some of your interests are. These interests may include interpersonal skills, business ideas, professional skills, and hobbies. Some of these interests can even become business opportunities that help you increase your income stream.
How do you find your own interests? Begin by slowing down. Most people are so engrossed in the hustle and bustle of life that they don’t take the time to get off the treadmill. There may be things around you that can give you clues concerning what your interests are.
When you take some time to rest, you’ll be in a better position to notice them. Also, you can practice a mindfulness technique like meditation, which can help you uncover your passion. When you take time to nurture your mind and body, you’ll feel more creatively inspired and energized enough to uncover your interests.
10. Avoid Negative Self-Image
It can be easy to become distracted by people’s negative opinions of you. People can make unjustified criticisms about you. For instance, they may have negative things to say about how you dress, your weight, your education or appearance.
When people make these comments, it is important to understand that they may be saying them from a place of insecurity. For instance, someone may make comments about your weight or looks because they think that you are more attractive than they are. When they make critiques about you, they often feel better about themselves.
People also make negative comments simply because they don’t naturally tend to lift people up. Either way, make sure that you avoid these unjustified claims about yourself and surround yourself with people who will stick by your side and love you for who you are. Don’t pay attention to the negative opinions of others and don’t let their opinions determine your sense of self worth.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn positive and constructive feedback about improving yourself from family, parents and friends. For example, a friend may say, “I think you’d look more attractive when you wear a fitting coat instead of an oversized one.” You could take this advice and work on it.
Alternatively, a friend may say, “maybe you should work on your temper because people aren’t sure how to approach you and at some stage you may start to drive your friends away.” Such advice would be worth listening to and taking on board.
We all stumble and make mistakes, be it in our jobs or personal lives. When that happens, and you realize it, admit your mistake. You can reach out to those you’ve wronged and make amends. Learn from it and don’t repeat the same mistake again.
It is also beneficial not to blame others for our mistakes. When we blame others, we are unable to take ownership of our mistakes. When you accept responsibility, you shift from victim to victor. This approach will help you realize your role in the issue and work towards solving it.
11. Be Kind To Yourself
It can be easy to beat ourselves up when we make mistakes and hard to forgive ourselves. But the reality is that life is hard, and we are not perfect. Learn to forgive yourself and move on.
When it comes to learning and progressing in life, it is important to remain open minded, understand your self worth, build up your own self esteem and find ways to ensure that you can let mistakes and failures go. It is a dangerous road to go down when we hold on to old mistakes and refuse to allow ourselves to move forward.
12. Treat Yourself Once In A While
Treating yourself once in a while is important when you are staying true to yourself. You can go on a hike, a walk, see a movie or go out for a latte. Have a time where you detach yourself from technology and the noise in the world. This approach is not only good for your mental health but will also incentivize you to keep going.
Is It Important To Stay True To Yourself?
Staying true to yourself is extremely important and should become a regular part of how we choose to live life. However, it is essential to understand that it is a life-long commitment that requires discipline and dedication. When you are staying true to who you are, you will be able to express yourself authentically and you will be able to communicate your feelings wholeheartedly to yourself and others.
Staying true to yourself also helps you develop a deep and trusting relationship with yourself. Ultimately, this brings you an awareness of your thoughts and your feelings. You can strengthen this awareness through yoga, meditation, prayer and journal writing. These practices will ensure that you become more present and help you create points of reference that will mean you notice when something is off or not right with you.
Most of the time, our feelings help us know whether we are okay or not. Feelings such as joy and happiness are signs that we are on the right path. Conversely, it could show up in feelings of emptiness, discontentment, unease, and lack of fulfillment if you’re not okay.
By learning to pay attention to these feelings, you’ll be able to develop a greater awareness of your life and gain confidence in knowing what deeply matters to you. You’ll find yourself living life authentically instead of faking it till you make it. Having the life you desire is about trusting in yourself and the purpose that you’re living for. That way, you’ll experience success with each step and enjoy the journey.
Make Your Goals Happen
Now that we’ve covered staying true to yourself, you can positively focus on setting goals and making them happen. Having goals, both big and small, is an important part of staying true to yourself. Goals give you a sense of meaning and purpose. They also give us a sense of direction in life, which is great for our happiness.
Your first step towards making your goals happen is to write them down, to increase your chances of accomplishing. Write down the practical steps you will take to achieve your goal, how you’ll know that you have achieved each goal and the target dates to complete the goals.
As previously mentioned, for larger goals, you can break them down into smaller achievable steps. For instance, if your goal is to be healthier, you can break down this goal into specific steps such as ‘running 3 times a week’ or ‘complete 20 minutes of exercise each day.’
You can also tell someone about your goals to keep you accountable. This can be someone you trust within your friendship circle or your family. You will find that achieving your goals motivates you to keep going and makes you happier. At times you may not know where to begin.
We recommend beginning with small steps and building up over time. Once you have reached your goal, take time to celebrate and thank that loved one who helped you along the way. After that, you can focus on the next goal and keep going. For example, going back to school to learn a new skill. Working on accomplishing goals will create an incredibly fulfilling life and ultimately help your overall well being.
Don’t Forget To Laugh
Being able to laugh is incredible medicine for the heart and body. Make sure that you are setting aside some time to simply have fun and start living life. What’s important is staying true to who you and finding ways to let others see the real you. Focus on being your best self because you are the only you in the universe, so don’t be afraid to be authentic and shine.