How often do you allow yourself to be 100% completely your authentic self? Many people believe they’re always comfortable being themselves and presenting their authentic selves to the rest of the world, but this isn’t always the case.
If you want to seriously embrace your life and everything the world has to offer you, learning how to give yourself permission to be yourself and be authentic is an essential skill.
Why do some people not give themselves permission to be accurate or be themselves?
There are many reasons why someone may not feel comfortable giving themselves permission to be accurate or be themselves around others. For example:
- They may feel insecure about some aspects of themselves.
Whether it’s a hangup they experience about their body, their personality, their hobbies, or any other facet of themselves, if a person has specific insecurity, it can hinder them from being authentic or acting like themselves – especially around others.
- They may be uncertain of who their “real self” even is.
Some people have trouble giving themselves permission to be authentic and be themselves because they don’t know themselves. While it seems strange that a person may not understand who they are, it happens often!
People may believe they like certain things or hold certain beliefs, but when they explore past the surface of those thoughts, they may realise they only like or believe those things because of the other people in their lives influencing them. Once separated from those outside influences, they may struggle to understand who they really are.
- They may fear how others will feel or react when presented with their authentic self.
Showing your authentic self to others can be frightening because you don’t always know how other people might react. Rather than risking embarrassment or alienation from a group of people because of who you indeed are, you may decide not to be yourself or be honest about who you are.
If you struggle to give yourself permission to be authentic and be yourself, what can you do to make it feel easier?
It takes practice, patience, and time to embrace who you are to be yourself and be honest with others. To make the process feel a little easier, consider the following strategies:
- If you have a people-pleasing habit, drop it.
People pleasers are folks who will do anything and everything they can to stay in the good graces of others. When you’re working so hard to please others and make them happy, you’re denying yourself the ability to be honest, open, and comfortable because you’re fighting against who you are to be more pleasing to someone else.
Rather than going to extremes to make someone happy, tone down your immediate urge to go over the top and stick to what feels right for you to do.
- Identify your strengths and embrace them.
Everyone has a set of personal strengths. These are qualities and talents you possess that make you stand out among others. To make it easier to be you and be authentic, identify your strengths and allow yourself to play to them.
When you have a chance to use your talents or skills, do it. If certain qualities about yourself shine in some situations, use them to your advantage. Focusing on your strengths is a great way to acclimate to being authentic and being yourself around others.
- Remember that most people don’t analyse you as harshly as you believe.
Many believe they are constantly being watched, judged, or analysed by others. This is not the case! Most people are consumed with their own thoughts and business. They may notice you, but it is improbable that other people are examining you as closely as you might believe they are. Use this as a reminder to help yourself relax, especially in social situations where there are more people around and use that knowledge to let your true self shine through.
- Consider whom you’re spending most of your time with: Are they good for you?
Take a moment to consider whom you spend most of your time around. Are these people a good influence on your life?
If you’re trying to spend more time with people who make you feel uncomfortable, as if you can’t be yourself and be authentic with them, you may need to reconsider your friend group.
Sometimes the problem lies with the people you’re trying to spend time with rather than yourself. If the people you want to socialise with are making you feel like you can’t fully be yourself around them, reconsider your relationship with these people. Do you really need that kind of influence in your life? Chances are, probably not.