Why do so many people feel confused about who they really are and how did the issue of
personal identity become so challenging? While it may seem like you should automatically
know how to be yourself, in reality that is rarely the case.
When you think about it, so many things in life depend on our ability to connect with our true
self. After all, how are we supposed to know what we should be doing or who we should be
doing it with if we don’t even know who we really are?
What does it mean to be your true self?
From the time we are very young we begin to experiment with a variety of different identities.
Because we are impressionable, it is only natural that we try on new versions of ourselves at
fairly regular intervals. The less inhibited we are, the more readily we will try to imitate
whatever appeals to us at the moment.
During these formative years we have no idea who we actually are or who we will become, so
we take our cues from those around us. Of course, at that early age we have no idea that most
of those people are struggling with their own identity issues. Because we are young and
inexperienced, we just naturally assume that by the time we get a little older we will figure out
how to be ourselves.
The leverage of expectations
The expectations of those around us also exert a strong influence on our identity. Many of the
choices we think we have made in life were probably programmed into us by the expectations
of those whose approval we craved. It is amazing the degree to which people will adapt to gain
the approval of others.
Then there are the expectations that we put on ourselves because we think we have to. This
could include anything from our grade point average in school, to the job we would walk away
from if it weren’t for our financial obligations.
After awhile the line gets blurred
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that imitating others or living up to expectations is
inherently bad. All I am saying is that these influences can make it difficult to be yourself
because they tend to confuse the issue.
Over time, it can become increasingly more challenging to identify our true self apart from
those external influences. The line gets blurred to the point where we might have a full and
busy life and still find ourselves saying: “I don’t really know who I am.” Have you ever felt that
To be yourself you need to find your true self
The phrase “find myself” gets over 5 million searches per month in google. That shows how
common it is for people to feel disconnected from their true self and how interested they are in
reestablishing that long lost connection. How about you, are you interested in learning how to
be yourself in a more complete and meaningful way?
Even for those who feel somewhat in touch with their true nature, the constant barrage of
carefully crafted advertisements coupled with the pressure of external expectations can make it
extremely difficult to maintain that core connection. So, figuring out how to be yourself is a
necessary first step, but to continue to be yourself day in and day out, you need a way to stay
grounded and connected.
6 ways to be yourself regardless of external influences
I have identified six vital elements necessary for establishing and maintaining your connection
with your true and authentic self.