On the face of it, ‘being you’ can seem to be the easiest, most natural thing in the world to accomplish. But the unacknowledged truth is that, from the time we are born, we are all under pressure to be anything but our authentic self. Instead, we are cajoled, influenced and herded by outside influences into pale (yet socially acceptable) imitations of who we truly are, and who we could be.
Be better at ‘Being You’
There are several ways we lose sight of who we be in our daily lives. This includes:
We are incredibly social creatures and so the ways we conform to please others is often totally unconscious and automatic. However, as common as this practice may be, divorcing you from important parts of yourself (habits, desires, joyful activities) to please others is a shortcut to unhappiness and unfulfilled living. Check in with yourself … how many times have you given up a habit, dream or target, or stopped doing something you truly love because someone close to you didn’t agree with or share your enthusiasm for that thing? To reconnect with you, ask yourself “Who would I be and what would I be doing today if everything was possible?”
Living in judgement
This is one of the most common and destructive ways we are taught to live our lives; where everything is “right” or “wrong”, where we are in comparison and competition with others, and where we live in constant judgement of others and ourselves. One of the most amazing things you can do for yourself is step out of judgement. Understand that there is no right, wrong, good, bad, success or failure … these are just judgements we make because of what we think is real, from our perspective, at any given time. Look at the same event from someone else’s point of view, or back through time, and you may see the situation in a completely different light. To step out of judgement, learn to regard everything as simply an interesting point of view. When you feel yourself going into judgement, tell yourself “interesting point of view. I have this point of view” until the judgement stops.
Owning other people’s stuff
It’s easy to go through life feeling separated from the world and other people ‘out there’, but we are actually constantly impacted by our environment in really subtle yet powerful ways. In fact, I encourage people to understand that 98% of our thoughts, feelings and intentions are not ours … we are soaking them up, like a sponge, from the people around us! This is a really important concept to realise if you truly want to ‘be you’. Feeling strangely upset, or anxious, or unsure, or demotivated? If you are not aware of the exact reason behind these emotions, chances are you are broadcasting someone else’s state of mind, like a radio receiver. To ensure you are able to ‘be you’ in this busy world, use the simple tool “who does this belong to?”. Ask yourself this question whenever you’re feeling unsure of your thoughts and emotions, and your mind will let go of anything that doesn’t belong to you. In fact, you may even feel the weight of others’ stuff lift off you like a blanket.
Forgetting about joy
Because of the way we are taught to live – because of our unconscious and constant attempts to please others, be good or right, and carry other people’s thoughts and expectations – life can often feel like nothing more than hard work. In fact, we are led to believe that life is supposed to be hard work; that it’s supposed to be a struggle, and fulfilment only comes if we earn it through our blood, sweat and tears. But, what if the purpose of life is actually to have fun? What if, by chasing our joy and choosing the opportunities that lift and inspire us, we are better placed to create everything else we want in life (wealth, success, a loving relationship)? When we choose to make joy a priority, we automatically ‘be ourselves’ with more truthfulness and potency. That’s because joy is not something we can inherit from someone else. It’s not something others can determine on our behalf, or create a passable imitation of. Joy is the key to ‘being you’, so reconnect with what makes you insanely joyful, and create more of it.
I agree with all the well-meaning advisors out there, that life is best lived when you choose to “just be yourself”. However, I believe that in order to do so, you must be willing to unlearn everything your family, friends and society have told you is true about you. Because, being you is not about being normal; it’s about breaking the mould, living free from judgement and approaching life as a joyful, playful adventure.
Maeva Tokoragi is a life coach, bodywork practitioner, and certified facilitator of the Being You self-enhancement program. Originally a professional Tahitian dancer, performer and voice over artist, Maeva is now an active entrepreneur and facilitator of several Access Consciousness® special programs.