Just what is being true to yourself? We’ve all heard that we must be true to ourselves. What does this really mean? If we play with the phrase and turn it around, it can mean “Do not lie to yourself” or “Do not do things that are false to who you are.” If we think of being true to yourself in this manner, we must first come to understand who we are in the first place. And then, once we understand that, we can then go about finding ways to be true to ourselves – to allow ourselves to become who we really are and therefore be our happiest. As we all know, when we are happy, we are much more fun to be around with those who are closest to us because we are simply enjoying being alive.
So who are we and how do we find that out? Many, many people spend their entire lives trying to find this out, however we have an excellent article here which will get you well onto your way to finding out. Do you have 5 minutes to discover more about you and start making you feel happier and healthier? Of course you do! So read on!
For those of you who have been following our weekly newsletters on a regular basis, it is no surprise to find that it all starts out with a piece of paper (which really is your ticket to all sorts of things in life). So, get out your piece of paper and your pen or pencil and set aside that 5 minutes and do the following:
Write down 5 “I would like…” statements. These statements can be anything, and make sure that these statements are as selfish as possible. These are things that we would really like to have if we had no other cares in the world. In order to have a better understanding of who we are, we need to find out what we really want for ourselves. Examples: “I would like to have more time with my family”, “I would like to have more time alone”, “I would like to travel,” “I would like to learn knitting,” etc. If you can come up with more than 5, that’s great! Keep going until you can’t think of any more. Just come up with as many as you can and don’t overthink things. Just let it flow out of your pen and onto the paper.
Write down 5 strengths. These should all begin with the phrase, “I am good at…” When we understand our strengths as a person, we then get a better idea of who we are. Examples: “I am good at being a caregiver,” “I am good at golf”, “I am good at being a provider for my family.” While some of these might seem a little trivial (e.g. “I am good at golf”), if we look a little deeper at why we are good at that thing, then we understand more about ourselves. In our golf example, upon further examination, we may find that we are good at golf because we like the challenge of focusing on honing a skill until we become good at it. Or maybe we like golf because we have a very competitive nature. Or, maybe we simply like golf because we are removed from day-to-day challenges and stresses even if only for a little bit. Take a moment to understand why we like that thing and then write it down on our piece of paper. We may find that these are not strengths but simply give us a better understanding about who we are in general, which is what we really want here.
Write down 5 weaknesses. While we all have strengths, it is also important to understand our weaknesses. When we better understand these, we come to a truer understanding of ourselves. As you write these, do not get down on yourself. We all have weaknesses and this is part of the wonderful thing that makes us human. To a certain degree we must celebrate our weaknesses as long as they are not harmful to ourselves or to others. Examples: “I can be lazy,” “I have a short temper,” “I do not stand up for myself on occasion,” “I am not a good housecleaner.” Similar to the strength exercise above, some may seem trivial, but when examined further, we discover more about ourselves. In our example of “I am not a good housecleaner,” if we look further at it, we may discover that we are not a good housecleaner simply because we have too many things going on in our life that take priority over housecleaning leading us to understand what we really need to do here is take time to simplify our lives so that we have more time to do other things. Or we may find that we are experiencing bouts of depression which are making us unmotivated, which should be an indicator that we need to get help.
Now that we have assembled our lists, we need to write a quick summary of each.
Example summary of Wants based upon above examples:
“I would like to have more time with my family, but also have more time to do things by myself to recharge my batteries. I would also like to travel and take up knitting. This indicates to me that if I can set aside some alone time for me doing things like knitting, I can then enjoy myself more when I am with family and maybe even travel with them for fun family get-togethers. It would also be great to travel alone with the person that I’m closest too. I want to enjoy life and it is important for me to go out and experience it with those I care about.”
Example of summary of Strengths based upon above examples:
“I am good at taking care of my family and those that I care about. I’ve found that I’m really good at golf because I’m temporarily removed from all of the cares in my life and am able to selfishly focus on being good at something which gives me personal satisfaction. This means to me that when I’m able to be good at something, I achieve a strong sense of self-worth, making me happier and a better person to be with.”
Example of summary of Weakness based upon above examples:
“Through my self-examination, I’ve found that I can experience depression at times causing me to become unmotivated and negative towards myself. These thoughts are self-limiting and hold me back from being truly happy. This is an area of life that I need to focus on improving, because if I can tackle this one, the sky’s the limit!”
Now that we’ve identified what we want, what are our strengths and what are our weaknesses, we need to feel good about ourselves and then set goals on addressing and achieving these goals. We need to learn to feel good about ourselves, for if we are able to do this, we will find it much easier to be true to who we are as a person. See our articles on being positive, dedication, perseverance and confidence for help on achieving all of these things. Then see our article on setting goals for easy steps on going about this.
Now that we’ve summarized everything for you nicely here. Take action on these items. Dare to live! When you get to it you will find that being true to ourselves is really doing what we need to make us a fuller, happier human being. When we are true to ourselves, life becomes a joy to live and we are able to handle the ups and downs of life much better. So get to it. Be true to yourself!