28 Feb I Just Want to Be Me
Q: I often feel I can’t speak my mind because people will make fun of me. I feel like I am two different people. One side of me is my ‘school-self’ and my other side is my ‘home-self’.
A: I think that we can all relate to this.
When you feel you are not being who you truly believe you are, you are most likely worrying about what others think of you. The true essence of who you are – your character – should not change from place to place. For example, if you are someone who is respectful to yourself and others that needs to be noticeable wherever you are, regardless of what others may think of you. Your character traits should be a constant wherever you are.
I remember my ‘home-self’ being different from my ‘school-self’. My ‘home-self’ felt and still feels freer – a place where I allow myself to relax and just be. When I am home I don’t worry about my clothes matching or what my hair looks like. I allow myself to feel my true emotions without worrying about feeling judged. Whereas my ‘school-self’ felt more self conscious – worried about what others thought about me – wanting to be liked and accepted by everyone. Even though I did have confident moments and many great times in school, I still had a nagging voice in my head saying, ‘What will others think? Do they really like you?’
There are times when being aware of what others think of us is beneficial. It can stop us from saying or doing something inappropriate or hurtful. However, looking back, I realize it was the self defeating thoughts that sometimes stopped me from being totally free to ‘Just Be Me’.
I still have moments when I worry about what other people think about me. However, now I recognize those moments.
That recognition gives me a choice to:
- Allow my thoughts and worries to hold me back from being my true self.
- Notice the thoughts and worries and then take a stand for who I believe I am regardless of other people’s opinions.
If you feel that you have to pretend to be someone or something that you are not in order to ‘fit in’, not only is it exhausting, it’s also frustrating. Being true to you is way more fulfilling than trying to be someone you are not. Your true friends will accept you for who you are whether you are your ‘home-self’ or your ‘school-self’. Feeling safe and comfortable to ‘just be you’ is very important. It will help keep you balanced, confident and able to bounce back from challenging opinions and emotions.
At the end of the day, when you look in the mirror, I believe it is imperative that you can say with confidence, ‘I am proud of who I was today. I’m proud of my choices.’
Until next time…