Why should you never just be yourself?
Just be yourself and you will achieve success. This old advice was, is, and always will be wrong. If you want to succeed, you have to be your best self.
“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
- William Shakespeare
People will say that you should always be yourself. They will tell you that they want to hear what you really think. They will ask about your true feelings.
Than, once you have a really bad day, and make the terrible mistake of telling them what you really think or feel, more often than not, they get offended and angry.
Who you really are?
Answer to this question is the real reason for not being yourself. You know that you are lazy, opportunistic, egoistical, self-serving... in other words - ordinary gal or a guy. Let’s face it, most people are not altruistic and all chances are that you are not too.
Mother Teresa and Gandhi were remarkable and great people, but they were exceptions.
Do you really think that people will appreciate if you suddenly start acting as your true self? What would happen if you started acting on all your true feelings and wishes? Well, in most cases, you would probably be lucky to just find yourself in jail and alive.
“A man who is "of sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.”
- Paul Valéry
Everywhere you turn, you will hear about authenticity. People want authentic this, authentic that and, in the end, authentic you. If you dare to cross a line that disturbs their expectations of you, you will find that people didn’t desire that much authenticity.
Today, not many things people buy are truly necessary. Most regular folks buy things according to their opinion on who they are, what they believe, and what they aspire to be. Various media and other influences shape their opinions. Authenticity is lost there.
Emergence of social media has allowed people to promote their own egocentrism. Most of people on Facebook and Twitter are focusing on their own favorite person – themselves. It is not authenticity when you forget about people you’re trying to reach and influence.
True authenticity is when you tell people what they want, what they need to hear, but in your own way. True authenticity is more about words than about deeds. Politicians have raised this to the level of true art.
"Be yourself is about the worst advice you can give some people.”
- Tom Masson
Solution – Be your best self
It is not easy to be your best self but it is the only way to success. If you want to have others appreciate your looks, you have to go to the gym, you have to take care of your diet, you have to visit a tanning salon.... The only thing you should not do is lie back, eat yourself silly and hide from other people.
Dress well, always. You don’t have to be a hipster, but is it really so difficult to wear matching shoes and clean and pressed clothes?
Practice your diction and expand your vocabulary. Talking well will almost never work against you.
Be pro-active. Say “I will do it” rather than wait to be told that “you must do it.”
Have something to say. Read daily news, watch popular TV shows. Learn something new every day. Never allow yourself to remain speechless.
Be interested in other people. You can learn something from every person you meet. Even if all you learn that they are an obnoxious lot, it will be a valuable experience.
Whatever you do, try to learn as much about it as you can. Practice and learn every day and you will soon find yourself an expert. Doing things halfheartedly will always yield mediocre results.
Always present yourself in a positive manner. Do not talk in derogatory terms about other people. Have something positive to say about anybody. Negativity tends to reflect back on yourself.
Becoming your best self requires you to work hard and invest enormous amount of time and effort. It is not easy, but, ask yourself just one question. Do you want to be the best looking, funniest, smartest, best dressed, most loving person you’ve ever known? If, the answer is yes, then you know what you have to do.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
- Albert Einstein
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Your article is quite scary... I know that you accurately describe social realities of today but I don't think I agree with accepting and promoting them as values. I can only imagine a frustrated society of people who all pretend to be perfect while knowing all the time that they can never achieve the ideal and can never show their imperfection to anyone because this will equal 'losing'...
Nah, I'd rather limit my social circle to the handful who accepts the imperfect me. I find it much more satisfying :)
I love Paul Valory's quote. I believe we all have a bit of madman in us.
I am so tired of hearing all this nonsense about "Are you being your authentic self?" I'm just being who I feel like being, which I think is somewhat interesting and not obnoxious to others.
You know... It's incredible how much are people willing to forgive and forget if you are an artist...
I must admit that I am a believer in "To thyne own self be true." So I muddle forth being myself and taking my lumps. But I have found the world to be accepting of my faults. Most people seem to expect me to improve myself at some point. Being both a poet and painter, I have gotten used to the world telling me what they think of my work and me. It just comes with the life I've chosen.