The paradox of naturalness: why is it so difficult to “just be yourself”?

Simple advice and reasoning on how to be yourself in society always sounds quite exciting to read and is easy to implement if a person is just theorizing. The reality is that the entire institution of socialization is built in such a way as to erase human individuality as much as possible and make it average and convenient. Thus, moments of education, condemnation and censure increasingly remove spontaneity, and complexes cultivated by others plunge a person into a state where the manifestation of one’s personality is the most dangerous.

How to be yourself

The first question we will try to cover. But first, let’s think about what it means to remain yourself.

This is extremely difficult. After all, a person who is in this state:

  • is in harmony with himself;
  • calm and balanced;
  • feels inner comfort.

Psychotherapists give a recommendation: allow yourself to be relaxed and free. Don't strain yourself. This advice is for modest, shy and insecure people.

But a person can still be different. That is, relaxed in a friendly circle and serious, collected and organized in a work environment. Let's say that the fact that you receive clients with a smile does not mean that you are hypocritical. These are the rules of etiquette. People who do not want to comply with certain requirements justify themselves with the phrase “you need to remain yourself.” These are often stubborn and inadequate citizens.

This example suggests that a specific situation shapes different behavior. And this is the norm. The main thing is not to play. At the moment of excessive, ostentatious, unnatural modesty or arrogant swagger, a person causes a feeling of discomfort in others. They have a desire to leave his company or minimize dialogue.

Now it becomes a little clearer how to be yourself. You just need to share real emotions and show those feelings that really guide you. People around you will appreciate your sincerity.

You can inspire others

Millions of people in this world lack self-confidence. There are countless people who are afraid to have confidence, be themselves and open up to others.

I know this from personal experience because I was one of them. Just be yourself and inspire others by your example. After all, you can inspire hundreds of people who need it.

You can change someone's life just by showing them that it's okay to be honest and follow your heart. You can inspire them and thereby call them to action and perhaps radically change their life forever. So be a source of inspiration!

Now let's talk about how to become yourself

The answer to this question should be sought within yourself. This can take a very long time. Therefore, first of all, you need to ask yourself why you need this, why it is worth remaining yourself.

You need an end goal that will act as your motivator. It is she who will help you get closer to your dream. But first, let’s define who he is, the lucky one who managed to achieve this.

People will trust you more

To be trusted is the greatest compliment, even more so than to be loved. George MacDonald

Who would you trust? Someone who is frank with you, tells it like it is and is straightforward, or someone who can't say a few words without lying?

Honesty goes a long way. There are not many honest people in our society. And when you're straightforward, fewer people will want to take advantage of you.

But back to the point, if you expect trust, start being honest. It's simple!

Characteristics of a person who has become himself

It has the following features:

  1. Conscious behavior. Acts intelligently, knows what he is doing and why.
  2. Harmony with yourself and the world around you. The person is always calm and balanced.
  3. Smile and sparkling eyes.

Such people do what they like, this is where awareness of actions is manifested. They are happy, literally glowing from within.

Children are a living example of this. They rejoice at every moment, sincere laughter, tears too.

Therefore, you should feel like a child and plunge into pleasant memories, again taste the beauty of life. Start exploring yourself, getting to the bottom of your “I”, discarding everything unnecessary.

We need to act. Find yourself through your favorite thing, activity. If it captivates you, completely immerses you in the work process, and at the same time brings moral satisfaction and happiness, you are on the right track.

Let's move on to practical recommendations and figure out how to become yourself.

You will attract the right friends

If you go through life feeling like a fraud, a deceiver and living a lie, your friends will be a direct reflection of this. As they say, tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. There is quite a lot of truth in this statement.

If you want to have honest friends who are not afraid of reality, you may need to work on yourself first. And only after this, you will be able to attract into your life the friends you need so much.

If you're already true to yourself, but your friends are the complete opposite, maybe you need to meet new people.

You need to listen to some advice

The wishes are as follows:

  1. You should not show feigned perfection and demand this from others, be afraid of making mistakes and showing negative feelings. This leads to internal confinement.
  2. You need to understand that freedom comes with responsibility. When finding the way to yourself, you need to be accountable for every action you take and listen to your inner convictions.
  3. Dream. Change your life, making your wishes come true, achieve your goals.
  4. Destroy psychological barriers, remove everything from the path that interferes with you.
  5. Working on yourself is another good piece of advice. Just reading articles and books on this issue is not enough; you need to work tirelessly on your own emotional and internal state.

