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Nneamaka Onochie: How Much Of Yourself Can You Truly Be?

Wear what you want to wear, go where you want and hang out with people you consider of similar interest without feeling guilty or having a subconscious voice judging you. If you are your true self, you will also attract people that you are aligned with.

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This is  a question you ought to ask yourself and answer sincerely. After all, you can only be true to yourself, right?

You change so much on a daily basis that you have no choice but to be yourself. You are not the person you were yesterday but rather, a different version of yourself. You can either be your better version or your worse version.

Often, society forces you to be and act in a certain way that is deemed appropriate and acceptable. There’s a societal benchmark for acceptance and likeability and this ‘appropriate’ way is said to likely give you leverage to having an acceptable and fruitful life.

So you go out and act in a certain way mostly to impress people that you don’t know, don’t care about you and make a good impression for people you may never see again. Don’t get me wrong, making a good impression is good, but is that impression the real you or a borrowed you? Do we need to scratch the surface to find out the truth about you?

You know this laid down way of living won’t get you a fulfilled life. Beneath those facades of socially or cultural propriety, you want to break free, hack your own mind and discover who you are. For you, this is a battle you need to fight.

Being your full self depends on how much of societal standards you can challenge. So, what if you dare all societal standards to be your relentless and unapologetic self? What if you can say what you need to say and when you need to say it? Wear what you want to wear, go where you want and hang out with people you consider of similar interest without feeling guilty or having a subconscious voice judging you. If you are your true self, you will also attract people that you are aligned with.

Oftentimes, when you act a certain way or standout, you seem weird, standoffish and sometimes, weird is cool. It’s okay to be unique. That’s the spice of your being and, hey, we need many spices here. Normal can sometimes be boring and frustrating. Besides, does playing by the rules not depress you?

Not being yourself, or limiting yourself comes from your fear of being judged. Your environment and, of course, the society, can either lead you to constantly berate yourself – leading to self and personality sabotage, or encourage you to live a limitless self.

Don’t Self Sabotage

By self-sabotaging yourself, you live in ‘personality-denial’ because you have judged yourself and recoiled to fit in the societal and patriarchal standards that seem normal and appropriate. You change according to the environment, impression and there is no in-between. You are either real or fake.

Self-sabotage won’t lead to a purposeful and fulfilling life because it interferes with long-standing goals. Accumulation of dysfunctional and distorted beliefs can lead to underestimating your capabilities and suppressing your feelings. This can wear you out because you can’t live like this forever. You can’t hide from the world. So what if they don’t like you? What if you are not ‘acceptable’ according to societal standards? You are free, knowing you are staying true to yourself, constantly hacking your own mind and living in your authenticity.

Dare To Be Yourself

When you look in the mirror, do you recognize the image you see? Do you know him/her? Is that image staring at you as your friend? You shouldn’t ever feel uncomfortable in your current state, allow yourself to develop at your own pace. Daring to be yourself is to be kind to yourself, it is the awareness of the need for self-actualization. The way you carry yourself or act in public should be you being your actual true self and not because of the impression you want to convey or the acceptance you seek.

Cultivate your inner advocate and lessen the voice of the inner critic. Take good care of yourself, trust yourself, believe yourself, think for yourself and form your own opinion even when the waves of opinions are drowning your voice. One thing is certain, you are either accepted for who you are or who you are not. Being accepted for who you are not is to be in the wrong crowd that might never understand you and your essence. Break into each dawn with the audacity of will to wholly embrace your personality, the world will always adjust.

It will be more convenient to be your genuine self. Talk to yourself and consistently say “I am enough, I am worthy and I deserve to be authentically me.”

Nneamaka Onochie is a creative writer, content creator and a poet with penchant for storytelling. Whether it's material or immaterial, she bleeds them on paper. She is a girl child advocate championing the course of the girl child. She has a bachelor of arts in English and Literary Studies and a second degree in Linguistics and Communications. She is an educationist, a speaker, voracious reader, a thinker. She hails from Anambra State and currently lives in Porthacourt with her family. She is the author of Ike the Bully and other stories, Ordeal of the Single Woman(a novel) and still counting. For conversations she can be reached with the email [email protected]. Nneamaka is simply a woman with pocket full of dreams.