One of life’s toughest tasks may be becoming comfortable just being yourself. Most of us spend a good deal of our lives (some spend their entire life this way) trying to be something or someone that we are not, usually to please someone else. These charades begin in childhood when we are constantly told by our parents to act in certain ways, ways that may not necessarily be how we want to act. We go along to get along.
As we age, we become more cognizant of how others are acting and how they react to us, we start playing the games of emulating the look or actions of others in order to “fit in”. The fact that we can never actually be like someone else leads to frustration and, in some, can lead to depression. The fact is that we have not become comfortable just being who we are.
As I was thinking about this topic, I did what we all do these days and “Googled” the topic of self-confidence. I stumbled upon the quotes of Craig D. Lounsbrough in that process. According to his biography, Lounsbrough is an Author, Speaker, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Life Coach, Ordained Minister. Here are three of his quotes that I especially liked –
“You are greater than you can possibly imagine, if you would only free yourself up to imagine.”
“In time, we become who we believe ourselves to be. And if who we believe ourselves to be is less than who we are, we will live a life that is less than what it was supposed to be.”
“Maybe one of the greatest accomplishments that we can achieve is coming to understand what we can achieve. On second thought, maybe it’s not understanding as much as it is believing.”
The main takeaway for me in these quotes is that are holding ourselves back. I believe that a big reason for that is the tendency to be more concerned about being something that we are not, to please others – to be like someone else. We need to stop that and start getting comfortable with being ourselves. If you’ve ever encountered people whom others describe as “self-confident”, you have met someone who is comfortable being themselves.
So, how does one get more comfortable with being themself? You can start each day with being happy with the clothes that you picked to wear and the look that you achieved before you set out into the world. Take a moment to stand in front of a mirror, put a smile on your face, and tell yourself, “This is how the world will see me today and I’m happy with that”. You are beginning your day self-confident, and the day will only get better as you build upon that confidence throughout the day.
As you go through the day there will be countless instances when something or someone will demand a reaction from you – an action or a response. Before you act or respond, put aside any tendency to think about what others might think of your response and focus upon your initial and natural reaction. That is the real you trying to get out. It may be that your initial reaction is inappropriate for the situation, and it is OK to stifle that response and then think about why you reacted in that way. You are learning and growing as a person. When that happens, you are making adjustments to who you are for the future. The more that you learn to trust your internal responses, the more comfortable you will become just being you.
So, today free yourself up to just be you and get comfortable with it. Believe it and you can achieve it.