Be Yourself & Yourself Only

What constructs our existence?

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare and compete, everybody will respect you.”

— Lao Tzu

In today’s world, we are compelled to benchmark our progress against our peers. Indirectly or directly, those that surround us or those that we aspire to be, have a subconscious anchor on our decisions and mental health.

With the likes of social media apps like Instagram and Twitter, we are in a race against our very own scrolls. The more we scroll, the more we consume. The more we consume, the more we expand our perception of living ‘the perfect life.’ However, this perception is mostly defined by others and not by our own standards of living a fulfilling life.

Life is far from perfect. If 2020 goes to prove anything, it is that very statement. Yet we feed hours in a day to looking at how our favorite influencer is doing, or what our friends have to say. The funny part is that we all know this, but we make the conscious choice to ignore the blatant warning signals this sort of action is giving us.

The individuals behind posts on a beach, wearing designer clothes or driving fancy cars have just as much a void as anyone else, because they are searching for something that does not exist: approval.

We live our entire lives seeking other people’s approval; how to live, love and laugh. There is a constant reminder that each step we take will be critiqued or spoken about in circles beyond our control, which is a breeding ground for insecurity. This puts us off our stride, and our confidence shaken down to fuel the ego of others.

A degrading trait that humans possess is that when they smell blood i.e. insecurity, they will go in for the kill no matter who the individual. We attack those that believe in themselves and are individualistic. To be confident in oneself is seen as being ‘extra.’ Yet when we encounter these sharks in person, they will never fail to act nice.

We have all encountered times where we have had to hold back at the cost of our own happiness. To that end, I encourage those reading this article to pursue something they have always wanted to do, but never got around to doing because of what others will think.

In the process of doing so, you will learn who your true companions are. It will bring to light the real ones who push you to achieve greatness, all whilst staying true to yourself and your message.

Here are 5 tips on how to be yourself & yourself only:

  • Meditate on why you need to do something: Instead of giving into distraction, sit there for a moment and ask yourself: “Why do I need to do this?”, “who is it helping?” and find the good you are creating in this world.
  • Letting go of your fear & ideals: What is causing your fear? Is it the fear of looking bad, or the fear of failure? The answer comes from letting go of your ideals, and letting your mind seek discomfort. Your intention is what matters.
  • Give yourself constraints: Complete each task for a new project one step at a time, and acknowledge the progress you are making. We are not machines, so we deserve to pat ourselves on the back every once in a while.
  • Find the beauty in all things: There is always a bigger picture to look at and be grateful for. The world we live in today lacks gratitude, so make sure you count your blessings even if it is the smallest thing. Because the smallest thing to you can mean the world for somebody else. Just know that.
  • Learn and grow: Every experience in life comes with lessons. By meditating on your intentions and letting go of your fears, you learn a whole lot about yourself. It teaches you about your mind, so take every task as a learning experience. Evolve or become extinct.

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Muhammad Arham Ali

Muhammad Arham Ali

Current student at McGill University pursuing a degree in Finance & Economics. Interested in self-development, technology and business.