Who are you?
Ever asked yourself this question?
Have you ever contemplated the fact that you are a different person to different people?
You may be a husband or wife to your partner, a brother or sister to your siblings.
You may be a mother, a father and at the same time a son or daughter.
You could be a neighbour, an acquaintance, a work colleague or a best friend, depending on your relationship to the other people around you.
You may even find yourself being a teacher in the daytime and a student in the evenings.
Which brings us back to the question of, “Who are you?”
We play many different roles in life for different people. If you don’t think this is true, ask yourself if you would talk to a 5-year old in the same way you speak to your boss.
So when someone says to you, “Just be yourself”, well which one of these “selves” do they mean?
William Shakespeare once said in one of his plays,
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts”.
So, what is meant by “Just be yourself?”
I think what is meant is just learn to relax into whatever role you are playing and feel comfortable with it. Understand that we are always playing roles and learn to play new ones whenever you have to.
The reason I point this out is that sometimes, certain roles in life which we play do not create the outcomes that we desire.
Being overly kind to people in the hope they will like us or buy our product.
Being the victim of an abusive relationship.
Trying to please people all of the time rather than standing up and clearly stating what we want.
Allowing managers or work colleagues to bully or patronize us.
During these times, we must learn to take on a new role so that we stand up for ourselves and take what is rightfully ours.
Sometimes we need to be a leader, to stand up and give the impression we are strong.
Sometimes there is a time we need to feel and look confident, even though we aren’t.
When you see sportsman and women before a big game or a race, they may look confident and relaxed on the outside, but believe me, they are nervous as hell on the inside. But do they show it?
No. Because they are actors and actresses, just playing a role. The role of a winner.
There are times in our lives that we need to let go of the old roles that we used to play and take on the role of stronger people. For if we don’t, we will always find ourselves playing the victim.
To do this, we need to change our personality.
It is awkward and uncomfortable at first, but just remember this.
Life is nothing more than a game, a stage show. Perform the role you have to and when the times comes, just leave the stage without any fuss.
In order for us to change, it is important to observe the personalities of the people we would like to become. Watch how they stand, how they walk and observe how they act. Notice their voice, their calmness and confidence and mimic these personality traits. Imagine yourselves in their shoes and having their confidence and before you know it, it will become a part of your new personality.
Only then will people who once took advantage of you start to pay you respect. Only then can you become the person that you wish to be.
The expression “To be authentic, to be yourself” actually means nothing at all.
What we need to do is play a role and learn to feel comfortable with it. That is what is meant by “being yourself”.
So take a long hard look at your life and ask yourself whether or not your current personality is taking you to where you want to go in life or if it is holding you back.
If it is holding you back, then maybe it’s time to take on a new role.