Should You just “Be Yourself” and Remain the Same, or Should You Change and Improve?
“DON’T ACT LIKE SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT, JUST BE YOURSELF!”
I hear a lot of people spouting off this new age aphorism “Just be yourself” and “Don’t try to be something your not”….
Or even ones like “Don’t change always be true to yourself!”
And I can’t believe how many of these people buy into it without realizing what complete and utter nonsense it is.
So how exactly does one “just be yourself?” or “not act like somebody else?”
DO THE PEOPLE WHO SAY THESE THINGS REALLY NOT REALIZE THAT ALL BEHAVIOR IS LEARNED FROM OTHERS???
Saying “Be yourself” and “Don’t act like something your not” is a paradox that has no real meaning. Its new age individualist propaganda that is meant to stop peoples learning from others and break up our conscious sense of community and the shared experience of growth, which is characterized by sharing information and resources in our mutual learning experience in life, and helping one another to evolve.
You think you are empowering yourself by thinking in this misty feel good new age way of “just be yourself and (insert good thing that will happen because of it here)” but you are actually dis-empowering yourself by cutting yourself off from your sources of information which have actually built your very personality. These sources are the people around you.
Think about it. Where did you learn to talk the way you do? Act the way you do and do the things you do? Dress the way you do? Think the way you do? You sure as hell didn’t come out of your mom’s womb doing it, and you sure as hell didn’t come up with it all on your own! If you were to truly not ever act like something you were not originally, you would still be a mental infant. So if you really want to be truly yourself without acting like anyone else, go back to acting like a baby.
But you can’t, its impossible to not have used what you’ve learned from other behavioral models you’ve picked up from all the other people in your life. Its how our brains work, because its how we survive, and its how we evolve as characters. We see or hear something and our brain takes it in and assimilates it and uses it to improve how we are moving forward. The people who do not learn from their environment loose the ability to survive and die off. It’s part of natural selection. You either adapt or die.
And how could you possibly ever “not be yourself” anyway??? Seriously…think about it…You cant ever act like something you are not…You are always yourself no matter how you are acting or if you learned to do what you are doing from seeing someone else do it. Even if I see a funny character in a movie and imitate him in front of my friends to get a laugh, I am still being myself, even when I’m acting like someone else! YOU CANT EVER NOT BE YOURSELF! YOU WILL ALWAYS BE YOU! Everything you do is being yourself regardless of whether you picked it up from someone else you saw doing it or not, it always has been and always will be. And it was almost ALWAYS learned from other sources.
Sure we sometimes come up with stuff on our own. But usually when we’ve done this it was inspired by something outside of ourselves as well. Think about it, even the most creative people get their inspiration from others. Even if you come up with a really great idea, there was still probably something that made you think of it, some outside source that started the thought processes that created this idea. So through direct modelling or inspiration, one way or another, your thoughts and behaviors were influenced and learned from outside sources.
A great example is fashion. I am a very creative dresser, and really enjoy using fashion as a mode of self expression. An art form that I use to idealize myself image as an expression of my identity and who I am as a person. But I buy many of the clothes I buy because I saw other people wearing ones like them and thought that they looked good on them, and that their specific style was one that would fit my own fashion. Does that mean I’m being something I’m not when I am wearing clothes I saw on a model?
And now lets talk about a business example. Like most successful business people, I have plenty of mentors and teachers who have taught me how to do things and behave in certain ways that have helped me to evolve and succeed in life. Does that mean I am not being myself and am acting like someone I’m not when I do so?
NO! Life is a process of growth and Self Actualization. A process of BECOMING YOUR BEST SELF. Not a process of staying the same and remaining in an obsolete childish character model that you are born into. And this process of growth and self actualization happens through a long elaborate series of changes to your character. The difference between those who succeed and those who do not, is that those who do not are not in control of these changes, so they do not make many positive changes, and remain in a very immature state of being, and most of the changes that do occur to them in their lives are negative. However those who choose to be in control of these changes make sure they are positive, and thus they succeed in life by learning, improving, growing, and in the end self actualizing and becoming their ideal self.
And what is really being “True to Yourself” as they say? Is it being true to yourself to remain the same way you always were even if it means not growing or succeeding in life? Because that to me is NOT Self Actualization. Self Actualization is about becoming your “IDEAL SELF”. And it is the Ideal Self that IS THE TRUE SELF. That’s why they call it “SELF ACTUALIZATION.” And doesn’t it seem like self actualizing and becoming your ideal self, the person you really want to be in life, is actually being more true to yourself than anything?
I always thought that giving myself the success that I wanted in life and developing the lifestyle I want, and more importantly becoming the person that I want is really being true to myself. Not fearing change and resisting the adoption of new behaviors because it seems like you are “being something you are not naturally“…because guess what! CHANGE IS NATURAL! It is not the nature of things to stay the same! It is their nature to change and grow! But if you want to live in mental infancy go ahead, and you can bear the negative effects of refusing to grow as a human being.
However I for one prefer to evolve and succeed in life. Because that is the choice we are able to make here. Everything in life is a choice, things do not all just happen naturally, success is not something that just happens to us, we have to make it happen by choosing to improve ourselves and our lives continually over time. And refusing to choose to change, doesn’t mean that you wont change, and the choice wont be made for you, and when it is it wont be in your favor.
So what will you choose? Success or Failure? Because if you are not born with success, which no one is, then you have to act like something you are not in order to be a successful person…Better to choose to learn from, model yourself after, and be mentored and trained by successful people, than remain in a state of ignorant infancy for your whole life. Right?
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