While most of us worry about how we look and act in front of other people, nothing beats the saying "be yourself". We've heard it a thousand times and this advice has been used for just about anything. The more casual questions would include: What should I wear to the party tonight? How should I approach my crush? and What will the popular kids think of me?
Even for corporate scenarios "be yourself" has become the all-around solution to: How can I impress my boss? What's the best way to close a client? and Is there a short-cut to delivering a great presentation?
While it's safe to say this advice was meant to do more good than harm, its vagueness makes it difficult to grasp the concept of being yourself. In a speech it's always important to share yourself instead of pretending to be a radio announcer. People who pretend to be someone else are called posers.
To be yourself you must first know who you are. Do you know what you want or what your passion in life is? Do you have an ideal self you want to be 5 or 10 years from now? These questions are all introspective and part of important process called soul searching. If you can't answer any of the questions above then maybe it's time you spent a little more time reflecting in front of a mirror instead of the TV.
|Dance like nobody's watching.|
After you've gotten to know who you are, accept it. If you can't, the rule is simple: if you don't like something about yourself, change it; if other people don't like something about you, change them. The motivation to change has to come from within, otherwise you're just being a conformist with no sense of identity.
|You are who you think you are.|
Acceptance is the first step to loving yourself. After all, how can you expect others to love someone who doesn't love their self? The same goes for public speakers and presenters: how can you expect anyone to believe you when you don't believe in yourself? Come up with a positive compliment you can tell yourself every morning. It feels awkward at first but after a few months what you speak becomes what you believe and what you believe becomes what you are.
|Everyone else is already taken.|
And lastly, be comfortable with who you are around other people. Don't be afraid. You know yourself better than anyone else. You're the number one expert when it comes to being who you are. The only time you should change yourself is when the desire comes purely from you and no one else. The only way to be unique is to be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
So stop trying hard to be a second-rate copy cat. People are naturally attracted to people who love and appreciate themselves. This is also the best way to be admired since you don't have to exert any effort in being who you are.