These recommendations will help you solve the problem of how to become yourself. But there are also practical exercises that we will consider.

What does it mean

To be yourself means to follow personal needs, desires, interests, and adhere to internal beliefs and values ​​in any situation. It would seem that everything is simple: live the way you want and you will be happy. But besides our desires, there are social norms, social consciousness and obligations, the needs and interests of other people who may be oppositional or neutral towards us. We have already touched on this topic in the article “I want, I can, I must - the rules of choice. How to combine them in life and be happy” and in articles about healthy egoism and altruism, their balance.

Being yourself means feeling harmony, inner balance and calmness, and behaving naturally. This is the unity of thoughts and actions. And every choice, and we face dozens of choices every day, maintains this balance, strengthens a person’s faith in himself, self-love, self-respect and self-esteem.

However, you cannot find yourself one day and maintain this state. If the basis of “being yourself” is the needs and goals of the individual, then it is logical to assume that ideas about “being yourself” are dynamic. A person develops, his needs change, and new goals also appear. Accordingly, the personality changes, but at the same time she accepts these changes and makes new plans taking into account the new self.

Thus, to be yourself is to find harmony between a person’s inner world and the outer world. Find your calling and follow it. Understand your characteristics and use them to achieve your goals, search and find your calling. To be yourself means to be psychologically flexible, but not to constantly hide behind social masks, but to show your real “I”.

First exercise: “Your bag”

You will need a piece of paper and a pencil, as well as any hand luggage. It will take about fifteen minutes.

It is necessary to lay out the contents on the table, after which:

  1. Of all the things, select three that can most clearly reveal your personality, character, preferences, and qualities. If one is missing, you can visualize the one that most people carry in their bag.
  2. Now write, without being distracted by literacy, about each thing and how it reveals you.
  3. Then read the text and try to understand what new things you learned about yourself. To what extent has this activity changed your worldview? Don't make quick conclusions; you need to give yourself time to think.
  4. The exercise can also be done with things that are contained in your desk drawer, car glove compartment, on a closet shelf, and so on.

This exercise teaches you to focus your thoughts on yourself in order to understand yourself better.

You will stop feeling like a fraud

Nobody likes to feel like a fraud. Nobody likes to feel like a fraud. And no one likes to feel like someone else's copy. No one should feel like they are any of the above.

When you cheat, you are dealing with people who may betray you. And let's be honest, no one is going to take you seriously if you try to imitate someone else.

So stop trying to imitate others and be yourself. Of course, if you enjoy deceiving yourself... then continue =)

Second technique: “Fictional character”

It will take the same amount of time. You need to come up with a movie character, a character from a book or a cartoon, but he should remind you of the real you at the moment.

For execution we take the same attributes. So let's begin:

  1. We write what you have in common with a fictional character. You need to pay attention to external similarities, the same character traits, any life situations, be it work, family, personal life, or anything else you can think of that can be compared.
  2. Then outline the differences you found based on the material above.
  3. Then, in the same written form, tell us whether you would like to actually meet this person, yes or no, and why. After re-reading, think about what new things you learned about yourself.
  4. Now you need to imagine the hero you would like to be like. And do the same steps. After skimming through the text, think: have you become more like him than before? And to what extent can you use this list of suggestions to change your personality in the future tense to be the way you want?

The purpose of this exercise is the same - to understand yourself better.

Your confidence will show

Optimism is the belief that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without faith and confidence. Helen Keller

When you love yourself and have no problem with who you are, confidence will definitely show itself. Confidence manifests itself when you are happy with yourself, your character and stop feeling unworthy.

Anyone who loves themselves every day has an unlimited level of self-confidence. And this is how you attract people no matter what you do, even if you are cutting a cake!

I'm sure you're asking yourself why I called this meeting.

Life is so much better when you stop worrying about what other people think and start doing what you really want. I know this, among other things, because I wrote two whole books on these topics - books that made many people happy - even Germans! Maybe you are one of these people/Germans? If so, then you know that my literary first-born book, Magical Not Giving a F*ck, taught readers to say “no,” set boundaries, and no longer waste time, energy, or money on things that don’t bring them joy.


The second book, Just f*cking do it, taught people how to set goals and achieve them.


But the best thing about these books is this: in addition to the two extremely useful diagrams that still appear from time to time on social networks and the media, their success inspired me to write a third book.

This book is about EMPOWERMENT.

I risk immediately blowing your mind and dropping on your heads the most life-changing statement I have ever made. My main course. Your new secret weapon.

