The importance of being you.

By Zoe Taylor

One of the most important things in life is realising who you truly are and embracing that. There’s no use pretending to be who you think the people around you want you to be, because I assure you they’ll be able to tell if you’re faking it.

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While it’s important to stay positive, it’s also important to address issues and events from your past (or maybe even your present) that negatively effect the way you see yourself today, because in order to be successful, you need to be confident in who you are, and believe that you are capable of achieving your dreams.

There are things in life that make us question who we are, make us think that our true selves aren’t ‘good’ enough or ‘cool’ enough or ‘deserving’ of anything good. Maybe you were bullied at school because of what you looked like, what your hobbies were or how you chose to dress. Maybe you’ve been lied to by the people who thought were your friends, or maybe you’ve looked back in retrospect at past relationships and realised that you’d been used. You may have been subjected to discrimination in the classroom or workplace.

Whatever you’ve been through, whatever it is that has made you feel like you have to pretend to be someone you aren’t, like you have to spend your days pleasing everyone else and neglect yourself, you need to understand the importance of overcoming these adversities and embracing who you are.

That’s all well and good, and easier said than done. Below is a list of tools you can use to help you be you, whoever you are.

Write a Journal

Writing a journal allows you to pour out your inner-most thoughts, no matter how dark or twisted you might think they are. The only person who can read your journal is you (provided you keep it in a secret hiding spot), so you have no choice but to be completely honest. Each time you write honestly in your journal, you’re allowing yourself to understand the truth about who you are. You’re allowing yourself to let go of any doubt or negativity you may have. And most importantly, you’re allowing yourself to be you.

Stop Comparing

The worst thing you could do is compare yourself to other people. It doesn’t matter how nice Sally’s hair is, or how good John is at soccer. What matters is which qualities of yours are nice, and what you’re good at. Write a list of all the positive things about yourself that you can think of, and hone in on those things. Once you stop comparing yourself to other people and recognise your good qualities, you’ll be well on the way to embracing who you truly are.

Surround Yourself With People Who Embrace Who You Are

The best way to be comfortable being yourself is to find people who love you for who you are. Once you fill your life with these positive people, you’ll be at ease with your true self.

Stop Trying to be a People Pleaser!

Sometimes it feels good to make others happy. But if you do it all the time, it starts to feel less and less rewarding, and suddenly you find yourself putting other people’s happiness before your own. Maintain a balance of both. Wanting to make others happy is a positive quality to have, but if it ever comes at the expense of your own happiness, think twice.

And finally, here’s an inspiring TED Talk by Caroline McHugh on The Art of Being Yourself:

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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