I’ve heard the phrase ‘be yourself’ more than anything else in the world of communication and self-improvement. What does it mean? Is it even possible? In this post I want to explore the term, what I believe it means and how I believe it can be done.

Over the years, I’ve had a couple of haters. People get an idea into their head about who you are and what you stand for. This idea is cultivated inside their head and has nothing to do with you. Sometimes people who love you do the same thing. They position you as the ideal guy or girl.

I’ve had this experience a few times as well. People read Facebook, watch videos or see me in a training and develop an opinion. Sometimes it is that I’m arrogant and sometimes humble. I do my best to cultivate the right kind of impression of course but I do not have any control over what they think. All I can do is ‘be myself’ and show the best side of me to the world.

Recently, I’ve spent quite a lot of time introspecting and asking myself who I am. Maybe it is my age but I’m beginning to really try and pin point the real me. For two thirds of my life, I’ve been involved in the field of personal development and NLP.

Where do my ‘NLP self’ and my ‘personal self’ separate? How are they different? What about with different people and different crowds? I act differently in different situations.

Does this mean I fake it?

After considering all of these things, I finally have an answer. Just as people get an idea into their head about who you are, you get an idea into your own head as to who you are. This idea might be influenced by your mood at the time or something that has happened in your life lately. Whichever it is, it’s important to realise that this perception isn’t wrong or right… it is just a perception. What matters is what you decide to do about it.

What I mean by this is that I believe you need to decide who you are first and foremost. This is the critical first step that many people miss because they are trying to ‘find’ who they are. We are not stagnant, unchanging vessels. We are continuously growing, changing and developing.

This means that we are always moving in one direction of another. My mentor, Richard Bandler, always says that people are either getting better or they are getting worse. When considering how you are doing, understand that you need to decide who you are before you can actually be that person. When you are and when you do then you will get better.

In deciding who you are, you need to be open to what makes you tick. People change careers. They leave relationships. They start a family. They go travelling for a year. All of these are the big life choices that we make in our attempts to live a happier and more fulfilling life which makes our world better.

Being yourself means understanding your flaws, good points, your preferences and the things that make you excited. It means taking all of that and then deciding who you are with all of these qualities.

Once you have decided who you are and aligned it with your qualities and flaws, the next step is to stay in the moment. My closest friends have a good sense of who I am. They have seen me at my best and at my worst. They have been there when I was crushed and devastated and when I was elated and excited.

When I am with them I am me primarily because I am not trying to be me. Instead, I am fully in the moment with them focusing on where we are and what we are doing. I’m not on Facebook or Instagram trying to position myself in a certain way. Instead, I am open to show them my soul because they have earned it.

Lastly, the biggest struggle most people have when trying to be themselves is the fear that they will be rejected or abandoned or that they will be not good enough. Here is the reality. I’ve been left by people in the past. People I loved, desperately, badly. But they did not leave me because I wasn’t good enough or they found someone better. They left me because their feelings changed. It wasn’t about me. It was their feelings. It crushed me but it wasn’t about me. Knowing this meant that I can continue to love them with all my heart even if they are no longer in my life. They will always be special to me. That will never change.

I have so many flaws but I have so many good qualities and the people who remain in my life are aware of them all and choose to stay regardless. This means that I am good enough and always will be.

You are good enough and you always will be. Decide who you are. Understand yourself better. Immerse yourself in experiences with your friends and open yourself to others knowing that you are good enough.

All the best,

Owen Fitzpatrick

NLP Master Trainer