In the immortal words of the Destiny's Child song, are you ready for this?

Stop. Did the fur on the back of your neck stand on end, and goosebumps appear on your skin? Can you hear the choir of angels from the next room? Maybe you need to take a cold shower to relieve body tremors and itching in your genitals?

Cool. This is exactly what I wanted.

Well, unless... wait a minute... Maybe you rolled your eyes and thought, “This woman has obviously never spoken to my parents, bosses, coworkers, or exes to tell her what exactly is wrong with me. And she certainly didn’t call my school bullies, teachers or coaches, because each of them could give at least a couple of reasons why I lack confidence, why I’m obsessed with my shortcomings and feel worthless.”

Hey! Don't be too hard on yourself.

Okay, okay, let's say there's something really wrong with you: for example, you'd like to be more organized or smarter with your money. So what? This book is not called The Best Version of You.

It's called "Just Be You!", so it's about accepting your strengths and weaknesses.

, regardless of whether you admit these shortcomings or whether they are simply aspects of your personality that you are absolutely happy with but cause trouble for others. Need I add that you WOULD be absolutely happy if you felt a little more confident and a little less worried about what other people think of you?[1]

In any case, you seem like a good guy to me. I have a sixth sense for these things. So I mean exactly what I said a minute ago: if you're not a serial killer or one of those people who tries to make waves when no one else is interested in it, then you're fine.

Here you ask yourself: why did I buy a self-development book in this case?

Great question! You are a good guy and a fast learner. I love those.

And I'll tell you why. What's NOT wrong with you - and this is what we'll be tackling in the pages of our fashion guide to not giving a fuck - is that society burdens you with various conventions, expectations and mandatory norms. As a result, many of us struggle to resist the stifling pressure of imposed

standards, and then feel
bad about ourselves
that we become convinced that there is something really wrong with us. We hit bookstores and seminars, gyms and weight-loss groups, etiquette experts and plastic surgeons, looking for solutions to problems we don't have.

You know what I'm talking about and it's absolute bullshit, right?

This is exactly why, my dear unique snowflakes.

, I called this meeting
. Because while you may be perfectly fine as you are, we live in a culture that right now, at this very moment, may be making you think the exact opposite.

* * *

As a child, I was often laughed at because I was too boring, an unfashionable “nerd” who laughed too loudly, and at parties in high school, at the first sounds of the DJ Young MC’s song “Light Up,” I began to scream at the top of my lungs: “ Hey Buster, let's rock it." (I had an uncle named Buster who liked to rock, so I didn't find this behavior strange, but such an obscene social move did not make me any more attractive in the eyes of my peers. Children can be such scoundrels!)

In a word, I did everything wrong and did not fit into the framework. The herd was moving in one direction, and I was making my way against the current, like a bull with a salmon complex. This very phrase proves that I had a rather strange view of the world.

But why were the other children so bothered by this?

Why, as adults, should one person be bothered by the fact that someone else is acting a little strange, taking risks or making unusual life decisions?

(like deciding not to have damn kids)?

The answer is: no one should. But the people who bother with such crap are not reading this book now, so I'm not talking to them, but to you. I can't change them, and to be completely honest, I'm not trying to change you either.

What I can do is help you change the way you communicate with them and the way you feel about yourself.

(If you're in this kind of crap. No pressure.) I've been dealing with this problem for a while now and it's worked for me. In fact, “Just be yourself!” is probably my most personal book from the point of view of the History of Overcoming Difficulties, although it is also the most universal. After all, doesn't anyone want to just be themselves and live at least one damn day in the best way possible for themselves?

Anyone? Anyone? No one?

That's it.

Even if you were never bullied at a sixth-grade dance, you can easily understand the pain of being judged or feeling pressured to conform and “be like everyone else.” This can happen at any age and under a variety of circumstances, if, for example, you moved to another city, found a new job, or threw in your lot with a person from another clan. Maybe you are a born nonconformist. Maybe you're autistic. Maybe you confused the plaid with the sailor suit and decided that you like it better. May God Almighty have mercy!

Whatever your case, if you came to this book feeling different, misunderstood, frustrated, suppressed by your parents, siblings, neighbors, roommates, bosses, colleagues, Tinder matches, influencers, or society Overall - I'm sad to hear this, but you've come to the right place.

And although this may seem like an overwhelming task, in addition to recommendations aimed at accepting yourself for who you are, I am going to help you gain confidence in your beliefs, views, goals and everyday habits (gait, clothing style, manner of speaking). All these qualities - and even flaws - make you you, and they also make you interesting, gifted and, in some sense, strong.

