Be yourself, because you can’t be anyone else.
This is actually very good advice to give children and teenagers. They are at a point in their lives where they’re trying to define themselves and the world around them; any boost of self confidence is essential. And, let’s face it, while most teenagers like to believe everything revolves around them, and that any problem is the end of the world, with a little guidance, they could easily correct themselves and move on. With love and discipline, teenagers can get better.
As adults, are we to be ourselves regardless of the situation? There are people who are stuck with bad, and frankly irritating, habits, who insist that they are that way, simply because they are ‘being themselves’.
Theseare habits that alienate them from people, making advancement difficult for them. Hence, it’s a catch-22 situation with adults; one on hand, we want to be true to ourselves, while on the other, we know some personality traits of ours are simply unacceptable.
What are we to do?
The first thing is to know ourselves: our flaws, strengths, everything – we’ve got to learn to accept them.
Then, we maximise our strengths and minimise our weaknesses. When it’s impossible to rid ourselves of certain weaknesses, we have to develop relationships that complement them. For example: a person too lazy to do domestic chores, but is charming and makes a good leader, can simply get a house cleaner.
Another thing is to learn ways through which our perceived strengths no longer serve us. For example, while being outspoken and confident is a strength, it could become a weakness, if one doesn’t know when to apply tact and diplomacy.
In all, self evaluation, emotional intelligence, and situational awareness are all very important. You need to know yourself, and understand others as well as the situation, in order to respond correctly and adapt.
I believe people should be like water. It retains its basic composition but is highly adaptable. That’s why it’s a very powerful force.
We owe it to ourselves and God to ‘be our best selves’.
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