Be ourselves, always. Where we cannot be, it is better not to stay. Being faithful to one’s identity, values and dignity requires strength in the heart and courage in making decisions. After all, life is complicated enough to let others turn off our values and self-esteem. Too complicated to get stuck in spaces and dynamics that do not belong to us, that make us feel bad, that oxidize the soul.
This reflection – on which we certainly all agree – contains an important question. What does it mean to be us, ourselves? Strange as it may seem, there are many people who have not yet managed to shape this muscle, the heart of their personality.
Defining ourselves, understanding our limits, our passions, making a good reflection on our experience, having clear what we want … are small examples of this cornerstone which is our mental health. Because protecting our essence and appreciating what we are brings us well-being and vitality.
It is easy to define ourselves based on what we do: “I am a policeman”, “I am a teacher”, “I am a worker”, “I am a mother”. Well, we are more than what we do or what we have not been able to do. We are not just our activities, we are what we dream, what we have lived, what we want or hope for from life.
All this deserves to be defined and protected, every day.
The difficulty of being ourselves every day
The hunger for authenticity is felt every day. We would like to see ourselves in every decision, create harmony in all our relationships, without falling into falsehood, without giving in on things that have nothing to do with us. We are anxious, in essence, to safeguard the epicenter where our identity resides and to ensure that nothing breaks this balance.
Yet it happens. Without knowing how, we stop being ourselves when we accept roles at work that we hate or don’t identify with. We stop being ourselves when we say “yes” to a partner, a family member or anyone else, when what we have in our throat is “no”.
However, there comes a time when we look in the mirror. And, although we recognize the familiar traits, our gestures and details, we conclude with great regret that we have ceased to be ourselves to become what life has made of us.
Not being ourselves is painful and leads us to drift
Psychologist Mark Leary, a professor at Duke University warns us: when a person perceives in himself a lack of authenticity, he experiences intense suffering. That is to say, if you stop being yourself, day after day and continuously, frustration comes from which depression can easily arise.
A study conducted by Harvard University emphasizes that a buzzword in many business contexts is “being authentic”. How to reconcile this term with the fact that we are obliged to be part of complex working groups, to follow directives and orders, to work on concrete objectives? It is a double-edged weapon.
It is difficult to be ourselves in a rigid, competitive, defined environment. Gradually, anxiety, stress and discomfort appear, brought about by the awareness of being very far from being authentic. We are subordinated and alienated.
When authenticity fails, whether we want it or not, we are forced to seek a balance between what we do and what we need, between what we are and what we accomplish. We must admit that being true to ourselves is not easy; we must learn to make convincing and courageous decisions.
Dare to be yourself, you will gain in health and well-being
Where you cannot be yourself, distance yourself. Where they do not allow you to express yourselves, to demonstrate your abilities, where they dare to turn off your light, your laughter, your valor, flee. What is the use of living with this pain? It is neither logical nor admissible. If you feel self-esteem or dignity sting, stop and think.
Decisions based on self-knowledge
Currently, psychology draws a lot from the ideas that belong to the existentialist currents. One of these reminds us that to enjoy an authentic life it is necessary to make a commitment to ourselves.
This implies giving ourselves adequate spaces for reflection to evaluate whether what we do or decide to do, let’s say, we respond every day, is in agreement with our ego.
To begin with, it would be enough to ask ourselves every day: “Does what I do make me feel good?”. Honest answers should guide our boldest decisions.
Remember: you deserve it
If you want to be yourself every day of your life, remember: you deserve it. Keep your values in mind, learn from the past, do not lose sight of the goals on the horizon and above all, never put yourself in the background. You are not extras, you are the protagonists of your life.
We all have the right to live a full existence, to be satisfied and in line with our interests, our passions. We bloom every day and no one has the right to take away our nourishment or wither. It is therefore a question of choosing well where to expand our roots without forgetting that we deserve to see our dreams come true .