“Just be yourself” is that well-known, perennially glib piece of advice given by well-meaning friends and family members (and let’s be honest, people who don’t really know what else to say) as you stand in the face of a challenging life event.
For all their well-meaning-ness, the thing people never really tell you about “just being yourself” is that it’s incredibly difficult, not to mention genuinely terrifying. First, you need to understand something about who you actually are in the first place. Then, you need the confidence to put that understanding on full display, in the knowledge that some people won’t like you.
Case in point: I’m about to publish a book of collected ‘inner life’ blog posts I wrote years
This is proving to be incredibly difficult. Absolute honesty, i.e. “just being myself”, would almost certainly upset quite a few people I’d rather not, and it’s a dilemma I’m still grappling with as I write. Watch this space!
The same goes for turning down social invitations with people and in
In a world where it’s so much easier to just blend in, the one area in which I’m finally happy to “just be myself” is in business. After leaving such a dull and uninspiring corporate career, It’s incredibly important to me now that I’m able to work with like-minded people who care about good work, and who respect the time and effort it takes to create it (and who don’t mind the odd smile along the way!)
I’m learning that in
When you work for yourself and you are your own product, “just be yourself” can actually be wonderful advice, because as Chesney Hawkes once belted out with Nineties’ gusto, “no-one can be
So next time you’re given that piece of sage advice, remember to use it wisely!