Be yourself; everyone else is already taken – Oscar Wilde
One of the most difficult task in the world is discovering oneself. Discovering oneself can be very challenging because as human beings, we are always evolving. In my first published book “Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright To Success”, which centers on self-discovery, I wrote about: “Understanding Your Uniqueness” in chapter two and stressed that everyone is unique and wired to function differently.
As mentioned earlier, discovering yourself can be very challenging because you’ll be constantly asking yourself: Who am I? What do I want? What am I here for? If you are able to answer these questions, you can confidently say to yourself you know yourself. If no, I will strongly recommend you consider answering them for a better understanding of your life and business in general.
Being yourself is not limited to humanity alone, it also relates to engaging with life generally. For instance, if you want to venture into business, fashion, entertainment, sports, academic, or even being an artisan worker, you have to figure out a way which best suits your personality., otherwise you may be setting up yourself for failure. It’s quite unfortunate many people try to imitate and compare themselves to other people. This lifestyle doesn’t add up because it only comes with a temporary success if at all you will succeed. When you concentrate your energy on what you are naturally good and talented at, you have greater opportunities of producing excellent results.
In our contemporary society, there’s so much competition everywhere among individuals, businesses, churches, and work environments. Everyone is trying to outsmart the other party or business just to remain the number one in the position. It’s instructive to note this is not a healthy lifestyle. This lifestyle is not limited to business alone, even job applicants are not left out. Amidst all this competition and depending on what you are looking out for, the best and surest way to stand out is by being yourself and showcasing what’s unique about you. Let’s say you have the passion to engage in business, your ability to know what kind of product/service to venture into in addition to knowing what best for you gives you an edge above your competitors. Most people venture into a business just because they see it is flourishing or their friends are thriving in it. They didn’t take their time to research or even learn the skill neither did they consider knowing if it’s something they are passionate or wired to do. Your ability to create a niche for yourself will go a long way in defining your path in life.
Let’s share some practical examples of how you can be yourself
Don’t compare yourself to others:
This is the fastest way to not only fail in life but also lose value. Comparing yourself to another person or comparing your business to another business is the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone. Don’t me get it twisted, competition and comparison are good if only it is a healthy one. You can learn from the person or the business just to see how they were able to succeed, but not trying to imitate their style. When you are the original version of yourself, there’s an uncommon brand and style you bring to the table that makes you unique.
Focus on your growth and ignore what people say
You need to come to the reality that in life, people will doubt your motives and question your authenticity, but that shouldn’t deter you from moving ahead. It is because the philosopher was too busy focusing on the mountain that’s ahead of him that he forgot to see the ditch that was in front of him and he fell into it. Stop caring about how people perceive you. Some of them will like you and some of them won’t. It is normal for individuals who have been a part of your life to use older versions of you as a reference, which might be discouraging considering the massive gap between who you were and who you want to be. Again, that shouldn’t bother you from becoming you who are trying to become.
Express your individuality
You can’t be anyone and no one can be you. Even two identical twins are not the same being. Originality and simplicity is the beauty of life. We live in a world where everyone wants you to conform to a particular standard or lifestyle. Your ability to differentiate yourself is very critical to your success. There’s something unique and special about you. As you grow more and more confident about what makes you a unique individual, you should find outlets that validate these characteristics. When you do, the onus is on you to exercise it and put yourself to test.
Stand up for your values
We all have values. Our values are what separates us from everyone. It should be noted that if you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for anything. Your values are what defines you. Every company/business has a value system. You can call the values vision because it embodies the aims and objectives of the organization. It’s not just your hobbies and your personality that makeup who you are. The things you stand for significantly reflect your identity. Even staying silent about specific controversies say a lot about you as a person, so choose your battles conscientiously. Be confident in who you are becoming: As you become more comfortable in your skin, you will face detractors who will challenge everything about you.
Quit Pleasing People
Always wanting everyone’s love and respect is a totally pointless exercise, in the end that can harm your personal development and confidence. Who cares what other people say? As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” . What matters most is that you listen to your own inner confidence and if it’s missing, you need to start developing it. The best way to quit pleasing people is by loving and appreciating yourself. Self-love is priceless! It is very normal for people to talk about you. If no one talks about you, it is either because you are not doing anything or you are nothing. However, that shouldn’t be your focus, your energy and attention should be how to better yourself and your business. According to Aristotle, the only way to avoid criticism is say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.
As long as you are a living being, human beings will talk about you. So, what’s the way forward? Be yourself. Remember, you have just one life to live and it’s not a borrowed life, so be happy with yourself and enjoy it while it lasts….
Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success. He can be reached via email@example.com