You just have to have them.

What does it mean to be yourself?

The essence of the advice presented in this book comes down to one simple mantra: fight for the right to be who you are and get what you want.

How? Stop letting other people tell you what you should do, how you should do it, and why something can't be done

Each part of the book contains an argument that defends your right to live life on your terms.


Tyranny “just because/because it has to be done”

Living with minimal needs and why you deserve better

HNZ (what you want, what you need and what you deserve)

Social contract: why it is needed and when it does not work

Doubters, Detractors, and Other Judgmental Assholes

How to turn disadvantages into advantages, or “mental repair”

When is it okay to be selfish, why is there no point in being perfect, how to be difficult and much, much more!

Part I (You are here: orientation exercise)

In this section, I will introduce you to the concept of the “social contract” - a set of unwritten and even unspoken, but extremely powerful rules, expectations and responsibilities that often do not bring benefits, although they could. Then I'll give you a sneak peek at the 15 most heinous provisions of this "document" and outline my revisions that shape the rest of the book. Sophisticated? Yes. A great way to organize your thoughts and make your arguments? Well, that too.

Part II (Do's and Don'ts: Rules to Break)

Here we'll look at the rules you learned in kindergarten that you don't necessarily need to apply as an adult, like "Don't be selfish" and "Play as a team." I'll show you how you can bend or break some of them with your eyes to improve your own life and - just as importantly - without affecting the lives of others.

Part III (I want and I don’t want: not so rosy hopes)

Here you will learn how to ignore or outright confront people who dare to tell you what will happen or how you will feel about the decisions you make in your life. In “You'll Regret This,” I'll talk about making decisions that seem wrong to others but are perfectly fine with you, and in “You'll Never Get Far with This Attitude,” I'll celebrate the power of pessimism to help you plan for the future and avoid disappointments - i.e. manage your expectations.

Part IV (Shoulds and Shouldn'ts: Too Many Responsibilities)

If you're fed up with the random, stupid chores that society forces on you to be nice, fit, obedient, or reasonable, then Part IV is just what the doctor ordered. In “You Should Smile More,” I'll explain why it's not your job to be cute and cute and white and fluffy, and in “You Shouldn't Be So Crazy,” I'll remind you of the time I secretly brought kitty litter into my office and ten buckets of sand, hoping that no one would notice. Today? I would upload all this shit to Instagram stories. Because I finally realized that I don’t have to speak or act in ways that deprive me of the opportunity to live an authentic life.

And you don't have to either.

* * *

I wrote “Just be yourself!” for people like me who just want to mind their own business and stop worrying about how their desires, motivations, opinions and decisions are challenged, dissected and judged by others. For misfits, rebels, black sheep, white crows and unicorns. For the guys who want to wear white after Labor Day or like to sprinkle hot pimento cream cheese on their sweet cookies; for those who prefer to remain single in an environment dominated by the cult of engagement videos, and for those who dropped out of medical school to open a dispensary growing and selling medicinal marijuana.

Keep shining my crazy diamonds.

I wrote it for all of us who feel pressure from society to conform to rules, to live up to expectations.

and fulfill obligations and who absolutely do not like to do this. I wrote it for children, college students, parents and retirees; for grannies who left their husbands after forty years of marriage to spend their golden years with a girlfriend named Mary. I wrote it for readers of my previous books, but also for people who have never heard of “that foul-mouthed anti-guru Sarah Knight.”

And finally, I wrote it because have to be myself

become the simplest thing in the world
: wake up, make sure you're not a Freaky Friday character, and live your day the way you want.
Many of us fight this battle—as children, as adults, and even as grandmothers. We have convinced ourselves (or allowed ourselves to be convinced by others) that there is something wrong with us. We lack confidence in our individuality and feel the need to fit in, be like everyone else, eliminate our shortcomings and toe the line along the boring old cultural line drawn by the party and government. However, what if we are fine? What if YOU are actually truly and absolutely fine?

This is the exact position I dance from and I think it's a really cool idea.

So, instead of trying to change you, let's celebrate what it means to be you in all the weird, difficult, selfish, imperfect, antisocial, overstimulated, unique and unusual aspects. Let's curb these flaws and turn them into virtues. And first of all, let's clarify the situation for all the doubters and spiteful critics who send you to the store for a self-help guide.

I appreciate the business, but fuck these people. Let's start just being ourselves!

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