I’ve heard the statement “just be yourself” so much. It sounds like an amazing thing to do, and I have wished many times that I could just do that. When it comes to being yourself, there can be a lot of pressure from the outside world as it tries to influence who you are. Living in a society that is constantly developing, it’s important for you to always be yourself from the inside out. When you deeply know yourself and the boundaries that you have set, you are more likely to experience a fulfilling and rewarding life. Without knowing yourself and establishing those boundaries, you can easily be pushed around and end up on a dirt path. It’s definitely a challenge to have a strong sense of self when we are constantly getting distracted and being influenced by the media and society’s way of life. But if you want to reach your fullest potential in life, it all starts with being yourself.
Our true self is who we really are when we let go of all of the stories, labels, and judgements that we have placed upon ourselves. It is who we naturally are without the masks and pretentiousness. It is who we really are when we let fall to the floor the cloak of other people’s stuff that we have taken on.
Below are some steps that have helped me in uncovering my real nature~
1. Get in touch with your inner child.
If you ever watch small children, you will notice just how free they are and how little they care about what other people think of them. They are happy and in the moment. They are their true natures. They have not yet been socialized to “fit in” to a society that squashes that. They don’t care if people think that they are silly while they dance in the front yard for all of the neighbors to see. Children are just pure love and light. If you really want to get in touch with your inner child, become freer. Play, have fun, enjoy the moment, do cartwheels in the front yard.
We play roles to fit into society and we suppress our true nature out of fear of what others think. If you find yourself worrying about being judged, remember that is merely just the socialized you, not the real you.
2. Become more aware of your thoughts.
You may be shocked by the number of negative thoughts that run through your mind on any given day. After so long, our reality begins to take shape based on all of these conditioned thinking patterns. Become more aware of the quality of your thinking. Allow yourself to sit quietly every morning before starting your day for just five to ten minutes. Yes, thoughts will come and go, but just allow them to do that without getting attached to them. Just observe them. When you are finished, continue observing the mind throughout your day.
We have so many unconscious beliefs that we have taken on over the years that were probably handed down to us from somebody else, and that we believed to be who we are. Becoming more aware of the quality of your thoughts, letting go of the old beliefs, and becoming more present can help in revealing your true nature. We are all so much more than those old negative thinking patterns would ever allow us to believe.
3. Follow your Intuition.
This is probably one of the most important factors in being yourself. I ignored my intuition for the longest time because I felt so obligated to others. Their happiness was more important than my own.
I agreed to study Engineering because my parents wanted me to and because(dont judge)…because it seemed like a way to ensure a good paid job. (Again, don’t judge….I love my field now) I hate Math. I didn’t understand computers till about the end of 2nd semester Engineering. My life was a misery for the entire 1st year because I was so afraid of what other people would think of me, of failing. I wanted to study English Lit. I wanted to study Architecture. Yet again, because every adult around me said it was a bad decision and also because I was so afraid of what other people would think of me, of stepping out of my comfort zone, I swallowed that dream. Because of this, I was incredibly unhappy.
I will tell you this, from my own personal experience: When you start following the little nudges and urges that you get, you will have hopped onto the magic carpet ride of awesomeness.
It doesn’t mean that you will never have bumps in the road again, but when you are in alignment with your soul, you will always be steered in the best possible direction.
For me, it started when I began drawing again, which was way out of character for me then. I wrote poetry and started this blog. And then, slowly, because I found a way to have both my love for the Arts and my studies, I began regaining my happiness. In fact, I felt better than ever. I slowly began embracing myself. I, who had been tightly wound up, fighting against the tide for soooooo long, finally learnt to love myself for who I was. I started telling people that I actually loved blue, rather than the bolder red. And would rather be a water bender than the much-cooler fire-bender. That I empathized with Slytherin rather than the “best-house”, Gryffindor. This may seem small and childish but actually…..it doesn’t have to be big changes. You can begin with small things, such as following through when you feel the urge to make a phone call, send an email, or take a different route to work. When you get into the habit of doing this with small things, it will make it easier to say yes to the big things, and to trust.
How do any of these things help you to just be yourself? Because they help you to be in alignment with your true nature. Your authentic self is the real you that is beyond all of those conditioned beliefs and thinking patterns that you have accumulated throughout your life.
I was once reclusive, depressed, an angry-at-the-world kind of person—but I wasn’t “being myself.” While it is important to love and accept ourselves for where we are at the moment, looking back now, I see that I suppressed my true nature in order to please others and to fit in.
I began going within and actually trying to understand ME, and have since become more aware of how much I was identified with my victim story, how I would play roles depending on who I was with, and just how much I cared about other people’s perceptions of me.
I had lost touch with my natural self and stuffed it away in a box. Whenever I would notice myself getting attached to the stories and labels in my head or would catch lf playing roles with others, I would just breathe and relax into the moment without any labels or judgements.
It was a challenge because I cared so much about being accepted by others. So I would ask
myself, “How would I act right now if I had no cares of what others thought of me?” I realized that who I naturally am without anything else added is perfectly okay.
When you let go of the old ways of thinking, follow your bliss, and do what you love, you begin to align with happiness and peace. These are all indicators that you are connected with your true nature. You are then allowing your real self to shine forth in all its glory. #Sacred….
P.S. Would my Indian readers be terribly annoyed if I said this post was inspired by the movie, Dear Zindagi?? It spoke to me. I totally empathized with Alia Bhatt’s character.