Being true to yourself is simpler than you think.
One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself. – Shannon L. Alder
How does it feel to live an illusion of yourself and later realize you could be better off being just yourself? Let’s be honest, the realization is never sweet.
Some people end up half of their lives living in the skin of someone they were supposed to be rather than someone they always were. And why not?
Ever since most of our childhood, we are taught to be the best version of ourselves – to talk the way others expect us to, to behave the way others want us to. All of these for the social approval that we need to maintain a safe and appreciable image in society.
But do we stop to think where our inner desires vaporize once we silence our screaming self with the hissing conventions of the society? We do not.
And, that is when we happily bury our real self under layers of pretense and farce.
The saddest part is that sometimes we don’t even realize why we are doing this. Our intuition points at something seeming off, at the dissonance between what we really believe and what we follow, but we shrug it off and keep going on the path carved by our previous generations.
We seldom get the opportunity to follow our internal need for curiosity. To make things even worse, we learn to compare our accomplishments and achievements to those of others, even regarding things we don’t really care about. This is how we learn to be happy in other people’s happiness and compromise our genuine desires.
If you also value authenticity and freedom over conformity and approval, perhaps this will be useful to you.
These are the 12 signs that you are killing conventions and being true to yourself:
1. You stand up for yourself.
Standing up for yourself is going to be difficult if you are habituated to trim yourself down to suit others. When people give control of their life in the hands of others, they leave themselves to high chances of being manipulated and negatively influenced by others.
Self-awareness entails that you know how to respect yourself and put a strong personal boundary for yourself.
If under any circumstances, people cross your boundary, you know how to stand up for yourself without being rude or mean to others. At any cost, you are not willing to compromise your value system or opinions but also leave space for positive modifications.
2. You undauntedly follow your passion.
If you find yourself dragging to work every morning, wishing to quit, ask yourself, Am I being authentic to myself about my dreams?
Obstacles are inevitable. If you really desire something from the core of your heart, you will invest your time, willpower, dedication to never give up on it, unless and until you acquire it. It is understandable that not everyone has the comfort and security to pursue their dreams and materialize it into a success story. But if you are trying, you are halfway there.
People who are true to themselves, do not sacrifice their dreams and passion for anything in this world. Rather they challenge their comfort zone just to achieve what they are passionate about.
3. You take mistakes sportingly.
While most of your fellow men wail and cry over their ‘mistakes’, you believe it’s a ‘step closer to wisdom’.
If this is your thought process, you are being truly generous to yourself.
Everyone has to grow through mistakes. No life experience is ever wasted as it teaches you something or the other, however small it is. There are people who engage in self-sabotaging dialogues with themselves when they make a mistake.
Take the opportunity to learn something unique from every mistake you make. It will help you evolve as an individual.
4. You focus on your own value system instead of conforming to society.
If you value yourself, you will ask yourself, how happy you are with every decision you take in life? How dependent are they on what other people expect of you?
You graduate, get a job, earn money, get married, have kids and settle down, only to realize one fine morning that this is not the life you wanted for yourself.
It is not an easy task to walk a road less traveled. But if that path takes you to your core value system, you rather would.
5. You freely express your thoughts and feelings.
Every time you want to speak out about something you feel, does your inner self silence you?
You know that your values, ideas, opinions, and principles might clash with others but you are not tempted to lie just to maintain peace. You respectfully express your thoughts and feelings because you are not a sucker for approval.
You are willing to risk being vulnerable before others just to authentically embrace your valid feelings and thoughts.
6. You are not influenced by people’s evaluation of who you are.
You might at times wish you could please everyone as being appreciated feels better than being disapproved. But you are also aware of the fact that disapproval is a natural consequence of being authentic.
Everyone has their own mental schema to form a judgment about you. Some will absolutely love you while others will always find fault in you. But wait, does all this matter?
At the end of the day, you know who you are – a genuine soul, not trying to fit in. And that is all that matters.