Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde
It's quite possibly the most commonly used phrase in the history of advice: Be yourself. But it's such a vague adage. What do they really mean when they tell you to be yourself? And is it really as easy as it sounds?
7 TIPS on how to be yourself:
Find yourself. You can't be yourself if you don't know, understand, and accept yourself first.
Stop caring about how people perceive you. The fact is, it really doesn't matter. It's impossible to be yourself when you're caught up in wondering "Do they think I'm funny? Does she think I'm fat? Do they think I'm stupid?" To be yourself, you've got to let go of these concerns and just let your behavior flow, with only your consideration of others as a filter—not their consideration of you.
Be honest and open. What have you got to hide? You're an imperfect, growing, learning human being. If you feel ashamed or insecure about any aspect of yourself—and you feel you have to hide those parts of you, whether physically or emotionally—then you have to come to terms with that and learn to convert your so-called flaws into individualistic quirks.
Relax. Stop worrying about the worst that could happen, especially in social situations. So what if you fall flat on your face? Or get spinach stuck in your teeth? Learn to laugh at yourself both when it happens and afterwards. Turn it into a funny story that you can share with others. It lets them know that you're not perfect and makes you feel more at ease, too.
Develop and express your individuality. Whether it's your sense of style, or even your manner of speaking, if your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream, then be proud of it.
Have a Productive Day. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and that some days, you're the statue. People might raise eyebrows and even make fun, but as long as you can shrug and say "Hey, that's just me" and leave it at that, people will ultimately respect you for it, and you'll respect yourself.
Believe in who you are. If you're always working to be someone you're not, you'll never be a happy person. Be yourself and show the world you're proud the way you are!