5 ways to own yourself.
Just be yourself. I’ve heard this advice many times before but it is a lot easier said than done, especially if you’re a shy person like myself.
So how do you own who you are despite what other people think or say? It starts with knowing yourself, the good and the bad, and accepting it fully.
This seems too simple to be true, yet, why is it so hard?
Let’s take a deeper dive into what it means to truly own yourself, the reasons why it’s okay to be yourself, and how to live your life on your own terms.
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. Lao Tzu
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO OWN WHO YOU ARE?
Owning who you are takes courage and integrity.
I remember this kid in junior high who was being bullied constantly by the boys in the school. He was almost always by himself and looked and dressed differently from everyone else, so he easily fell victim to his bullies.
The girls were no better than the boys. Most of us would just stand by and watch the boys bully him on the playground. One day, one of the girls had the courage to tell the boys to leave him alone. Miraculously, they did.
She even bought him a Valentine’s Day gram. These were cards filled with messages and heart candy that you bought for your friends in school or someone you liked.
I remember admiring her courage and conviction for standing up to the bullies and showing compassion for another human being.
In retrospect, I truly wished I had been more like her instead of wanting to fit in with the crowd. She risked being bullied herself but stuck to her principles and won.
Being yourself can be hard because it might mean opening yourself up to ridicule and rejection. However, owning who you are and doing the right thing is worth it because it means more freedom, choices, and living life on your own terms.
We are the ones we have been waiting for. - Alice Walker
THE BENEFITS OF BEING YOURSELF.
Research shows that there is a positive correlation between authenticity and well-being. A person is more likely to share their unique ideas and perspectives if they don’t feel pressured to fit in.
If people are free to express their individuality, they are more likely to:
“expand their thoughts and behaviors leading them to accrue useful resources. Similarly, the greater diversity that results from people feeling comfortable exhibiting their uniqueness would allow for more strategies and resources to be developed and utilized in solving difficult societal problems, as well as more avenues for people to express their uniqueness.”
To expand on this, the broaden and build theory by Barbara Frederickson states that positive emotions can help broaden a person’s thought processes and coping strategies.
When a person cultivates positive emotions, they build on their personal resources to help buffer against negative emotions. It also suggests that positive emotions may optimize a person’s resilience, health, and well-being.
Data supports the connection between authenticity and well-being, as well as the human desire to stand out from others.
This is important because owning yourself may lead to greater satisfaction and happiness in your life.
Authenticity may also enhance power and contribute to psychological well-being. A study revealed that an individual who exhibits authenticity is perceived not only to look powerful, but also may gain more power as a result of owning themselves.
“You change the world by being yourself.” Yoko Ono
5 WAYS TO OWN WHO YOU ARE.
EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE
One way to be true to yourself is to embrace your uniqueness, even your quirks. It’s not as easy in practice because people in general want to belong to a group and feel accepted by others.
You can start by taking responsibility for all the choices you made in your life, good or bad, and be satisfied with them. Once you have fully accepted your traits and limitations, you can build on this by reinforcing positivity in your life.
Knowing yourself is a great way to stick to your values because when you know your values and beliefs, you can align them with your purpose in life and live your life with more meaning.
When you embark on a self discovery journey, you’ll find out what is most important to you so you can live life on your own terms.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Being honest with yourself is not easy. Admitting your truth, however, can be liberating. Here is an exercise that can help you open up to yourself a little more.
Answer the following questions honestly:
What do I really want in life?
Who do I admire?
What causes do I stand for?
If money were no object, what would I do right now?
What would I say to my 12 year old self?
Take your time because being honest with yourself can sometimes be difficult. It takes practice, but being true to who you are can bring more meaning and purpose in your life.
"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." - Etta Turner
TRUST IN YOUR CAPABILITIES
All too often, we question if we are good enough and compare ourselves to others. This is self-defeating and can diminish how we perceive ourselves.
Trusting in yourself can be difficult. One small thing you can do to help build trust is to boost your self-confidence. A couple of ways to do this is the power pose and positive self-affirmation.
The power pose helps people build confidence by standing assertively for a couple of minutes before entering situations that are intimidating. Studies have shown that this can help boost confidence and self-esteem.
Self-affirmations are words and phrases that are meant to bolster and encourage you. Constant repetition strengthens neural pathways in your brain that reinforces these words until they feel more real to you.
Learning to trust in yourself and your capabilities is a great way to live life on your own terms.
“The more you believe in yourself, the more you could trust yourself. The more you trust yourself, the less you compare yourself to others.” - Roy T. Bennett
LIVE LIFE ON YOUR OWN TERMS.
Living life on your own terms can be scary because all the responsibility falls on you. There is no safety net and no one to blame if things don’t go your way.
On the other hand, owning who you are means more choices and more freedom.
It means embracing your values and beliefs so you can make your own decisions, not what your parents or society wants for you.
It means living a life with more purpose and meaning because your core values will be in alignment with your aspirations.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” - Maya Angelou
Owning who you are is not always the easiest thing to do. It requires honesty and confidence because it may open you up to ridicule and rejection. However, it can give you more satisfaction and happiness in life because it allows you to live your life according to your principles and values.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Were you ever in a situation where you owned who you are, even if you felt scared? I would love to read your tips or stories in the comments down below.
MORE TIPS ON HOW TO OWN WHO YOU ARE.
Self discovery journey and why it’s important.
Know yourself: simple steps to find the true you.
How to love yourself in 10 simple steps.
6 simple but powerful steps to follow your bliss.
FREE WORKBOOK TO HELP YOU FIND WHO YOU ARE AND MORE.
Get the True Bliss Guide for free. A 20+ page workbook to help you know yourself better, identify your core values, create goals, and more. Read more down below.