Final essay: What does it mean to be yourself? (3 options)

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.

Express yourself openly

What else prevents you from being yourself? Basically, you are afraid of what others might think of you: for example, if you have a different point of view from others or have different views on things. Perhaps your loved ones like a certain genre of music, and that's why you keep quiet about what kind of music you like. Or maybe your friends prefer to eat at fancy restaurants, so you're hesitant to invite them over to your home for the cozy dinner you'd prefer. You hold back because you are afraid of possible consequences in the form of misunderstanding, rejection and rejection.

By the way, don’t worry, it’s absolutely human nature to want to show only the best sides of yourself. However, now, in the age of technology, we all have to solve this problem in a completely new environment - the Internet - through texts, photos or videos, so we do what everyone else does.

We only show a piece of who we really are - but the best piece of ourselves. We don't share everything, everything about ourselves, and we don't want to open up completely for fear of getting into trouble. Few of the people in our lives know who we really are deep down, and we ourselves may gradually forget about it.

Well, you may be starting to wonder: Who is this person you're pretending to be on social media? Is it really you or just a clown in the arena? (I respect the profession of a clown).


If you are in a constant rush, you may forget who you really are. To rush means to place your habits and thoughts in the grip of time. You can't be yourself when you're in a hurry. Stop running, turn back and say to yourself who is running behind you, “Gotcha?!” Make stops when talking to people. Slow down the pace. The rule here is: the more you rush, the further you run away from yourself . If you are asked a question point blank: “You must make a decision right now. So yes or no"? The answer should always be “no”. No regrets. This is the price for happiness.

Option 3

(396 words) If a person does not adapt to the demands of the environment and generally accepted patterns of thinking, they say the following about him: “He was able to remain himself.” This means that he has not traded his individuality for the respect, approval or acceptance of society. It is more important for him to remain true to himself than to earn praise. Russian literature is rich in examples of such heroes.

Thus, in the play “At the Bottom,” Maxim Gorky describes a man who opposes himself to the society of “normal people” and proclaims principles that are contrary to the morality of the majority: “...I will give you advice: don’t do anything! Just burden the earth!..” Satin is proud of his position as a homeless swindler and does not agree with generally accepted dogmas that work is necessary for man and society. He also claims that pity, which many of us consider a highly moral feeling, is a humiliation for the individual. He stands for the bitter truth and with his revelations drives the Actor to suicide. His discussions about intelligence and integrity also go beyond the generally accepted ones: “A good person is good even if he is stupid, but a bad person must have intelligence...”. In everything he strives to show his individuality, even his vocabulary is not clear to everyone: “...I love incomprehensible, rare words...” he admits. Looking at Satin, we understand what it means to be yourself. No matter what happens, the hero has his own view of the situation and is not afraid to contradict what the majority says.

No less original hero is Oblomov from the novel of the same name by I.A. Goncharova. By his example, he refutes all established beliefs about the life of Russian nobles of his time. In his life there are no crazy threesomes, no magnificent balls, no fashionable frock coats, no evenings behind the scenes of the theater. Ilya Ilyich sees no point in reading fashionable but uninteresting books, doing profitable but boring work, wearing beautiful but uncomfortable things. He does not want to communicate simply because it is customary to do so, and he does not want to go for walks simply because it is necessary for his health. The hero does not see the point in generally accepted values ​​and goals. Once he tried to change himself for the sake of the woman he loved, but soon realized that he himself did not like the changes, and Olga was only deceived by these efforts. Therefore, Oblomov married Agafya Pshenitsyna, because she accepted him as he was: idle, passive, apathetic and infantile. The whole life of Ilya Ilyich, which contradicted all the standards of his environment, is an illustration of what it means to “be yourself.”

He who remains a dedicated advocate for himself has the courage to stand up to the majority opinion of what is normal. Every day he goes against everyone in order to preserve his identity and the right to make his own decisions. Such people are unique, so it is difficult for them to adapt to a society whose rules they do not conform to.

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.

