Ok, Ok, this is a lonnnnng post but READ it ANYWAY – responses from my last post about what it means to “BE YOURSELF” which I think merit attention. They sure merit my attention. And since I don’t want to COLOR anyone’s response I will refrain from telling you the points I REALLY agree with.
P.S. You’ll have to read Shimon’s comment carefully
to understand the fishy pictures . . .
Shim Frankel, LSW, I like it and I get it! In my experience there is an important level – or component – of acceptance of where you or I or a situation is at, and if where I am at is trying to fill someone’s shoes that are “not mine” (Michael Jordan, George Clooney, my Dad or my older brother) then in a funny way filling those shoes are actually my shoes for today.
In a very similar vein have had clients tell me how down they are at themselves for not accepting a situation or some fact of their life the way it is, after all – they have been taught that they are “supposed to” accept life on life’s terms. What has been helpful in my practice has been to help these clients accept that for today they do not accept life on life’s terms. Accepting where they are at is also life on life’s terms, is it not?
However, much sadness and frustration comes my way from people who are forever trying to fill the proverbial shoes and “be someone else”. Albert Einstein said that “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” It is not stupid but it is being asked to fill the shoes that do not fit!
Everyone I have ever met personally has a list of strengths that can be capitalized on and a list of weaknesses that can be strengthened. Most are unaware that if they would just dare to dream they would find that they have it within them to do many things they thought were “not them.” Unfortunately there are so many too, however, who are completely unaware that all people have limits, and so do they.
Is it true that “you can do anything you set your mind to”? I do not believe so. In the spirit of inspiration and with all the right motives we are taught that we can do anything, but we can’t.
So when a single client asks the trick to successful dating I may suggest “just be yourself.”
When another is going to ask for a raise from her boss I may also suggest “just be yourself.”
Early in my career a senior counselor sat in on one of my groups at the hospital IOP. Afterward he cautioned me “remember to always bring yourself to the session, because if you bring someone else neither of you will be there.” That recipe has worked for me and I freely use it with others. So while I agree that some days “myself” maybe defined as trying to be someone else, ultimately I may be a fish trying to climb a tree – and that is a frustrating place to be.
Ruth Michelson, “I never thought of “just be yourself” in any of the ways you described. I think it means, “relax, stop worrying, you’re wonderful being who you are, you don’t have to be clever, put on airs, or try to be something you’re not”. Also, I think it means “stop being so self-conscious, and focus on others”. Ruth
Arlan Broder • “Ego is not what ‘it’s’ all about. It is all about relationships. Ego has at least two applications; it is the manager of input, the – who, what, where, when, how, and what are the motives; and it is the selfish we often confuse with the id. Relationships with our clients, between our clients and others is what ‘it is’ all about. As simplistic as it seems, Love and Fear is what ‘it is’ all about. Everything else is just in the way.
Joan Dodson “In my own interruption I believe I am true to my own beliefs’, my own ideas, my own values. If I like who I see when I look in the mirror, (my reflection) the person looking back at me, then I am truly happy. I am who I am, no more no less. I am proud of who I am. I can’t find in myself to be fake, I can still be you and still is a passionate person with respect for others and without being egotistical, or just flat-out rude.
I try very hard to be considerate and nonjudgmental. I realize that others are not always going to agree with me on various subjects. I know that I am open-minded that others can have their own opinions which I respect and usually receive the same respect in return.
It has taking me years to find the person I truly wanted to be…and now that I have found her I actually like me. This being said no it’s not ego, this is just “Being Myself” and liking me.”
John Harris • “Be yourself” to me means detach yourself from who your ego tells you you are, and connect with the “you” of your heart.
It can also be described as remembering who you always have been and always will be. The eternal, essential you. Not the person you pretend to be.
Susan Berg • Be authentic. Keep it real.
Mohammed Abdul Muqeet • Be Honest with yourself
Sindisiwe Dashe “Be Yourself means to be your True Self, the Original You. Love, Happy, Forgive and be Peacefull. Trueself that sees Love in everyone and everything on Earth. Loving every situation. That Trueself- your soul that originates from a place called Love and that has always been love that does not judge self, others and situation. Compasionate towards others ”
Thank you all for prompting even more thought on the subject!