We all play pretend when we’re young. The problem is, when some folks get older, they continue to play pretend. They pretend to be confident when they’re insecure; they pretend to have opinions when they’re members of groupthink; and they pretend to be successful when they’re barely making ends meet. Did you ever ask yourself why? If you can’t be yourself around others, who are you?
When you put on airs, you place greater emphasis on how you’re perceived than on being true to yourself; you care more about keeping up with the Joneses than about appreciating what you have; and you may even surrender your beliefs and values just to “fit in.” Above all else, how can you be fulfilled if you allow yourself to be a hostage to the whims of others?
People who are proud don’t need to pretend to be someone else.
Are You True to Yourself?
If you’re not sure whether you’re being true to yourself, consider the following.
- Think for yourself or follow the pack?
- Value others’ opinions more than your own?
- Try to please others or to satisfy your own needs?
- Value your public image more than your true self?
- Allow others to define acceptable standards or set them for yourself?
- Need affirmation before making decisions or use your own judgment?
- Change your appearance to impress others or take great comfort in being yourself?
- Feel guilty saying “no” or focus on your own priorities?
- Care more about being accepted than about being yourself?
- Compromise your integrity under pressure or adhere to your beliefs and principles?
The Secret of Life: Make Yourself Proud
If you’re not proud of who you are, you’ll never feel comfortable revealing your real self to others. Here are 11 factors to consider:
Accept personal responsibility. Personal responsibility can’t be delegated. It’s your life to live. Own it!
Live with honor and integrity. One of the true tests of integrity is your refusal to compromise your honor at any price.
Remain true to your values. Those who don’t stand for something usually fall for anything.
Invest in your personal growth. Never be too busy to learn. You’ll learn how vital that is.
Find your purpose. You may not have the control to lengthen your life, but you can do much to deepen it.
Do your best. Always give 110%. It’s the extra 10% that everyone remembers.
Leave your mark. Make everything you come into contact with better than how you found it.
Give more than you take. Give for the right reason — and that is, give for no reason at all.
Make a difference. While it’s tough to change the world, you can change the world around you.
Lead by example. You’re a role model. Act like one.
Set high standards. At the end of the day, if you’re not proud of who you are and the way you choose to live your life, little else matters.
Be True to Yourself
If you’re not the real you, who are you?
Do you live one way in public and another in private? Have you spent so much time masquerading as someone else that you don’t even remember who you really are? As Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, said, “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”
Take the mask off and let everyone see the real you. When you believe in yourself, you’ll take pride in yourself rather than pretending to be who others want you to be; you’ll lead the way rather than following the pack; you’ll think for yourself rather than yielding to peer pressure; and you’ll remain true to your values rather than blowing in the wind. The fact is, you’ll strive for standards that YOU set for yourself instead of seeking approval and validation from others. Make yourself proud. You have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.
Are You Proud to Be Yourself?
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