Do you find it hard to be yourself sometimes? I certainly did in the past. I guess we all know situations where we had to put up a mask in order to fit in. Where we had to hide behind a made-up image and weren’t able to express ourselves. Too big was the risk of not being accepted, of not fitting into society.

It can be scary to show who you really are, especially if you’re not sure what people might think of you. There was I time when it wasn’t easy for me at all. When I was little, when I was in school I was afraid to be silly in public or to act slightly differently than I was supposed to act. I never told people what I thought or how I felt if my feelings and thoughts contradicted with theirs. I would only state agreement and never dare to criticize anyone. I was way too afraid to offend someone if I would speak up. Or sometimes I just thought people might not like me if I would state my true opinion. So I kept my mouth shut and politely nodded to arguments I knew deep down I was not agreeing with at all.

I wasn’t happy about being in this state at all. I wasn’t proud of not speaking up, but I felt like my opinion did not interest anyone, wasn’t even worth telling. Now I know better. You should never ever be tempted to feel this way. Even if your opinion differs from what others think – so what? State it, stick by it and you might even have a positive impact on others. You might help others to think differently and broaden their horizon. If you see it from this point of view it doesn’t sound so bad anymore, does it?

Being comfortable to relax and showing people who you are depends a lot on your environment. On the people your surrounded by, the places you find yourself at. You might find yourself acting differently with your partner or your best friends, than with colleagues or people you just met a few minutes ago. We all want to be accepted and fit into society. But as hard as you might try – you can’t please everybody. The only person you really have to please is yourself.  Once I figured that out I was staring not caring what people thought of me – and felt freer and happier than before. Just try it out step by step – I guarantee you will find people that will appreciate you exactly how you are.

I, for example, have met a lot of different people lately. Due to work, due to changing jobs. What I’ve realized from the many people I met in that short period of time is that I love having a real connection with someone. Not just a hi – how are you – bye conversation, but a talk that can range from travel stories to the questions who created this universe. Those are the connections you will remember, that will stay in your mind and you will look back years after. Conversations where you are forced to state your opinion and are your true and authentic self.

Being authentic and saying what’s on your mind will lead you to having realer connections with a lot of people. The more connections like this, the better you will feel. It can be hard at first to overcome your fear of caring about what other people think. Especially if you’re used to just being yourself at home or with friends where nobody sees you and you can be as silly as you want. But wouldn’t it be beautiful to being able to act the same way with a complete stranger? To share dreams and memories with a person you don’t even know but you feel like you’ve known them for a long time? That’s the beauty of human interaction, those are the conversations you’ll gain the most from. And if you continue to be authentic you will end up with the most valuable friendships and connections you can imagine.

 

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