If you are anything like me, you hear the phrase “Be Yourself” and you either are left feeling inspired or just incredibly frustrated. Without context, this phrase can be cliché and rather empty. If you are in a moment of confusion or uncertainty Be Yourself can just leave you asking – what does that even mean?
In today’s world we are inundated with messages and curated images and endless articles prescribing, “If you do these 7 things” you will be successful/happy/productive/a morning person. It all can just leave you wondering exactly how you can live a life of “being you,” because the perception is that everyone else’s life just looks so much better and they seem to have it all figured out.
Our society is OBSESSED with celebrity culture and we are endlessly sold that their lives are what should be emulated. Then a story comes out that they are “secretly” an alcoholic or a cutter or in an abusive relationship – or an abuser – signaling that the life we have been sold is most likely completely inaccurate. They have just been packaged into an image to sell a movie, or a shampoo, or a lifestyle or football tickets. If you could sit down with them for a candid conversation – would they be the same person you were told they were? Would you appreciate your life more instead of coveting the life that you thought looked so perfect?
BE Yourself (or BE You) is one of the more popular things that people pick to put on the BE board for The Be Stories. I wanted to dive into this a bit more and offer up some advice and perspective from the people who chose to write and speak about this – in the hopes that it might put a bit more depth and value behind the ever popular phrase “Be Yourself.”
Mandy sat with me at Denver Startup Week and discussed the importance of muting the external voices in our lives in order to be able to live your personal authentic life.
Willy, a young entrepreneur, spoke about how writing down his own personal core values, is what keeps him grounded. He uses them to remind him about what is truly important to him.
Jessica, an artist at the Cherry Arts Festival expressed how by doing work that complements her skills and personality it then keeps her focused on what is genuine to her. If you just emulate others, then your work is not creatively different.
Jessi, a painter, shared that there is a lot of power in being able to laugh at yourself. When you stay positive, and have the ability to see yourself as human and therefore flawed, you are more accepting of exactly who you are.
So – four pieces of advice on how you can live your own life of being – 1) quiet the external voices as much as you can 2) write down your own individual core values and let that drive you 2) do work that naturally complements your strengths and personality and 4) laugh at yourself, trying your best to not take it all too seriously.
Life is just more interesting when we are all our unique human selves.