Why does Society Challenge us to be more like Others and Less like Ourselves?
Be a little more like you and a lot less like them. ~ Unknown
Be you. Just be you. Every time these words are uttered I find myself wondering what do they mean? Why do we find solace in phrases that remind us to just be ourselves? Why can’t we simply just be? Be ourselves that is.
Why do we feel the need to conform? The truth is not conforming is terrifying! Not conforming increases the chance that others around us will not like us. When we are not liked than we will most likely be unloved and let’s face it what we all want is to feel love (not just by a person of the opposite sex, but by friends, family and those closest to them). By not conforming we are putting ourselves at risk to not be loved by others. However, in an ironic twist, when we conform we lose the ability to love ourselves.
The pressure that is felt to conform to standards of beauty created by society places a disconnect between our authentic self and the self that we project. The more pressure we feel to be like the others the more we lose touch with our own “uniqueness” and it is our “uniqueness” that makes us great!
Personally, I have tried to conform to society’s outrageous standards of beauty. My fear of not being like the others has prevented me from being my true self. At times it has crippled me. I have felt insecure and wondered why there were pieces of me that were different.
One of my largest insecurities was the gap between my two front teeth. I know now it’s called a disatema. I wondered to myself why didn’t my dentist ever suggest that I get braces? Low and behold there are numerous celebrities who have the same flaw. Lauren Hutton, Lauren Bacall, Madonna and Zac Efron are just a small sample of beautiful people (inside and out) who share the same imperfection as I. I wonder did this ever make them feel insecure? It may have but the truth is it doesn’t matter. Here is why. Each celebrity was able to embrace their own uniqueness, rather than use it as a crutch to hold them back.
Likewise, my small boobs have made made me insecure. At one point my chest may have been my biggest source of insecurity. I think it may have been my mothers as well. They could be much bigger. Well they could even be smaller. I’ve felt pressure from society to get a boob job. Now I remind myself of the sizing chart that is used for bras. There is a reason the size range is so large ! No boobs are supposed to be alike. My boobs are fine. They are small but they serve purpose.
Should I get a boob job? Hell NO. They are beautiful the way they are. I am beautiful the way I am. Guess what Mr. Trump if having small breasts means I will forever be seen as a seven then here is a handwritten guarantee that I will never get breast implants. I no longer desire to be a part of the cosmetic world our president perpetuates. The only thing my heart needs is to be reminded how to be more like myself and a little bit less like the superficial society our president resides in.
Here is the problem. Most of us strive for perfection even though we are fully aware that perfection does not exist! Instead of searching for something that we will never have we need to begin to embrace who we are. We need to embrace what our bodies and minds can do as well as what we bring to the table as individuals (no matter how different it may be). We need to be our authentic selves.
So how do we become one with our authentic self? Better yet, “What is our authentic self?” Your authentic self is YOU underneath all of the layers. It’s genuine and real. It can be secure or insecure. It can feel all emotion. It can offer love, receive love and give love. Your authentic self is your truest form. It is who we all strive to be.
Becoming your authentic self requires you to…
Just be you.
I know. We just talked about this (see above). But this is how important it is! It truly is simple. Just be you. Embrace all of you. You’re smile, your body, your laugh, your tears, your soul, your heart, and your fears. Love all of you. Let go of all previous misconceptions and judgments that are holding you back. Continue to offer love and kindness to yourself.
Identify your heart’s desires.
Take a moment to ask yourself, “What is it that I want today?” “What do I desire?” “What would enhance my health/ happiness/ life at this time?” By reconnecting with our personal needs we can create opportunities to let go of all of the shitty comparisons that are holding us back! Listen to your intuition. Don’t allow fear of failure or fear of not conforming to alter your own desires. Continue to be you, all of you by creating an alignment with your soul.
Practice Self Care.
Self-care is essential to being your authentic self. This can be five minutes of meditation, an hour-long yoga class, a bike ride or a walk around the neighborhood. In order to be our most authentic self we need to be aligned with our own values and this is not possible if we do not practice self-care. Self-care is an essential requirement to being present in our lives.
Live with Integrity.
Be open and honest. Not only with others. But with yourself. Be kind. Live an honest life that is consistent with your own values. Build healthy relationships that are built on mutual support and trust. Keep you own power by being true to your deepest desires.
Just remember Rome was not built in a day and it will take longer than one day to break your old habits and become your authentic self. Take it day by day and don’t take yourself so seriously. You are well on your way towards change, embrace it.
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