“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else”. This quote by the amazing Judy Garland resonates on a personal and professional level with everyone. For Judy Garland this meant that no matter the ups and downs in her life, at least she was her authentic self. This quote has been used time and time again for good reason as nothing good can come from pretending to be something that you’re not. “Be yourself.” It’s a vague adage, so what does it really mean, to be yourself? And is it really as easy as it sounds? With the steps below, it can be.
Don’t get stuck in the past.
Let yourself grow without reminding yourself of past mistakes. You are not a victim of your circumstances, you don’t need to cling to past mistakes. You should absolutely own them, but then allow yourself to forgive and move forward.
Find how you define yourself on your own terms.
Oscar Wilde once said: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. It’s a humorous quote but speaks of the truth. You can’t be yourself if you don’t know, understand, and accept yourself first. Take the time to see yourself for who you are, not what everyone expects you to be. This is not easy and you may be self-conscious but when you surround yourself with people who are of like minds and who are also true to themselves, you will be accepted for who you are.
Find your talents and your career path.
When it comes to finding your career path there are ways to find out what you are naturally drawn to. Everyone was born with talent, you just need to explore them. There are many personality tests that will help you see what sort of work you may be suited for. Just remember to take this with a grain of salt – no test can define you. Only you can do that.
Don’t put yourself in a box.
You are not just one thing with defined edges. You can be brought up with certain values that will make an undeniable impression on you such as your religion, culture, mentors, education and friends. As you figure out who your authentic self is, you can weigh these values and decide what belongs to you, what you want to own as your truth and what you feel in conflict with. It is okay to feel conflicted, it is all a part of you. You have wonderful dynamic edges that can contain all different aspects of your beliefs and feelings. Just value what feels the most true to you and just keep doing the next right thing for you.
You are stronger than you know.
If you are not focusing on who you are and you are constantly comparing yourself to someone else, than you likely are holding on to resentment. If you want to be like someone else, then you will constantly disappoint yourself and hold unhealthy resentment that will only lead you to self-destruction. Start looking within for your strengths and good character. If you can accept yourself, than you can start to learn and grow into the person you were meant to be. You are meant to be YOU, the first rate version!