"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are living in a society where media controls all; what we see, perceive, believe and know; it is almost as if we are being dragged into an Orwellian whirlwind and the thoughts we have are often not our own, but implanted into our minds by others.
With the growth and popularity of social media, celebrities, personalities and everyday individuals are become heavily scrutinised; every action documented, every mistake punished and every opinion voiced, to the point where being vulnerable and honest to who you truly are, and sharing that with other people is terrifying. How can we be true to our nature and identity when our positive and negative actions are constantly analysed, and we our endlessly shown people who are better than us, happier than us or more successful than us? We have fallen into a trap of belittlement and jealousy, envy and greed, rather than honesty and a realistic approach to the lives that we live.
To be authentic, real and true, we must cultivate the courage to be imperfect. To accept ourselves for who we are, flaws and fundamentals, regardless of other peoples actions and opinions. You must also realise that your perceived imperfections are another person perfections; we cannot please everyone, so don't allow yourself to be influenced by people you don't look up to.
We must forgive the mistakes we've made in the past, learning from them instead of dwelling, and relish the challenges we continually face in our present. The most important relationship we have with anyone in the world is the one we have with ourselves; trying to be like someone else is a waste of who you are, the potential you hold, and is only insulting the characteristics you possess.
Stop obsessing and constantly looking inwards. We spend so much time self-analysing, criticising and becoming lost in our own thought process; realise that these thoughts will pass by and are not there to stay. Write down all the things you know are good about yourself, so that when your initial thoughts tells you to compare, you realise that doing so is a waste of your time and energy. Matthew McConaughey once said that "to realise who you are, first you must realise who you are not, through a process of elimination." I dare you to give it a try.
Be brave enough to accept yourself for all that you are; for all that you represent. Accept your flaws, be confident in your strengths. Be selfish enough to prioritise what you want from life, instead of worrying what other people will think. Be stubborn enough to disagree with other people, and stand for something you care for. We've been made to believe that being selfish is a bad thing; but actually, it's an incredibly important mindset to have. You MUST prioritise yourself, and go after what you want. There's never a good time, and there's always an excuse, but once you take the first step, you'll forever question why you didn't begin earlier.
Oscar Wilde once wrote "be true to yourself, everyone else is already taken." It's simple, cliche, cheesy and soft, but it rings true. You are unique; there is no one else out there that is you. That is YOUR superpower, and yours alone.
- Take responsibility for your actions - good or bad. Don't play the blame game, keep your chin up and accept yourself for who you are and for what you've done. By being honest with yourself, constructively critical and understanding, we develop a better relationship with ourselves.
- Cleanse your environment - we cannot change the people around us, but we can change the people around us. Get rid of the people who aren't doing you good, and prioritise those who do. The same goes for your social media - if you find yourself unhappy and comparing, change those that you follow.
- Trust your instincts - follow your animal approach to life, and trust your initiative. If you feel something is the right or wrong thing to do, believe it and act on it. If you're wrong, well then you've just got a free education.
- Analyse opportunity - learn how to say no, and realise when to say yes. Say yes for yourself, and not to keep others happy. There's nothing you should do, or are supposed to do. It's your life, not your families, your friends, your enemies or your competitors - it's YOUR responsibility.
So, stay true to your values; be stubborn, selfish and naive to what you believe in. Focus on yourself and don't get lost in other people. Whether people like it or not is their problem; your authenticity is your key to the golden gate.