Being Proud of Your Values and Beliefs

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Hear the phrase “be yourself” all the time but what exactly does it mean. Some people can argue that “being yourself” has to do with your relationship with others, and that is by giving attention to what people think about you; while others can argue that it has to do with a relationship you have with yourself. Simply put, caring about what people think about you is an attribute of not being yourself. “Being yourself” has a lot to do with what you think of yourself.

In my own opinion, to be yourself means knowing your values and acting according to them without any facade. It means being the authentic you. By this I mean, don’t try adding something you like about your friend to your personality just to get people to like you. It won’t work because when they discover your real character, they will pull away from you. Be comfortable in your values and people will respect you for it.

Some people are more reserved while others are outgoing. Get to know your trait, accept it and make the most out of it too. Don't try to be an introvert when you know yourself as an extrovert. Making the best out of your personality trait is what matters and not trying to switch, as this will not work. If you feel you are too reserved, try going out for movies with some friends once in a while and if you feel you go out a lot, try indulging and cuddling up on your sofa and enjoy movies on Netflix.

Whatever your personality, don’t hate yourself for it and don’t try to be who you are not, as no personality trait is more inferior or superior to the other. Acknowledging your personality trait allows you to make planned decisions based on your inclination.Take responsibility for your actions. When you are your authentic self, you will own up to your mistakes and take responsibilities where you should. You will be able to acknowledge your role in your life without passing blames.

Human beings are naturally too quick to blame others and also too quick to defend our mistakes instead of owning up to it. We may feel good once we've passed the blame, but that feeling is only temporary. While we may feel good temporarily, and not only is it unfair to the person we have shifted the blame to, it is also unfair to you because you will end up feeling guilty afterwards.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have made a mistake, accept it, take charge of it, correct it if it is something you can and if not, learn from it. Making effort to learn from your mistakes, prepares you for a better tomorrow. Additionally, even if you are saying ‘it wasn’t my mistake’, may I please encourage you to check your side of the situation, you may have contributed a part that resulted in the way you were treated. Even when the blame lies fully with other parties, it might be worth searching deep for the positive lessons you can take from the experience. This ultimately helps to reinforce your personality.

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Our values and beliefs are constantly been tested and challenged by varying societal values which might not fully align with our expectation. However, the ability to stand your ground against conflicting values that seek to subvert your true self will boost your moral. It is important to know your values and morals in life and stick to them without trying to deviate in the face of opposition, this puts you in a strong position of achieving your goals and makes your pathway clear. It will also put you in a better position to make comfortable decisions.

Although knowing what you want in life can sometimes be difficult to figure out, I suggest you take it bit by bit. Try out something, one at a time, if one works, repeat it many times to form a concrete value. If you identify your wellbeing as a core value, you should make it a priority by trying out short term activities such as getting enough rest, including exercise in your daily plans and eating healthy meals instead of junk, this will eventually form a concrete personal value for you to live on.

Many at times we’ve been hurt by people directly or indirectly, but why are you still miserable over that situation? Why beat yourself up? We often find ourselves in a situation where we are still feeling low about what happened; it is normal to feel that way but why dwell on it? I’ve been there and I know what it feels like to be humiliated. I felt the pain deep down for weeks if not months, but until I realised that I was being hard on myself and that feeling like that won't make me any better, I had to purpose in my heart to take an action. So, what did I do? I had to, first of all, forgive the person in question and then forgave myself and you can do that too, forgive yourself and move on. I'm sure you might be saying, it's not that easy or better still, how can I forgive myself?

To forgive yourself, you have to first admit your mistake, be willing to make amends that are within your boundary, and finally learn from it. Forgiving yourself is not a weak attribute neither does it undermine your values. Instead, it increases your self-esteem and keeps your motivation up. I honestly appreciate it is not such an easy task to complete, but I can assure you, you will feel a lot better afterwards.

May I at this point say that some situations will be out of one's control and therefore difficult to restore. Consequently, this will not require you to take the above steps. An example of such will be abuse or loss. While we don't have control over these situations, the message to take away from this is that being hard on yourself cannot undo the situation.

Isolation is when you withdraw from friends and yourself internally. Often, one can isolate themselves without knowing it. Isolating yourself in the name of “being yourself” is not an option. Strive to be comfortable in yourself, even if you think you are not good enough- that's the enemy's lie. This is the reason am writing this book so that you can know that you are unique in your way and can change someone's life or the world with your unique ability. Isolation leads you into more problems such as mental health, depression, loneliness and frustration, so rather than isolate yourself, draw from the network around you, and always strive to build on that network because you need people who believe in you around you.

We mentioned earlier that we all have negative character traits, but what you don't want to do is to wear it around your neck all the time. I bet if you want to be your authentic self you would want to get rid of the negative flaws; bearing in mind that you might not get rid of them all in its entirety, but at least you can start from somewhere to improve on them.

The truth is that sticking to the negative traits won’t get you far in life if you want to live a successful life. Take for example, if you are a cunning person, and you are well known for this, both at home, at work or in a social gathering. You may lose your friends or even marriage because of your deceitful ways. But if you work on improving on it, it will surely enhance your relationships.

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