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Be you

Are you being true to yourself? What does that even mean? 

Well, being true to yourself, I believe, is living in alignment with your beliefs. Is that any clearer? Not really!

Living in a way that is true to yourself in a world where you are bombarded with images and ideas of what your life should be; how you should look, what you should wear and what your lifestyle should be is a challenge.

What does “living in alignment with your beliefs” even mean? It all sounds a bit like woo woo hogwash if we’re not careful doesn’t it? But however you describe it, living in a way that is true to you is the fastest way to happiness and contentment I know, so it’s pretty important. 

Living in a way that is true to yourself in a world where you are bombarded with images and ideas of what your life should be; how you should look, what you should wear and what your lifestyle should be is a challenge.

Are you being true to yourself? What does that even mean? 

Well, being true to yourself, I believe, is living in alignment with your beliefs. Is that any clearer? Not really!

What does “living in alignment with your beliefs” even mean? It all sounds a bit like woo woo hogwash if we’re not careful doesn’t it? But however you describe it, living in a way that is true to you is the fastest way to happiness and contentment I know, so it’s pretty important.

 

 

How do we go about it then?

Let’s take a look at what it looks like and how it feels when you are not being true to yourself. Unfortunately I see it every day.

Are you…

  • making decisions which go against your beliefs
  • buying things because “everyone else has one”
  • doing a job you hate
  • agreeing to do things that you don’t want to do
  • dressing in a way you think you should
  • and so on.

If you are doing these things, and if we’re honest we all do sometimes at least, how does it make you feel?

Often we do these things because we think it will make someone else happy. We agree to go somewhere or do something to help someone else out. We dress in a certain way because we think it pleases our Mum/hubby/friends.

If that is the reason we are doing it though we need to take a moment.

If someone needs you to behave or dress in a particular way to admire you, or be friends with you, then we need to take a moment and work out what their real intentions are.

As Bernard Baruch said, in a quote often attributed to Dr Seuss, “I never bother about that. Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” If someone is going to think differently of you because of the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the fact that you aren’t able to spend your weekend helping them move house then how much do they really value you

I am writing this as a work in progress. I am occasionally guilty of a couple of the items on the list above. Most often agreeing to help when I am busy/tired/have other things planned! However, there are conditions now. Once upon a time if anyone asked me to do anything, if I possibly could, I would. If it meant rearranging my plans, spending money I didn’t have, doing something I didn’t want to do… I just wanted to help. Nowadays I am a little more discerning.

I never bother about that. Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.

Bernard Baruch

American Financier

Now, it has to be something that:

  • won’t cause me any anxiety in the build up
  • it has to not cause me any physical issues
  • I have to know that if I asked you to do the same, you would be there for me.

 

I don’t think this is unreasonable.

If you fulfil these conditions you can pretty much ask me anything and I will move heaven and earth.

The difference is, I am doing it because I genuinely want to help you, not because I want you to think I’m a good person.

There have been times in my life when I dressed the way I thought I should, did things I felt I should, took jobs I thought I should and generally ignored everything that made me me.

Looking back it makes me sad. I deserve to be allowed to be me, without trying to please someone else. Without fulfilling someone else’s checklist of what I should be, do wear, have…

As soon as I stopped worrying about what other people thought, I was immediately happier. I started making all my decisions based around how it made me feel.

I listen to my heart, to my gut instinct and it feels great.

Instead of spending two weeks dreading something that I have agreed to do, I only do things I will enjoy, or that feel amazing because I am helping someone I really care about, and who cares about me. Instead of wearing shoes that hurt my feet and clothes that don’t make me feel confident because it feels like I’m wearing a costume, I wear clothes that reflect my personality and that I feel comfortable in. (I am currently trying to decide whether I can wear silver pumps under a long sequinned dress for my friends wedding – I know I can but will it make me feel the best I can?).

I show up every day as the best me I can be on that day.

Some days that means exhausted with no make up, jeans and a hoodie. Others it means bouncing into the room with my hair done, nails painted, smart trousers and a shirt.

I am human. I am imperfectly perfect but I am happy in the knowledge that people know who I am and what I believe in. And yes, there are still times when I talk to people I don’t really want to, that’s life. There are still days I have to get all dressed up for an event which demands a particular dress code and all I want to do is stay in my pjs, but I will adapt my outfit so that I am comfortable and confident. I might wear flat shoes where once I would have felt pressured to wear heels (ridiculous when I’m already nearly 6ft!).

I compromise but I don’t sacrifice myself in the process.

This is not an easy path, but it is one which is well worth trying. Take a few steps and see how it makes you feel.

Make a commitment to yourself that you will stop doing just one of the things you are doing which are inauthentic. Your stress levels will lower and you will immediately feel happier. 

 

You deserve to be living your life, not someone else’s!

 

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