We’ve all been in school, worried about what others think of you. Worried about that awkward silence after you speak. Worried about this and that. The cool kids just say, “dude just be yourself”. But in your head you think, “I’m trying!”
Well, here are two simple ways I’ve found to be helpful to be yourself.
Openly express your opinions, your likes, and your dislikes.
Having opinions is good, just don’t be a condescending prick.
We’ve conditioned ourselves to play it safe because we may have been shamed in the past for liking this or that. The gauntlet of high school to fit in and gain acceptance. But as we grow older, we should not be afraid to share our opinions, likes, and dislikes. You like to play video games? Cool. You like anime? Cool too.
Don’t know what you like or dislike? Think about it. I’ve never had strong opinions on anything, possibly because I was afraid of what other people would think of me. Everyone SHOULD have a preference. Think about it, and express it. Here are some topics to get you started:
- Favorite movie?
- Favorite artist?
- Favorite food?
- Favorite hobby?
- Favorite sports team?
Still can’t figure it out? Here are some easier ones… pick one
- Dogs or cats?
- Wine or beer?
- Comedy or thriller?
- Trance or hip hop?
Yes, it’s okay to disagree with your date on why dogs are better than cats. Point is, it’s good to have likes, dislikes, wants, desires, even if it’s weird or you might think no one would like it. It’s what makes us unique. Don’t be a floating gray blob that is indifferent to everything.
Accept your Weaknesses (and insecurities). All of them.
Our ego is sneaky, we try not to evaluate ourselves truthfully.
When people say accept yourself, what they mean is to accept your weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses. The quicker you realize everyone is made up of their strengths and weaknesses the quicker you can be grounded to get to where you want to be.
You can view this strength-weakness paradigm through the lens of either your personal life or career life.
How do these relate to our personal life? They manifest through our insecurities. I’m only going to list three, but I’m sure we can create our own list of plenty, if we actually think about it:
Similarly, we can relate these to our career with more work-oriented traits:
- Strategic vision
- Problem solving
- Emotional Intelligence
The smart leader delegates their weakness. So you need to put your head down, learn about yourself, and realize that other people have strengths that can out-perform your weaknesses. So why not delegate them?
Part of being yourself is being okay with your weaknesses and insecurities. Be okay with not being very good at something. If you have the self-awareness to realize it, then you have the capacity to start changing it and not be ashamed about it.