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what does "Be yourself" mean


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Hi all,


actually I am shy person and fearful too. Now I am 27 and all my life always goes around these 2 words. I posted in this forum before, like I feel very fearful being in a group; if I say this what would others think of it. If I do this what others would think about this. How this guy is. Even my confidence going down as my life increase. What the F**k with my life.


I am working with an Org. and when ever I think that I should go for new one for my growth to learn new thing, I stuck with a fear, what people think about me there OR Can I get through the interview.


And many more issue like those in my professional and personal life. Being fearful even I couldn't manage my relationships with my friends etc. I always with fear of being laughed at, fear of being exposed. They say that why you think so much. You are frustrated. Don't think too much just live life fully. and be your self


If I am like that and after they say BE YOURSELF, If I do the same I'll always be like what I am now.


Please let me out of this. I think I should be somewhere else where I am now; if I wasn't so fearful.



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Well, you answered your own question. "Be yourself" means to stop second guessing yourself. Stop over analysing situations and let things just happen. Sure, it is good to have control over various social situations, but constantly thinking "What does that person think of me?" "Are they laughing at me?" and things like that really show on the outside. Your anxiety shows and people realise how tense you are.

I don't know a simple way for you to "get over" that. I struggled with this in high school as well, not sure how, but I have since come out of my shell, and more often than not, I feel comfortable in social situations. I don't have a magic remedy for this to help you, but I know you just need to take it one step at a time. Surround yourself with people (even if it's just a few people) that you feel comfortable with, and do it a lot. Try and switch off the negative thoughts when around these people and 'be yourself'. I think this is just how I got over my shyness.

Good luck

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''Be yourself'' is the best advice ever, if only you're cool, calm and collected person who's got his act together, is worry-free and feels like a million bucks. Strong and confident and basically being your ideal-self.


If you're not that, then ''be yourself'' is the worst advice you could receive. And if you yourself feel that being yourself is not what you like, then don't be yourself but try to become the one you would like to be. Set a goal, imagine your ideal-self and work towards it.


We grow all the time, we can get stuck and sometimes we need to be pushed to start growing again.

When a baby is born, you don't tell to it ''just be yourself'' and leave it be. So I find it very stupid to tell anyone at any age to just ''be yourself''. What it basically translates to, if you are a loser, is ''stay a loser''. Not much of a helpful advice, is it.


What I tell people instead is ''be the best that you can be''. That way you'll always keep on growing and ultimately you'll be happy.

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So that means be your self means... be what you like to be (right now I am not what I like be Or what I want to be) and do act towards it, behave like I am this ?


Generally speaking, in order to grow, you must step outside your comfort zone. Being who you are is your comfort zone, trying to be who you are not is stepping out of it. So you correctly assume that you need to behave like the person you want to be. It's not pretending, this is not an actors act, it's growing your personality. It's real stuff as opposed to theatrical play. Everything you do will leave some kind of experience within you and on that experience you build more and more.


For example, if you're not confident talking to strangers, you go out and pretend to be confident and talk to a stranger. At first it will seem scary, and you will most probably feel the rush of experiencing new thing, your pretended confidence won't last long and you'll be back to where you were maybe in couple of first sentences. But that's OK, you made one step out of your comfort zone, next time you'll know what it's like to make one so you'll make two steps and so on. And before you know you carry a bag full of experience you've never dreamed of and are the person who could just as well be proud of ''being himself''.

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I actually think it literally means 'be yourself', as opposed to trying to be something that you're not. I think a fundamental problem is that people often try to put on a mask or an image of something that they're not, thus creating a schism which prevents personal growth because you are actually denying some of the problems that are preventing you from growing. You need to face that head on first, and then you can work forward and ask yourself where you want to go/ who you want to 'become'.

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I always figured it is accepting yourself for who you are and finally not caring what others think; and by not caring what others think your social anxieties decrease until you're fine in any social situation.


It is hard and daunting at first, and what sucks is that if you don't keep at it there /will/ be setbacks. Its like a muscle you need to consistently exercise or it will atrophy from disuse. (I also see it as a Sims' 'social bar' that needs to be filled up occasionally all the way to green, or like a human version of one of Cesar Milan's dogs but instead of learning to be 'dog' my social interactions are teaching me to be 'human'.)

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I always figured it is accepting yourself for who you are and finally not caring what others think; and by not caring what others think your social anxieties decrease until you're fine in any social situation.



I know I said I'm gone from here, but nontheless I had to check back for replies on threads I left ''open'' or I contributed to with some piece of advice. And here I'm reading this.


In other words what you are saying a person that feels like a loser, should make peace with himself that he's a loser, stay loser and stop caring about what others think?


