Where you cannot be yourself, better stay out. Because being true to one’s identity, values and dignities requires being strong-hearted and courageous in decisions. After all, life is already complicated enough for others to extinguish our values and self-esteem, so that they force us to fit into spaces and dynamics that do not go with us, that make us feel bad, that oxidize our spirits .
This reflection in which surely we all agree has a curious, but important nuance. What do we mean when we say “be you”? That is, what does it mean to be yourself? As strange as it seems to us, there are many people who have not yet managed to shape this muscle, the heart of their own personality.
Defining ourselves, knowing where our limits are, where our passions, having made a good reflection on everything we have lived, being clear about what we want for ourselves, are small examples of that cornerstone of mental health. Because defending our essence and appreciating what we are is well-being and vitality.
Thus, it is very common to see people who define themselves by what they do: “I am a policeman”, “I am a driving instructor”, “I am a factory worker”, “I am a father of a family”. Now, beyond what we do or do not do, there is something else. Because people are not only what we are dedicated to, we are what we dream, what we have lived, what we do not want, what we expect from life …
And all this deserves to be defended, protected daily.
“The real persons are full of imaginary beings”.
The difficulty of being you every day
The hunger for authenticity appears in us every day. We want to be ourselves in every decision made, we want harmony in each of our relationships, without resorting to falsehood, without having to give in on things that do not go with us. We are anxious, in essence, to safeguard that epicenter where our own identity is and that nothing and nobody breaks that balance.
And yet, it happens. Almost without knowing how you stop being you when at work you end up carrying out tasks that you do not like or identify yourself with. You stop being you when you say “yes” to the couple, to the family or any other person when what you needed was to say a “no” loudly.
Sooner or later comes the moment when we look in the mirror and although we recognize those features, those familiar nuances, gestures and details, we conclude with tremendous anguish that we have stopped being ourselves to be what life has made of us.
Not being one hurts and leads us to drift
Psychologist Mark Leary, a professor at Duke University, warns us of something important. When a person perceives his lack of authenticity, he experiences great suffering. That is, the moment you stop being yourself, day after day and continuously, comes that frustration that can easily lead to depression.
Even more, something that Harvard University has analyzed through a study is that the buzzword in many work environments is “be authentic.” However, we are obliged to be part of complex work teams, to follow the firm dictates of managers, to obtain very specific objectives… All this is a double-edged sword.
It is very complicated to be you in such defined, rigid and competitive environments. Little by little anxiety, stress and discomfort appear where we are fully aware that far from being authentic, we are subordinated and alienated.
When we lack authenticity, whether we want it or not, we are forced to find a balance between what we do and what we need. Between what we are and what we carry out. So, something we must consider is that being true to oneself is not easy, it requires us to learn to make compelling and courageous decisions.
Dare to be you and you will gain in health and well-being
Where you can not be you, put distance. Where they do not allow you to express yourself, or prove your worth, where others dare to extinguish your luminosity, your laughter and your values, run away. What good is a life with such suffering? It is not logical or permissible, therefore, at the moment we perceive that puncture damaging our self-esteem and dignity, it is worth reflecting on the following ideas.
Decisions based on self-knowledge
Currently, psychology takes many ideas from existentialist currents. One of them reminds us that in order to enjoy an authentic life, a commitment to ourselves is necessary.
- This implies allowing us adequate spaces for reflection to assess whether what we do on a daily basis, what we say, respond, decide to do, is in accordance with our own being.
- It would be enough, for example. ask ourselves daily do I feel good about what I’ve done? Our sincere answers should mark more courageous decisions.
Remember what you deserve
If you want to be yourself every day of your life, remember what you deserve. Take into account your value, learn from your past, set goals on your horizon and above all, do not leave more in second place. You are not a cast character, you are the protagonist.
We all have the right to have a full existence, satisfied and aligned with our interests and passions. We all flourish daily and nobody has to take away nutrients, wither with their presence. It is, therefore, to choose well where to expand our roots without forgetting that we deserve that with which we dream.