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How to Be Yourself: 26 Steps to Unfake Your Life & Love Being You

If you want to know how to be yourself, it’s not always easy for some people. But when you learn how, it is the best thing you will ever do for yourself.

how to be yourself

People always say, “oh, you just have to know how to be yourself.” But really, what kind of shitty advice is that? Just be yourself!

They don’t tell you how to be yourself, they just say that you need to be yourself. Well, everyone knows that your best self is when you’re yourself.

This isn’t rocket science, people. But truly understanding how to be yourself is a completely different thing. Though you are yourself in some situations, it’s hard to be able to show who you are.

How to be yourself – A guide to fall in love with YOU and rock being YOU

In a group of people, depending on who they are, sometimes a person can be very quiet or outgoing. While most people would tell you to chill out and just be yourself, sometimes it’s not that easy for some to relax.

When you ask someone how it is that you are supposed to be yourself, they usually don’t have an answer because, honestly, they don’t know. It’s a question that seems easy to answer but when you really examine it, it’s hard to come up with constructive tips.

But listen, we have the answers. Who thought knowing how to be yourself could be this hard?

1. What makes you not be yourself? 

Do you know what makes you not be yourself? Is it groups of people? People you don’t know? You need to find the triggers which make you uncomfortable. Once you know what it is, then you can work on examining exactly what components make you uncomfortable.

You need to pick apart everything and really narrow down what it is exactly that makes you not be yourself. What’s blocking you? [Read: 15 things everyone should know about living a happy life]

2. Do you really know who you are?

But really? If you cannot be yourself and you experience issues relaxing, it could just be that you actually don’t know who you are.

This means you need to take time and try things out that you may not have thought were for you. Exploring yourself is the only way you get to know yourself. So, get out there and test the waters. [Read: Who are you? How to fine-tune your internal compass]

3. Don’t focus on other’s opinions of you

This is what we all do, but it’s not worth it. Let’s say that you went out in a new outfit and for a couple of minutes, you are worried about what people think of it.

Then, it hits you—you feel good in it, you feel sexy, so why should you care? And that was the end of it.

If you stay in a negative mindset, you would probably sit in the corner the entire night, scared to stand up. This mental torture we inflict on ourselves has nothing to do with other people. It’s all in our heads.

4. You’re not doing this to impress others

You cannot try to impress others if you want to be yourself. It’s not going to work, but really, it’s not. People read through that like rice paper. You need to understand you’re not on this earth to impress people. You need to not care about impressing other people. In fact, you shouldn’t.

You might unknowingly grab the power position based on your ability to be yourself. [Read: How to be comfortable in your own skin – 20 ways to love being you]

5. Try to be in the moment

Many times, people get stuck in their heads, thinking about how they look, what they should say, or what they should do. But it doesn’t matter. You end up losing what’s going on in the moment and missing out on that experience by thinking too much about others and their opinions.

Instead, be completely involved at the moment. It helps you not only relax but become more self-aware of what’s going on around you. Are these people really being negative towards you or is it all in your head? [Read: Emotionally stable – How to find your zone of perfect calmness]

6. Be aware of these negative thoughts

You may not even notice the negative thoughts that run through your head. But, it’s time you paid attention and became more aware of what’s going on in your head. Be aware of how you think.

If you notice that you usually only think negative thoughts when you’re in a group of people, it’s time to switch those thoughts up.

Now, this may not be so easy but if the people you spend time with contribute to these negative thoughts, remove yourself from them in order to start bringing in positivity. [Read: How to stop having negative thoughts that drag you down]

7. Think about how it was when you were a child

When you were a child, you were free. Children are the essence of self-love and being natural.

Go back into your memory and think about what you were like when you were a child because that’s who you are. If you’re no longer that person, you need to see what made you change.

8. Follow your gut instinct

In some cases, you may not be able to act yourself for a good reason. Your intuition may tell you not to trust the situation or the person you’re talking to.

If you don’t feel like you can open up to someone or feel the need to act a different way, that’s your body telling you this person isn’t good for you. Listen to your instinct.

9. Accept you who are

If you want to be yourself, you need to know this and remember it – You are who you are. You may not like things about yourself, but the fact of the matter is, that’s who you are. So, acknowledge what and who you are before anything.

Once you do this, any criticism from your friends and family will be obsolete. Why? Because you’re aware and you don’t care. [Read: Achieving self-acceptance – The little steps for one big change]

10. Make goals for yourself

Make small and large goals for yourself. Small goals could be that you join a class you always wanted to take like boxing. Okay, so that’s done. You step outside of your comfort zone and do things that are new but passionate for you.

Your larger goals could be to write a book by next year or get a new job in a totally different field. These goals must be based on what you truly want and not what your friends think you should do.

11. Know that you were once yourself

Maybe your friends said something that changed you, or you went through a traumatic situation, but at one point in your life, you were you.

You need to remember that because that helps you work towards becoming you again. Your soul isn’t lost. It’s just been masked to keep it from hurting. But, it’s time to take the mask off.

