“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
I admit this saying is a bit cheesy, but it’s true! A study in 2014 conducted by Guler Boyraz et al. at Louisiana Tech University found that “those who showed greater authenticity at the first time point were more satisfied with life and less distressed at the second time point; but distress and satisfaction at the first time point did not predict authenticity at the second time point” (Joseph, 2017). Therefore, happiness results from authenticity.
Many people will emulate those around them (especially those they admire) for many reasons: they don’t trust their judgment/thoughts, want to fit in, or want to impress other people. Imitation is normal human behavior, but if it’s overdone, it can have dire consequences.
But how can you “be yourself?” That seems like a very abstract concept. Some people like a more concrete approach. Below is a list of steps provided by Psychology Today to help people be themselves:
- Accept yourself.
- Identify negative self-talk.
- Celebrate your strengths.
- Express yourself.
- Show your vulnerability.
You can look at the websites linked to see a further breakdown of each step!