Find yourself vs. Be yourself

Finding yourself is a recent trend. A huge number of people selflessly search for themselves, but do not fully realize what exactly they want to find.

As a seeker with experience of ups and downs in this process, I see in this search a need to answer the inner question “Who am I?” and in the manifestation of their original qualities . Sincere, spontaneous, free, without fear of rejection .

However, remember, there has already been a period in life when we felt that way, even if for a very long time. Therefore, I am convinced that the search for oneself is self-deception, if only because none of us lost ourselves. And the question is not at all how to find yourself, but how to allow yourself to become yourself again.

To give up masks and roles is the most popular advice on how to become yourself from the Russian Internet. Not easy and, frankly, very questionable, given that roles are an invariable condition for playing in society. Moreover, roles provide an opportunity to gain valuable experience, for example, parental or professional. But, carried away by the role, playing it with excessive zeal, over time there is a feeling of “losing oneself”. So, for example, a woman whose world is fixated on children forgets what she is interested in outside the family, who she is and what she wants.

Add to this the stories that we drag with us from childhood, feeding, the feeling of our own worthlessness. As a result, we compare ourselves more with others, we don’t like ourselves even more, but we pretend that we love ourselves and believe in this pretense.

Giving up roles does not lead to returning to oneself. This is facilitated only by the realization that no roles define me, they are not me.

And yet, when the opportunity arises to be out of the role, often people only pull on their masks tighter. Paradox? Not at all. Self-excavation is fraught with a collision with a feeling of inner emptiness, meaninglessness and an abyss of unanswered questions. Yes, and unusual. Since childhood, many of us have an ingrained habit of expecting instructions for action, and parenting questions encouraged more excuses and a desire to defend themselves. Of course, I am not generalizing. Someone felt the freedom to make decisions and support. It’s fine. But what if not?

Then the inner world seemed (and still seems to be) a space of monsters who are just waiting to pounce if we dare to look there. But in fact, this is a space of potentials that are really waiting, but only so that we look into ourselves with interest, like in childhood, into a bag with New Year’s gifts.

And now we have a conflict between the Personality, which requires the choice of social realization and the needs of the Soul, with its mysterious potential. But…

What if we don’t have to choose between the two?
What if this dramatic conflict is meaningless?

The soul does not at all seek to call on the barricades that part that can express its desire to be spontaneous, free and follow its purpose. By the way about him. Sometimes people hope that purpose helps them find themselves. Like, I find out what I am intended for and immediately understand who I am. I don’t want to upset, but the process is exactly the opposite.

When you become yourself, you have more chances to find your life purpose.

Awareness of purpose is a consequence of knowing “who I am”, so you should not avoid the stage of getting to know yourself. And now all that remains is to deal with one’s own prohibition to be oneself. And all the limitations in this are self-limitations. In my observation, there are three particularly formidable barriers to overcome.

The perfect image of yourself .

We do not need just I. We need an ideal, simple Self, which in fact turns out to be just a collection of copies collected from other people’s “masterpieces” and a list of other people’s expectations about what we should be. Its working title is “I, whom I am not ashamed to show to others, because everything is superb.”
You, of course, have noticed how children eventually lose their immediacy to the chorus of rules and conventions of “ruling reality.” And, in order to be sure to sharpen it under this reality, even in childhood, we are thrown into a template of what we should be. At first we follow it to impress our loved ones, but over time, the opinions of others are given exclusive importance, and we get stuck in the epicenter of self-destructive thoughts: “Do they like me?”, “What do they think of me?”, “How will they react to it? ? ”

We are ashamed to be imperfect, it is “unforgivable” to make mistakes, whole psychological institutions say “look for strengths, weaknesses pull you down,” while behind all this lies the need for support and acceptance of us as we already are.

What to do?

Zero beliefs and images in which you should correspond to someone or something and write your vision of your own life, relying on what really matters to you, rechecking your values, meanings. Your life is your story. You are free to decide for yourself where to compromise and where to stick to your principles.

Take it for granted that you are ready enough to take action . Enlist self-support – this quality, in my opinion, is more valuable than willpower. Allow yourself to be yourself despite doubts, risks and, of course, despite the mistakes that you will certainly make more than once. The question is: do you really want to be real here and now or live in anticipation of your ideal “happening” to you? It won’t happen. Will not be attracted by affirmations and even correct Feng Shui. You create it yourself by making changes from the starting point. And the starting point can only be what you are, what you breathe, live, what you dream of, what you are proud of and what you are ashamed of, afraid of, and so on here and now. This is your source code that you will modify to create a new reality.

The illusion of knowledge .

Quite often you can hear the phrase “I know myself as flaky.” But in fact, this is a very superficial knowledge, which is often centered around “flaws”. Such first-hand deception.