12. Learn to love your qualities

We change as we grow, and that’s a natural part of life. Maybe you become too hyper and in your face, but that’s who you are. You can try to tame it, but in essence, it’s inside of you. So, whatever qualities you have, good or bad, accept them.

You can spend time working on your weak qualities, sure, but first, accept that you have them and that they’re a part of you. We all have good and bad qualities, we’re human. [Read: 15 ways to discover self-love and happiness]

13. If you’re surrounded by negative people, change it

If you’re surrounded by friends who are extremely negative or unsupportive, then cut them out, because you’ll never know how to be yourself when your friends are trying to break you with manipulation and negativity.

It doesn’t matter if they’ve been lifelong friends, they’re not true friends. If you want to be yourself, you need to cut out people who bring you down emotionally and mentally. They only stunt your growth as a person. [Read: 25 kinds of bad friends you should unfriend from your life]

14. Surround yourself with people who share similar interests

Have you ever thought that maybe you can’t relax around your friends because you actually don’t have anything in common with them and that you’ve been faking this whole time?

Trust us, faking something takes more energy than just being yourself. You have to play up a whole different person.

Try to surround yourself with people who share the same interests as you. When you do, you’ll notice yourself automatically relax and enjoy their company. You connect with them on an intimate level which is what you need in life.  

15. Be vulnerable

When you are completely yourself, you will be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is scary for a lot of people because it’s risky and opens you up to rejection.

But the only way to be authentic is to share yourself with other people. It could come with a lot of rewards too. [Read: How to open up to people – 15 reasons and tips to be vulnerable]

16. Express yourself

Don’t hold back with what you’re thinking or feeling. When you do that, you are suppressing yourself and who you really are.

Now, you should also have a bit of a filter so that you don’t say things that will hurt other people. But you should still be able to express yourself.

17. Examine your values and beliefs

Part of learning how to be yourself is knowing what your beliefs and values are. This could include anything from your religious/spiritual beliefs to your political leanings. When you know where you stand on all of these important world views, then you can be authentic a lot more easily.

18. Stick to your principles

Once you have figured out your values and beliefs, then you need to stick to them. Don’t allow other people to lead you astray.

You should stick to your core values because in your heart you know it’s the right thing to do for you. That’s a huge part of knowing how to be yourself. [Read: How to stop being codependent – 17 steps to finding yourself again]

19. Don’t be a people-pleaser

When you are so concerned with pleasing other people, you compromise who you are. You end up being a doormat and get used and taken advantage of. And that’s not what anyone wants – certainly not you. So, make sure you please yourself – not other people.

20. Know your boundaries

When you are being yourself, you know your boundaries. For example, you know how far you want to take the romance on a first date.

If you don’t want to go past a first kiss, then don’t. Even if your date pushes you, then you need to stand firm in your boundaries so no one walks all over you. [Read: How to set personal boundaries and guide others to respect it]

21. Know your limitations

We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. And sometimes we can push ourselves too far. So, you have to know when you have had enough.

Maybe you’ve been working too hard and you’re sleep-deprived. That’s one of your limitations. You need sleep! Don’t ever feel bad by knowing when to say “enough is enough.” [Read: How to stop hating yourself – 20 steps to loving all of yourself]

22. Forgive yourself

No one is perfect and we all do things that we wish we hadn’t done in the past. But as the famous Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

You did the best you knew how to do at the time. So, you have to forgive yourself and move on. And just do better in the future.

23. Learn from your mistakes

Once you have forgiven yourself for your mistakes, then you need to examine what they were and what you can learn from them.

See your “failures” as learning opportunities – because that’s what they really are. If you didn’t make any mistakes, then you wouldn’t know how to do it right the next time.

24. Stop being a perfectionist

There is no such thing as perfection. You need to tell yourself that over and over again until you finally understand it. So, if you’re a perfectionist, you are constantly chasing an illusion.

What is perfect to you is not perfect to another person. What is perfect for you today may not be good enough for you tomorrow. When you spend so much time trying to be “perfect,” you are not being yourself. So, give yourself a break and just do your best. [Read: How to love yourself – the 23 best ways to find self-love and happiness]

25. Don’t compare yourself to others

It’s so easy to compare our lives to other people’s. But there’s always going to be someone who is prettier, richer, funnier, or younger.

When you compare yourself, it will only make you feel bad because you usually compare yourself to people you think are “better” than you. But there is no one “better.” If you have to compare, look at the people who are less fortunate than you and feel grateful for what you have.

26. Be honest

Honesty is vital if you want to know how to be yourself. And we mean being honest not just with other people, but with yourself too.

Ironically, a lot of people are really good at lying to themselves. But if you want to be authentically you, then you have to take your blinders off and see and speak the truth.

[Read: How to be comfortable with yourself – A guide to not giving a f*ck]

Learning to be yourself is all about learning to accept who you are, and falling in love with who you are. It is about not allowing someone else to make you feel smaller, because they think or do something differently from you. As long as you remember that, you will learn to be your authentic self!

Now that you have the tools needed, it’s time you put them into practice. Knowing how to be yourself is definitely a challenge, but if you want to be emotionally and mentally free, just do it. 

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...