How to Be Yourself
3 Ways to Be Yourself
Did you know Galileo Galilei opposed the Geocentric view that Earth was at the center of the universe? He believed that Earth revolved around the Sun. In his time though, most educated people (including astronomers) didn’t think so. The Roman Inquisition revised his work, and accused him to be a heretic! His work arouse controversy. Fortunately for humanity, he followed through with his ideas defending his views. He was eventually tried by the Inquisition, found guilty of heresy, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.
Would you say he was being authentic to his profession? Does his actions have anything to do with authenticity? To answer that you may ask yourself: how often do I find myself doing things I don’t want? Or worse, how often do I comply for fear of being looked down on or not fitting in? Let’s see how to be yourself:
1. Believe that your ideas, thoughts, and actions are worthy, even if it turns out they’re wrong.
If you try to please everyone around you to seek approval you’ll feel miserable. If you pretend to like doing something that you don’t, you’ll feel drained. To be yourself, to be authentic, is about aligning what you think with what you do. An easy way to know if you are being yourself is if what you do feels good. It doesn’t mean you’re without a struggle. It just means you have a gut feeling that you’re doing what you think is right, and that you have an alignment of values. When you continually exercise authenticity with yourself you become empowered to communicate your thoughts. You speak up. You don’t hesitate to be heard, and you listen more intently. If you don’t agree with a viewpoint you engage in dialogue.
2. Communicate and clarify something that doesn’t feel right to you, even if it means you look dumb.
We all have an internal monologue going on. You have your inner voice. You think about things you don’t want to do or you have thoughts you want to express, but often you hold back. When you do something that doesn’t feel right you become anxious and stressed. If you think about a situation that is stressful, you might find out that there is something you are doing (or not doing) that does not align to what you think and value.
Our society has become really good at band-aiding stress. Don’t you think? We go about our life without addressing our own personal concerns. It makes sense because confronting a situation requires a lot of energy. You need courage and consideration to bring up what has not been said.
3. Feel empowered to engage in the projects you believe in, and leave those that lack integrity.
To be authentic you need to respect yourself. Being authentic both addresses your needs because you realize you can voice your concerns, and strengthens your self esteem. Exercising authenticity promotes your well being.
Galileo had the courage to communicate that the Sun, Moon and Stars did not rotate around Earth. He had the courage to be authentic and published his observations even if that meant being accused of heresy. There is way too much pretending, and not enough tending to what needs to be said or done. A good way to start is by challenging the things that you don’t like to do. It’s simple, what are those things that bother you? Which things do not feel right or stress you out? It’s time to stop ignoring them and be more authentic.
When you take the steps to be more authentic, you feel good and energized. You also grow as a result of it because you take a stand to what you believe in and who you are. You learn from your mistakes too, and you gain perspective. When you engage in activities outside of your comfort zone and show up as you are, you find the energy to do it. Being yourself feels so good because you start to be yourself—and not what everyone else wants you to be. The paradox is that when you are being yourself, that’s when you’re most able to do your best work, and make this world a better place.
Juan F. Diaz
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