And define ''who you are''.. you are always growing and based on the flow of experiences which you go through each day you are CHANGING. So today you are not the same person you were yesterday and tomorrow you'll be somebody else. Now tell me, at which point do you say '' OK, this is who I'm''... today, tomorrow, a week, a year from now? When ? Never.


The thing is this, you are who you are today, you recognize who you are and you imagine who you want to be. And if you have this image of ideal-self then tomorrow you'll be one step closer to it as opposed to being someone who has no direction. Trying to be someone you're not, is most probably trying to be who you want to be. And it's all good, because if you don't have a goal, idea, dream of who you want to be, then chances are you will be someone always fed up with yourself, unless you give up completely. But see where this ''giving up leads''.. if you come to peace with who you are today, and say you're not a wonderful person and you know it, but force yourself to be OK with it anyway, then your life will go downhill. Because there's no spark to aspire for being the best that you can be. And even worse, what you are missing with such mind set - the whole world! There is a whole world of happiness and satisfaction, but you have to work on yourself and strive for being the best you can be everyday to reach it.


Giving up and staying loser and telling yourself it's OK, doesn't bring any more happiness nor opportunities of wonderful things to your life.

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What is the definition of loser? How is he in any shape or form a loser that he would remain so when not caring what others think? If you go around fixating on what people think of you you'll never be happy. Why? Because there is no 'right' and 'wrong' that would be equally acceptable accross the board. Human nature is just far too varied for you to satisfy everyone.


And you're right, there is never a defining moment of who you are because they are /all/ who you are. You are capable of everything your body is capable of and nothing. You can act like a nerdy geek one day and a jock another, who is to say that you can't be both? Why must you choose one defining factor of who you are rather than an amalgamation of everything?


Your 'ideal self' should always be what you strive for, but worrying about what others think of you, about what others tell you and what society expects of you does not exactly ensure that you will achieve that either. You, by the very virtue of being you, can achieve your ideal self /because/ you maintain who you are, because of your own capabilities.

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What is the definition of loser?


Everyone's definition is different and it is based on one's standards and boundaries, which are usually derived, after one's own consideration, from standards and boundaries of your environment or those you know. In the end, it'll always be based on what others think, do and say, because what others think, do and say is THAT knowledge you got, is THAT experience you were through. You can't ignore the outer world and its influence on you. What others think matters, not too much, but it does. There is a balance, between giving it too much importance and ignoring it completely.


The bottom line is to justify what you do yourself, and in the world of opportunities and vast range of opinions those you choose to believe and live up to are YOUR CHOICE and YOUR DEFINITION of a loser.

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I think there are different conceptions of 'who you are' and its purpose here. It's not about making peace with yourself as a loser. It's about facing yourself, faults and all, honestly and facing your issues head on. Lots of people go around in part denial about themselves, and try to be what they are not without actually looking themselves in the mirror and addressing their problems head on. You have to let go of false image projections and 'be yourself' for the target setting and further work to be successful. The two are not in opposition. One is a basis and point of departure for the other.

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I think gingerlemon put it in a beautifully eloquent way.


...Basically? What she said.


And like you said: "...in the world of opportunities and vast range of opinions those you choose to believe and live up to are YOUR CHOICE and YOUR DEFINITION of a loser." Which in my opinion matches what I said: "You, by the very virtue of being you, can achieve your ideal self /because/ you maintain who you are, because of your own capabilities." (Bold added by me.)


We both agree that is the choice of the person, and being themselves mean they pick what to believe in, not others - sure, outside factors have influence but the bottom line is that it is your choice because in the end it is only you who knows yourself the best. So be yourself...

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Just some new food for thought:


I used to be ridiculously shy when I was younger. It always seemed like a horrible thing and I'd try time and time again to change it (I'm in the performing arts, too, and saw it as an extra negative quality there). When I went to college I was determined to "fix" this thing about myself. The first two days I pushed myself. I knocked on doors of floormates, put on a super energetic face, and tried to be "the person I wanted to be." After two days I was exhausted and depressed and felt all wrong.


A few years later, I accepted my shyness. I took a look at my "perceived flaws" and decided they were okay, and didn't pressure myself to involve myself in conversation if I didn't feel compelled. Suddenly I started contributing a lot more and feeling more comfortable in social situations. I recently made another move alone to a new city, and this was the smoothest one yet. I still second guess myself socially, but I would no longer consider myself a shy person.


Sometimes it's more about realizing you're okay right where you are, and letting the change occur on its own.

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Recognise that you have one life to live and it'll be over before you know it. Recognise that it is you that has to live your life, not anyone else. You are living out your own subjectivity, manifesting yourself as you go alone. Recognise life is not a dress rehearsal and proceed accordingly. Value your own happiness and wellbeing over the opinion of others. That way you start to care less what they think and care more what you think.

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