Why is being yourself key to mental well-being?
Posted on 12th January 2023
For many years I battled with the concept of ‘being me,’ I did so many things that were against who I was truly meant to be for a long time. After a series of life events, a heap of pain and circumstances in my life I decided that it was the time to find out who I truly was. After years of being someone else I had to do some work to figure out what I like, what’s important to me and who am I really?
So, why is it important? How have things changed for me since becoming my authentic self? Why should you do it?
My belief is that by being yourself, you start to put your needs first. You find out what is important to you. You stop saying “I should”, and more “I am” or “I will” this gives us hope and allows us to explore what we enjoy. Many of us put the needs of others before our own, then experience feelings of resentment and anger when we are not being seen or heard by those around us. Since I made the decision to live in line with who I am, I hear myself and respond to that. Learning to listen to myself has freed me of the resentments I felt towards others and myself, in turn, improving all my relationships. The opportunities that have arisen from making this decision have been truly life changing and my mental health has improved almost beyond recognition. I know this is possible for you too.
In order to be yourself, there are some steps you need to take. Firstly, find out what is important to you. As I said previously, I spent many years not living in line with who I really was. So when the time came to be myself, I didn’t really know what that looked like anymore. I have worked with many people who have said exactly the same thing to me - “I don’t know what I like, or who I am anymore.” This doesn’t mean completely recreating yourself, or changing your whole personality, it’s about accepting yourself; finding out what your values and beliefs are and taking care of those elements. Ultimately, identifying your individual needs will help you understand who you are.
Once you have an understanding of what’s important to you and what you value you can start saying “no” to things that are not in line with that. For example, if you find that one of your values is connection with others and the people around you are disconnected, then speak up, or remove yourself from those relationships and spend time with those who you connect with better. There’s ways we can live in alignment with our values too, like spending more time with loved ones if one of your values is love.
This is a journey, and you are free to enjoy the process. Go and explore who you are. My book, The Rebel Method, has a wealth of tools and resources you can use to help you find out what’s important to you.
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