Be You

Be You

Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

The children’s book Be You by Peter Reynolds teaches us to be ourselves. It shows us that we should be proud of who we are and not worry about what other people think. Everyone is unique, and no one else can be exactly like us. We should embrace our differences and not try to be someone else or live somebody else’s life. We are all on a journey.

That’s a beautiful thing to write. But what in the world does it mean? How do you learn to be yourself if, like many of us, you’ve spent your whole life trying to please everyone else?

First, Let’s take a look at what some people think it means to be yourself. Ideas of this are not always accurate. There are people to destroy their lives in the name of “being myself.” Psychology today says, “One should aim to be the best version of themselves, after giving considerable thought to who that person really is.” That said, being yourself is not throwing away relationships just because they’re hard, walking out on your family, quitting your job, or storming off on your best friend. We’re talking about your core identity- who you currently are as a person, as well as changes you desire to be an even better you.

1. Get Honest.

Spend some time alone and reflect on your life

Take time to think about yourself and ask yourself questions like “who am I?” and “what do I stand for?” This can help you understand your core values, beliefs, and passions.

Write down your these things. Learning who you are is a deep process, and if you use a notebook or a computer document, you can literally “document” (get it?) the process and be able to look back and learn from different parts of the journey.

2. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses

Knowing your strengths can help you build confidence and focus on developing them more. Acknowledging your weaknesses can also help you set realistic goals that you want to work towards. It can also help you to take a personality test. There are lots of personality tests online that can help you identify who you are. One caveat: they can’t show you who you could be. I always get blue on the color personality test but blue’s are really technical and analytical. I’m only technical and analytical when I feel threatened and want to defend myself against being wrong. As I’m learning who I am, I’m actually finding I’m more yellow, which is the creative, more emotional type.

3. Observe how others interact with you

Pay attention to the relationships you have with other people, as well as how they treat you in return. This can offer insight into how others perceive you, which might be different than what you originally thought about yourself.

If you have a close friend who will be honest with you, you can ask them as well to define who they think you are. What do they think you’re good at? What are you gifted in? What are your main personality traits? Struggles? What do they think you have potential to do? It is okay to get outside opinions in your self-discover process. But just remember, the point is for YOU to figure out who YOU really are, not to conform to what others would like you to be.

4. Explore new perspectives

Seek out different opinions on topics that are important to who you are as a person and open yourself up to learning from others. Learning new perspectives can expand your worldview and help shape who you become in the future.

An example of this could be, you’ve always worked in sales. Now you’re wondering, is that being true to myself? Or am I just doing this job to do what I was raised to do? Instead of quitting your job (remember, we’re not being destructive here), you could start reading about sales, the kind of person you need to be to work in sales and love it, and researching any potential career changes you are considering. You don’t have to stay in a job that’s not true to who you are, but if you are going to make a change, you need to put together a plan to do it in a constructive way.

5. Make changes for the better

Making small changes in your life is a great way to start developing into the best version of yourself. It could be something as simple as taking up a hobby or volunteering at an organization that aligns with one of your core values or passions – these small changes will add up over time! The more you learn, the more you can do life better.

Back to the children’s book, Be You, Peter Reynolds encourages readers to take risks by trying new things even if they may seem scary or hard at first. He reminds us that it’s ok if we make mistakes along the way because that’s how we learn and grow as individuals! Taking risks can help us discover new hobbies or interests which can lead to amazing opportunities in life!

Whoever You Are, You Can Be These

To quote various parts of Be You, “Be ready to take the next step toward being an amazing human being…

Be patient…

Be curious…

Be adventurous…

Be persistent…

Be brave…

Be connected…

Be kind…

Be understanding…

Be your own thinker…

Be okay being alone…

Be okay reaching out for help.”

Love yourself. Be yourself. You’re awesome.

Further Reading:

Life Hacks

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