Sunday, February 11, 2007

Being yourself

I realised the other night what the phrase "just being yourself" actually means. This phrase used to frustrate me - as though I could be anyone else but myself! And when you're nervous before an interview or date, the last thing you want someone to say is "just be yourself". It doesn't seem very helpful or encouraging at a time when you're feeling vulnerable and unsure of yourself. Maybe you don't even like yourself much at that moment, or you don't really think you're that special. How can just being yourself possibly help?

The important part of that phrase is actually not "yourself", it's "be". It's not about who you are, it's how you are. The meaning resides in the concept of being. It is about turning off the external viewpoint, shutting down the critical observer's voice and just being.

So many times I catch myself looking over my shoulder, looking at myself, thinking "Why did I just say that? That sounds so stupid. Am I speaking too loudly? What are people thinking? Maybe I should have worn that other skirt today..." and so on.

It is only when I turn off this self-consciousness, and simply be me, looking out at the world with interest and wonder, and not looking back at myself in some kind of narcisistic self-feedback loop - it is only then that I am truly being myself.


crucible said...

Agree on the interpretation - I guess thats why sometimes people say "Be true to yourself".

Keep your ideals, who you are, who you want to be and don't falsify that for anyone.

Compromise yourself little, and endevour to be the person you are and want to be.

That said I'm a hypocritic phoney so.. :)

Anyway, gotta get back to work, but I spotted this post and it's similar to my constant "Why are we here?" and "What comes next?" track that spirals round the noggin... Quite frankly I wish I could flip the disc and just keep the Baby Elephant Walk goin on - it's a much more fun use for a brain.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, wonderful insight. I am currently failing to see what I want by conforming to higher ideals of where relationships should be taken and how to treat other human beings. The only way I can ever self-validate is through being myself and my own ideas.

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