Caroline McHugh, founder of Idology, reflected in her Tedx Talk that people are truly themselves either when they are babies or when they are older. Babies don’t know better and older people don’t care enough to conform. This got me thinking, is there anyway we can truly be ourselves? Can we escape the inevitable dilemmas of who we are and just embrace ourselves without a second thought.
Upon pondering even further, I came to one conclusion yes we can truly ourselves as long as we embrace the idea that who we are may never be one a definite answer.
Who we are is an evolving process that includes growth, shift in perspectives, formation of new perspectives and also, failure and discomfort. We can be truly be ourselves when we embrace the uncertainty and live life on the terms we have set for ourselves. Life is ever-changing and hence we can not predict or plan in advance so, how we react to life and how it will impact us, is not something we can plan for.
What we can plan for is what we perceive to be good, bad, acceptable and unacceptable bearing in mind that even those notions of right are wrong are subjected to change. So our plan dwindles into a simple three-step process.
- Do I like what I am today?
- Can I accept that my views may change?
- Can I learn to not care of what others think?
These three questions, if answered with utmost honesty, will help us decide where we lie in our lives and how we can be truly ourselves. If we like ourselves on any given day and realized that life and its’ events can change us and yet not be bothered by what people think, then we are already being our truest self! If however, and more commonly, we can mark off only one or two of the questions, then we realize what we need to work on in our life. Do we need to work on acceptance? Do we need to work on our mental growth? Do we need to work on our self validation and self-esteem?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then that’s what we do! We find out our weakness and work towards eliminating it. One weakness at a time, we become stronger. The steps are simple, but definitely not easy. It is so much easier to fall back into a pattern that we’ve always had. It’s so easy to be the way we’ve always been. But progress is difficult and being our truest self is even more daunting.
We see ourselves mostly with a tinted, flawed lens. We see our vulnerabilities and weaknesses and are afraid of letting the world see them. Instead why don’t we turn our weaknesses into strengths and wear them as a badge of honor, of all the battles we’ve won and all the lessons we’ve learned? Changing how we see ourselves then becomes vital in how we can be our truest selves.
Hence, in order to be our truest selves, we must see ourselves for who we are, embrace it and learn to be proud of it. Not everyone will like it, but if you follow the three steps mentioned above, you’ll realize that you don’t need anyone to like you. Those who like you, will like you with your weaknesses and those who don’t, don’t deserve to be in your life.