Are you afraid to be yourself? Are you afraid to show people the real you? Do you express yourself openly and honestly to the important people in your life or do you hide your true self away because you think people won’t accept you?
I love this quote about being yourself. It sums it up perfectly.
Be yourself: everybody else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
This quote reminds us that we should always strive to be our unique selves. That we shouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves.
Ask yourself these questions to check if you are afraid to be yourself.
Do you act a certain way around people so that they will accept you?
Do you put up a false front so that you will be popular amongst your work colleagues, friends, or family?
Do you ever feel that if you were your true self, people would reject you? Do you pretend to be something or someone you’re not?
Do you pretend you like things that you don’t to keep people happy? (I’m talking about going well beyond just being polite here).
Do you feel like you are putting on a show when around certain people?
Relationships are often the easiest place to spot where we are not being ourselves. We tell a new or existing partner we like something they like, to impress or connect with them. Then we end up doing activities we hate just to keep them happy!
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Let’s dive into how to stop being afraid to be yourself.
Work out what you are afraid of
If you find yourself hiding who you really are the question to ask yourself is why?
What are you afraid of? Why are you afraid to be yourself?
It may be something in your past you are not proud of (we all have those by the way!) or a personality trait that you think people simply won’t understand.
You are probably worried that people might not accept the real you.
The truth of the matter is that sometimes this is the case. Some people will not accept a particular lifestyle choice or a personality trait.
The good news is there will be other people with whom you can connect. They are the people you should be gravitating towards.
If you are struggling to identify your fears and need help working through your failures and mistakes, CreativeLive has a course that can help. How to be Bold, Resilient, and Better Than Ever is run by Tabatha Coffey. This course can help build up your resilience and get you moving forward. We all fall down but it’s how we bounce back and get back up again that is important. Have a look through the course curriculum to see how it can benefit you.
Accept not everyone is going to like you
Often we are afraid to be our true selves because we feel other people won’t like us.
The response I have for you is so what? So what if people don’t like you?
If you want to be happy, this is one thing to understand and wrap your head around right now.
Not everyone is going to like you and that is perfectly normal!
If you think being smart, popular, or beautiful is going to change that you are wrong. Sometimes people just won’t like you. Don’t take it personally, it just means your personality and their personality don’t mesh or you don’t have much in common. It doesn’t mean anyone is right or wrong or good or bad.
Trying to please everyone, all the time will make you miserable.
In case you were wondering this applies to family as well. Just because you might share some form of genetics does not mean that you will like each other. That’s perfectly okay. I know this one can be particularly hard, but try not to beat yourself up about it.
This great quote says it all –
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches.
Related content –
- Not Everyone Will Like You – 5 Reasons Why That Is Perfectly Okay
- Know Your Worth – 10 Things You Need to Stop Doing
- Know Your Own Worth Even When It Feels Like the World Doesn’t Quite Agree with You
- Don’t Let Anyone Define Your Worth
- 20 Know Your Worth Quotes to Increase Your Self-Worth
Stop comparing yourself to other people
One of the reasons you may be afraid to be yourself is because you are comparing yourself to other people.
You look at other people’s lives and think that their life is better than yours. You feel lacking somehow. Consequently, you try to hide who you really are.
The more we compare ourselves to other people, the more miserable we feel.
If you need help to stop comparing yourself, an excellent book is Comparisonitis: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Be Genuinely Happy by Melissa Ambrosini.
You are drowning in shame or guilt
You may be afraid to be yourself because you are drowning in shame or guilt. Both emotions are incredibly destructive.
If you are struggling with shame, I recommend you read one of the excellent books by the expert on shame Brene Brown. Have a look through my suggestions below to see if they can help you.
- I Thought It Was Just Me (But it Isn’t): Making the Journey from ‘What People Will Think?’ to ‘I am Enough’ by Brene Brown
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown
- Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brene Brown
Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will be discover the infinite power of our own light.’ – Brene Brown
You are afraid you won’t fit in
It’s human nature to want to fit in. We see it through all stages of our lives. It’s huge in high school, exists within families, at work, and in our friendships.
Humans are essentially social creatures so our urge to fit in is a strong, driving force.
The problem is because we want to fit in so badly, we bend ourselves into a pretzel and become someone we are not to keep people happy. All the while making ourselves miserable and sacrificing our true selves.
Find your tribe
If you are afraid to be yourself, perhaps you haven’t found your tribe yet. And that is okay, it just means you are on your journey to find your tribe.
You may, in fact, already belong to several tribes. You don’t have to settle for just one tribe.
By your tribe, I mean group or community. It’s about hanging out with like-minded people who share your interests and values. It’s about hanging out with people who get you.
Sometimes our tribes can be a little hard to find but once we find them it is so worth it!
Heads up – finding your tribe will be much easier if you be yourself!
Related post – Why It’s Okay to Be Different
This can sometimes be the hardest part.
Often it’s not other people giving us grief for who we really are – it’s ourselves! We judge ourselves far too harshly.
We all have faults and we all have exceptional qualities yet it’s our faults or weaknesses we tend to focus on the most. Unfortunately, sometimes our faults are all we see.
If you often find yourself thinking – I wish I was more this or I wish I was more that, or why can’t I be like him or her? – you are not fully accepting yourself.
We can be our own worst enemies by comparing ourselves to other people and wanting to be something we are not.
All acceptance starts with you. If you accept and honor who you are, other people are more likely to be accepting. At the very least accepting yourself will empower you to deal with other people’s lack of acceptance.
Related post – Stop Waiting for Acceptance From Other People and Accept Yourself
Are you afraid to be yourself?
We all have areas in our lives that we want to improve on. That’s perfectly okay. That’s what personal growth is about after all. A good level of self-acceptance and a strong sense of self-worth are the building blocks to being proud of yourself and embracing who you truly are.
Remember you are a unique individual. Yes, you are! You have your own amazing set of skills, talents, faults, and personality traits.
But that is what makes you so amazing! How utterly boring would it be if we were all the same!!
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be who you truly are because who you are is glorious!
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