It is not easy to imagine yourself multifaceted, interesting, when “all my life” I believed that you were “a plug in every barrel” (everyone has their own stories). And this limited vision of oneself dictates an even more limited range of patterns of action and thinking. Meanwhile,

Each of us owns a country, next to which the earthly possessions of the Russian tsar seem like a dwarf state. But there are patriots who have no respect for themselves and sacrifice more for the sake of less. They love the land where they were born, where a grave will be dug for them, but not the spirit that could still inspire their mortal body. Listen to the advice of a philosopher and Know Yourself. This is where vigilance and courage are needed. Henry D. Thoreau

What to do?

Cognize, study, explore, comprehend yourself. Be curious about yourself. Be a tireless explorer and discoverer of yourself. For me, this is a fascinating and inspiring process. And since you are reading this article, for sure, you also have a desire to open yourself. Take care of it. It’s worth a lot.

Fear of finding out something terrible about yourself (something that cannot be accepted).

One of the most powerful fears, by the way, is to awaken the inner dragon. His legs grow straight out of the conviction of the need to be perfect.

However, quite a lot has been said on the topic of fears, there is no new thing to add here. Perhaps one can only rephrase a well-known saying.

Fear is a great servant, but a bad master. It depends only on us how much authority we give him.

What to do?

Fears have been and will always be. Just as you know your “bright” sides, recognize your “shadow”. As renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins said

If you met yourself and you weren’t horrified, it means you’re not met with yourself. If meeting yourself did n’t horrify you, it means you haven’t met yourself

So everything is still ahead, friends. And look around – the people who decided on this meeting did not die of fear. But many of them were “reborn” and reevaluated their old lives, setting priorities in a new way and achieving much more. Fear is just a test of how great your desire to be yourself is.

It happens that these barriers are combined with each other and it becomes even more difficult to cut the line beyond which personal freedom opens. I am sure that each of us has years of struggle on an invisible front behind us for the right to be ourselves. But the struggle with oneself is destructive and hopeless. You need to direct your strength to restore peace with yourself. We are not only the result of our past, but also its transformation . The external I – personality – will become more interesting, deeper, richer from connection with the internal “natural” I, and this is the best motive for recognizing, and then creating oneself according to one’s own pattern.

Look at yourself as the main character of your story, but look through the eyes of the author – he always knows much more about the character than he will write in the book. The more interesting a character is, the more new meanings and understanding he gives to the author. The more interesting plot twists this story will have. And if it is possible to create such an internal working tandem, then the story will be lively, vivid and exciting until the last minute.

And although many of us are not used to asking ourselves questions, it is they, and not ready-made schemes, our reference points in the development of ourselves both as the author of our story and as its character.

You can start digging from the very surface layer.

Describe yourself, who are you – an optimist or a pessimist, an introvert or an extrovert? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Describe childhood and adolescence and relationships with significant people during this time.

What hobbies, hobbies, interests occupied your time and thoughts?

What kind of education did you receive and how has it influenced you?

What is your philosophy in life?

What do you do? What do you think about your work? Do you feel its significance?

What are your current relationships with close, significant people?

What interests and hobbies do you have now?

What are you proud of in your life? What are you ashamed of?

These questions provide a foundation from which to start. But you always have the opportunity to dig deeper. For example,

  1. What area of ​​life should you pay attention to first? What decision to make? What choice to make?
  2. What experience do you constantly avoid? How much time do you spend “in the ostrich position” in your life?
  3. What is happening in your life now and how do you feel about what is happening?
  4. Where is your energy lost and stuck? What, on the contrary, makes you strong?

Or you can dig very deep.

  1. If you were describing your life metaphorically, what metaphor would you use?
  • What facets of yourself are unpleasant to you? What will change if you accept them?
  • What’s your biggest fear?
  • What can you do to make you feel happier?
  • At what moments do you feel yourself self-sufficient, whole?
  • How much does the way you present yourself to others converge with who you really are?
  • Recognizing yourself, finding the lost puzzle pieces, combine them.

Don’t just express yourself – reinvent yourself. Don’t limit yourself to ready-made models . Henry Gates Jr.

Being yourself is about allowing yourself to stop controlling every step and breath (let’s be honest, we still don’t do it very well). Allow yourself to be in dialogue with life, not with your mind.

To be yourself is to know that despite your fears, complexes, doubts, beliefs, I am real better than ideal me. Because the ideal I, for all its ideality, is only a figment of the imagination, and I really exist.

Being yourself is a challenge that conscious people make to themselves every day, because in a world where everything contributes to not being a failure, this is the most important and valuable achievement.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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