Much frustration results when a person tries to be someone who they are not. When this happens a number of factors are at play. Pressure to conform to the expectations of others, the desire for acceptance, and the yearning to emulate other’s lifestyles are some of them.
You are a unique individual. No one else is exactly like you. You have aptitudes, abilities, desires, and a personality unlike anyone else’s. You need to recognize and be who you are.
It’s easy to get caught up with trends and fads. We see teenagers trying to be part of the crowd by getting tattoos and piercings as well as by the clothes they wear. Would they be acting the same way if their friends and role models weren’t doing it? They are flooded with examples of how to act. There are advertisements on TV, radio, and in magazines. Additionally, sports and entertainment celebrities receive constant publicity.
Peer pressure starts when they are young and follows them throughout life. It’s easy to loose your identity in an attempt to avoid criticism and please others.
Competition can also squelch your individuality. Adjusting your lifestyle to keep up with others becomes an insidious trap. A person you know acquires something, so you try to either match them or go one better. A vicious cycle ensues as each tries to outdo the other.
The issue is your motivation. Rather than living the way you really want to, you become driven by what others are doing. As a result, you compromise your goals. You may even loose touch with what it is you really desire.
Before you can be who you are, you must know who you are. A self-assessment is helpful. What matters to you may not be important to someone else and vice versa. You don’t need approval to be yourself.
Answer the following questions objectively. Don’t be concerned with anyone else’s opinions. You don’t need to share them with anyone. Your responses will help you understand yourself. What do you like and dislike? What are your goals? What’s important to you? What are your morals? What do you like and dislike in others? What do you want in a job? What do you enjoy for entertainment?
It’s not a big deal should you get sidetracked. Just get back on your path. A person who stays true to who they are is like a ship with a specific destination and the charts showing how to get there. Those who subvert themselves to what they think others want, are adrift with no rudder or objective.
Being who you are doesn’t eliminate the necessity for constant improvement. There is always room for self-development. You may discover aspects of your personality that require changing in order to make you a better person.
Be who you are and be the best you can be. Don’t bow to peer pressure or the opinions of others. It’s your life and you are the only one responsible for how you live it.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at email@example.com or write him c/o this paper.
© Bryan Golden