Who are you? That's the first problem, really, you can't be yourself if you don't know who you are. I don't know who I am, I can't be myself because I haven't the slightest clue how to do so. It's supposed to be easy to be yourself, it's supposed to be natural, you're just supposed to be. It doesn't work like that, I've noticed. I am me, but I can never be myself, that isn't what anyone wants any way. (See: be yourself). What people really want is for you to fit their idea of you and what you should be, they want you to do what is expected of someone "like you". The truth of the matter is, most people spend so much time trying to be everything to everyone, they don't get a chance to establish a real persona, real interests, feelings. We're thrown into this life, and from the second we leave the womb people shape who we are, what we think, and it's not until the late teens (for the most part) that you actually get to truly think for yourself. Not that everyone takes the opportunity so soon, others take it earlier, but it becomes available somewhere along the line.. let me get to my point, here.

I was born nearly nineteen years ago, that is such an awfully long time.. and I still haven't the slightest clue who I am, where I'm going, what I'm doing. I never have known. I'd like to think that I will know one day, but I'm pretty sure it's better this way, any how..

"Sometimes, it's easy to be myself, and sometimes I find it's better to be somebody else." - Dave Matthews
Because you need to be certain it's what you want to do. You need to search deep within yourself, experiment to feel what really makes you happy and content, and find a way to discard all those parts of you that are merely there because you're trying to be what other people want you to be.

The last one is the key. Most of us are trying to be what others want and expect us to be. We live by the rules that are set out for us, by parents and society, enforced by various processes that make it clear what we want should align with what other people want us to want.

It's a tough fight to shed all that baggage, to stop doing things to fit expectations, and to find who you really are. And it's made even tougher due to self-confidence and/or lack thereof, and acceptance. This is my toughest area in trying to find myself, that my self-confidence, my self-esteem, is really low, and I need that acceptance to really feel good about who I am. I'm fighting to tell myself that who I am is good enough regardless of what other people think.

Being yourself is one of the toughest things to do, and many people just can't do it.

This may be pretty redundant, but part of the problem is that being yourself is a constant work in progress, a never ending stage of changes. You have some foundations on which you build everything else, and from which others are doomed to expect some predictability in your actions, thoughts and words. The rest comes out in the act of trying to figure out who you are right now, who you were, and who you do not want to be in the future.

We would know ourselves so much better if we weren't so interested in how we once were, if we all didn't secretly at some point long to go back and see ourselves in the third person. Or to trace the timeline that brought you to where you have ended up.

Being yourself is at best, uncontrived. It's who you turned out to be despite anything that has happened to you or because of everything that has happened to you. There is no formula, no way to compare notes. It's who you end up being without really even becoming aware, which makes the revelation down the road (if you do not particularly like yourself) pretty earth shattering and almost terrifying, since because you don't always know how you got there, you won't always know how to get back.

Here's what worked for me.

I finally realized one balmy evening that people had been referring to me for my entire life as though I was my body, or my name. I am not my body, I am my mind. Remember what Tyler Durden said in Fight Club? About how you are not your fucking khakis or the contents of your wallet? He was right.

As implied above, I am also not my name. After I mentally detached from my name, I was able to get better in touch with who I was. A name is nothing but a label, a convenient handle for people to use when referring to me. It is utterly irrelevant to who I am.

Then I looked back on the life I'd lived, the different eras, and I picked up a little essence from each. Then, I knew myself for who I was, and because I knew myself, I was able to be myself. It was like a tiny slice of Nirvana, like - as Guynan said in Star Trek Seven or whichever it was - being inside happiness.

I don't know whether all that will work for you, but good luck.

Being yourself is like breathing or walking: it's easy when you stop thinking about it. "Never whistle while you're pissing", as Hagbard Celine put it...

A lot of the writeups here talk more about how others see you, than who you actually are. That is perfectly all right. Man is a social creature and being accepted or even liked by other people is important to your mental health. I don't mean that you have to be a spineless asskisser all of the time to survive, but if you think you can "be you" without compromise you might as well go live in a cave.

I believe that only 2% of the whole population in this world knows who they really are (A. Maslow on self-actualization). Discontentment, pretension, selfishness and pride are some of the things that makes it hard to be our own true self.

As far as my puny mind can comprehend, it is hard to be yourself because we all have our own way of looking at ourselves and identifying our purpose. Whether we see ourselves as a rockstar or a band geek, the important thing here is we know the purpose of our existence.

And how do we define this purpose?

We all have our God-given talents, skills and other things that make us unique to other humans (now, if you don't feel you have one try to think and meditate harder). These things, when realized and actualized properly, will give us, at least, a hint of who we really are in this world and the purpose of our life here on earth. I see this as a good starting point of knowing who we really are. From there, we can now "define" ourselves more freely and without any reservations.

Note: consider these things on a premise that you believe in a supreme being as your creator, savior, provider (or anyway you put it).

"You don't know who you really are unless you discover what you can do."
- Martha Grimes

That's all.
she touches my hand , Do you ha ve an an swer for me ? she
says. always she asks me these questions and i feel awkward
a little bit like hearing my voice on tape as i begin to
answer

here i thought i could lose my self in her but i wasn't a
ware enough to realize i never stopped watching myself re
flected in her eyes . absurd,really

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