Option 2

(394 words) What do people mean when they say, “I want to be myself”? I think these words express their determination to live according to their own patterns, according to individual standards of behavior. They always decide for themselves what to do and what to do, without adapting to the “changeable world.” We often meet such heroes in literature.

For example, A.N. Ostrovsky, in the play “The Thunderstorm,” introduced us to Katerina, a young woman who was able to remain faithful to her convictions, despite the pressure of an oppressive mother-in-law and the negative influence of the merchant environment. The heroine has always been a free and active girl, drowning in poetic dreams and thirsting for love. Mutual understanding and respect reigned in her house. However, after marriage, she was faced with the sanctimonious morality, cruelty and rudeness of Kabanikha, who tyrannized all family members and changed them for herself. In her opinion, all household members had to fear her and obey only her will in everything. Katerina was not ready to put up with this tyranny and objected to Marfa Ignatievna, again and again receiving reproaches, nagging, and accusations in response. But her mother-in-law’s aggression did not prevent the heroine from realizing her cherished and sinful dream - to be in the arms of a loved one, and not a weak-willed husband indifferent to her fate. Katerina, despite Kabanikha’s attempt to change her daughter-in-law, remained herself and made a personal choice, without adapting to the demands of the environment. Even her confession of adultery indicates that loyalty to her convictions was Katerina’s main moral principle. She never gave up on them, so she chose death - the only way to remain herself in a world pressing on her from all sides.

The heroine of I.A.’s story is no less principled and categorical. Bunin "Clean Monday". She was rich, beautiful, young, educated, and the whole world was at her feet. The successful suitor persistently courted her and was ready for a serious relationship. The father did not oppress his daughter and provided her with every opportunity for self-determination. It would seem that her fate is predetermined: a wonderful match, a wealthy life, a passion for art. The world around her dictated a certain pattern of behavior, which she did not follow. The heroine was a deeply religious person and saw her calling in monastic asceticism, and not in worldly entertainment. Having become close to her chosen one and having known love, she forever renounced the world and made the final choice in favor of religious activity. Despite the protests of her boyfriend, father, and entourage, she did as she wanted. This is the embodiment of the principle of “be yourself.”

Thus, remaining oneself in a society that imposes universal values ​​and aspirations is possible only at the cost of a constant struggle for one’s independence. He who has individuality has the strength and patience to defend his point of view.

Don't be afraid of your vulnerabilities

Another important step to becoming yourself is to show your vulnerability. Most of us do not want to show those traits of ourselves that we don’t like, that scare us or make us feel ashamed, embarrassed, and weak. It's not easy to share these parts of yourself. And you, too, are probably worried: what if others change their attitude towards you, push you away or brand you with offensive words? It's scary to be so openly vulnerable - it's like showing a wound and admitting to others where it hurts. However, take the risk of being this way and it will become much easier for you.

How to be yourself

What prevents you from being yourself:

  • dependence on other people's opinions;
  • diffidence;
  • low self-esteem;
  • lack of self-esteem;
  • non-acceptance of oneself;
  • desire to be the best;
  • negative thinking;
  • psychotraumas of the past that force you to beg for someone else’s love, try to please others, live for others in order to avoid punishment and condemnation or for the sake of praise;
  • low level of emotional intelligence;
  • ignorance of one’s individual psychological characteristics, inadequate self-image.

Determine what is stopping you - this is what you need to deal with first. The second important element is self-knowledge.

Each person is unique and individual. You will not even meet two people with absolutely the same set of inclinations and the same temperament. This is important in the work of finding and preserving oneself. You need to find your individuality, life purpose, calling. To be yourself is to develop abilities, to reveal the potential of the individual.

Start self-discovery by talking to yourself. For example, ask questions like these:

  1. What I like?
  2. What can I do?
  3. What can I do?
  4. What do I want to do with my life?
  5. What kind of career do I want to build? Why do I want this?
  6. What are my advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses?
  7. What is included in my value system?
  8. What social roles do I play?
  9. Am I dependent on the opinions of people around me?
  10. Do my parents influence me?
  11. What am I afraid of, what is holding me back and preventing me from living the way I want?
  12. What am I ashamed of, what do I want to hide from others?

