Who are you really? Oscar Wilde said it best — “Be yourself; everyone else is taken” Authenticity is a hallmark of resilience. Even if you are confident and sure that you are comfortable being yourself, there is often room to go a little deeper — an opportunity to uncover another layer f authenticity and free yourself to be unapologetically you. Not being at ease with yourself can be exhausting. You might not even realize the amount of energy that’s being drained by keeping up appearances, attempting to be perfect, pleasing other people, and trying to make yourself fit into situations that are simply not you. Consider these five strategies to help you maximize your best your:
1. Say what you need to say: Too afraid to speak up? That’s a clear sign you are not being true to yourself. Identify at lease one situation in which you have not said what you need to say. Don’t waste precious energy pretending all is well when it isn’t.
2. Wear what makes you feel your best. It may seem superficial, but it’s not. Clothing is a language all its own. Dress in a way that makes you feel good.
3. Do what you know is right. There’s nothing more authentic than living your values. When your actions don’t line up, inner turmoil will follow. Do what’s right and you’ll have a sense of peace about your decisions and actions.
4. Give yourself permission to be imperfect. When you value the journey as much as or more than the destination, you embrace the fact that there will be bumps in the road. But they don’t have to keep you from reaching your purpose.
5. Breathe. When you find yourself anxious, take a deep breath, let the air in and out – slowly. It’s a simple concept that can make an immense improvement in your life and daily well-being — just like being yourself.
In what situation are you most likely not to be yourself? What do you need to do to be who you really are? Start today.