Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.
— Alan Watts

I’ve heard the statement “just be yourself” so much. It sounds like an amazing thing to do, and I have wished many times that I could just do that. What I’ve wondered, though, is what in the world that actually means?

I’ve encountered people that in the name of “I’m just being myself,” have actually been pretty jerky. I’ve also been around others that have passed up incredible opportunities and their reasoning is, “It’s just not who I am.”

In my personal journey to “just be myself,” I’ve discovered that this is easier said than done. 

Much of the “being” of others (including myself), is covered up by layers of hurt, fear and insecurities. So rather than being who we really are, we live out of who we think we should be. The person who is a jerk to others and the person who is afraid of social situations are, in actuality, not being themselves. Their real self is just being covered up with conditioned, fear-based thinking.

Our real self is who we are when we release the stories, labels, and false narratives that have been placed on us by others, and maybe even ourselves. Our real self is discovered when we let go of the pretentious, “just being ourselves.”

The road to being myself has been paved by the essential interaction of my mind, heart and soul. I’ve discovered that my true self isn’t waiting to be found, but rather, uncovered.

Below are three things I’ve learned to engage and interact with in pursuit of just being myself, and remaining myself.

1. Know my desires: We all want a lot out of, and from life. There is never a shortage of wants. However, I’ve found that most of the things I’ve wanted have stemmed from how I think others will view me once I get them. The car; the house; the job; the position…most of these wants are rooted in how I will appear. None the less, a desire is much different. Desires emerge out of our hearts. While want has to do with the “what” we obtain, desire has to do with the “why” we are drawn to it in the first place. An honest assessment of my true desires allows me to know what I want to engage in, and more importantly, exposes the things I do, simply for the way it’ll look to others.

2. Accept my limitations: I’m not able to do everything…none of us are. When we see others doing things we think we’d “want” to do, we tend to lose sleep when we aren’t able to do it. This is due to our competitive nature within the human experience. Healthy competition can be healthy. However, when we compete to be better than others, we’ll eventually run into the reality of our limitations. Comparison has a way of highlighting what we can’t do. But when we learn to accept our limitations, this can really be liberating. When we accept what we cant’t do, it frees us to all that we can do. Rather than trying to be better than every one else, we’ll invest our efforts into being our best selves. This moves us from competing with others to actually completing them.

3. Celebrate what I like about myself: I don’t believe we should be conceited. I do however believe we should be confident. We tend to focus on the things we don’t like about ourselves at the expense of the things we actually do. But if we stop and consider our true selves, we’ll find that there’s so much to like! Our eyes, our face, our bodies, our thought process, our creativity, our heart, our emotions, our swag, our uniqueness, our…well…there’s so much to like. I’ve learned to celebrate all the things that I like about myself and allow myself to brag a bit about them to…me. This connects me at deeper levels with my true self. When I am able to celebrate the goodness of me to me, it inspires me to be the best I can possibly be with them.

Alright my friends, may you find the fulfilling joy of releasing who you’re not and just…be…yourself.

Live today, a story you’d want to tell tomorrow.

- Joel

Joel Gonzalez4 Comments