Pay special attention to the last point. Once you figure out what you're trying to hide, start consciously telling other people about it. If it’s hard to decide, then you can start by communicating on the Internet or, if it’s something asocial or immoral, by visiting a psychologist.

Through honest answers to questions, you will gain a better understanding of yourself and an understanding of what you need to fight: dependent relationships with parents, imposed fear of failure, stereotypes, the need for praise and approval, etc.

But the work doesn't end there. Next, you need to define and set personal boundaries. These are those words, actions, deeds, circumstances that you do not accept in a relationship. For example, insults, unnecessaryness, disrespect, selfishness.

How to set personal boundaries and become yourself:

  1. Take care of yourself, respect your needs, don't sacrifice your well-being. Let's imagine that your friends like to go to a club, but you don't like it. Or you decided to get rid of bad habits such as smoking and alcohol abuse. Say it directly. If your friends are reliable, then together you will find an alternative way to meet, and if not, then why do you need such friends?
  2. Be persistent in maintaining personal boundaries. If you are not heard the second time, then leave the relationship. But first, warn that you will leave if your boundaries are violated again.
  3. Allow yourself to show real emotions, be in different moods, and say what you want to say. For a prosperous life in society, every person sometimes has to smile on duty or keep silent about something - these are elements of ethics and tact. But there is no need to take this to the point of absurdity and drive yourself into strict limits in all respects, to live for other people.
  4. Do not confuse psychological flexibility and servility, dependence on the environment. Psychological flexibility is the ability to navigate a situation, change behavior or play another social role for one’s own well-being and the well-being of a significant, authoritative environment. Subservience is a constant sacrifice of oneself, a change of behavior and role, regardless of one’s own well-being.
  5. Learn to say no. Remember how many times you went to the cinema with a friend, although you didn’t want to watch this movie. Or how many times have you choked on bad coffee because you were afraid to communicate your preferences or admit that you don’t drink coffee. Learn to speak. This is not arrogance, not a way to offend someone. This is how you talk about your features. Whether they are accepted or not is other people’s problem. It is enough for you that you accept and value yourself. And rest assured, there will be many people who will accept your characteristics. Of course, if you also know how to accept the characteristics of other people.
  6. Develop emotional intelligence. You need to learn to hear and feel yourself. The better you feel emotions, desires, feelings and experiences, the easier it is to say “yes, I want this”, “no, I won’t go with you”, “I don’t agree with you, I feel bad about this option, let’s come up with another plan actions that suit both of us."
  7. As for personal choices, you need to start small: choosing leisure time, a dish for lunch, a movie to watch. Identify what you're unhappy with, but don't make big decisions right away. For example, you shouldn’t quit your job and go “nowhere”. First you need to understand what you want and can do, perhaps undergo additional training, then find a couple of suitable options, think through all the risks and difficulties, possible consequences, and lay down a financial safety net.
  8. Follow the same approach in all areas of your life. Planning is an important element in starting the journey of advocating for yourself. Later everything will go like clockwork, but first you need to break yourself, get out of your comfort zone.

How to know that you have become yourself: you are not afraid of loneliness, you are comfortable alone with yourself and, by and large, you don’t care what others think about you. You must understand that standing up for yourself is a complex, long process that requires enormous willpower, determination, perseverance, patience, self-respect and self-love. Without self-acceptance and self-knowledge, realistic self-perception, nothing will come of it.

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.

Accept yourself

Society can make you feel unattractive. Models and actors, of course, look gorgeous, but that doesn't mean you should feel worse about it. But because you don't want to give up your addiction to social networks - the addiction that supposedly brings you friends, entertainment and just pleasant memories - you continue to pretend. Society sets the bar incredibly high, so no matter how hard you try to improve yourself, you will always feel like you are failing. Exit? Just accept yourself as you are.

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