How often do you allow yourself to be 100% completely your true and authentic self? Many people like to believe that they’re always comfortable being themselves and presenting their real selves to the rest of the world, but this isn’t always the case.

If you want to seriously embrace your life and everything the world has to offer you, learning how to give yourself permission to be you and be real is an essential skill.

Why do some people not give themselves permission to be real or be themselves?

There are tons of reasons why someone may not feel comfortable giving themselves permission to be real or be themselves around others. For example:

  1. They may feel insecure about some aspect of themselves.

Whether it’s a hangup they experience about their body, their personality, their hobbies, or any other facet of themselves, if a person has a specific insecurity, it can hinder them from being real or acting like themselves – especially around others.

  1. They may be uncertain of who their “real self” even is.

Some people have trouble giving themselves permission to be real and be themselves because they don’t really know themselves. While it seems strange that a person may not understand who they are, it happens often!

People may believe they like certain things or hold certain beliefs, but when they explore past the surface of those thoughts, they may realize they only like or believe those things because of the other people in their lives influencing them. Once separated from those outside influences, they may struggle to understand who they really are.

  1. They may be afraid of how others will feel or react when presented with their real self.

Showing your real self to others can be frightening because you don’t always know how the other people might react. Rather than risking embarrassment or alienation from a group of people because of who you truly are, you may decide to not be yourself or be real about who you are.

If you struggle to give yourself permission to be real and be yourself, what can you do to make it feel easier?

It takes practice, patience, and time to embrace who you really are so you can be yourself and be real with others. To make the process feel a little easier, consider the following strategies:

  1. If you have a people pleasing habit, drop it.

People pleasers are folks who will do anything and everything they can to stay in the good graces of others. Often, when you’re working so hard to please others and make them happy, you’re denying yourself the ability to be honest, open, and comfortable because you’re fighting against who you really are to be more pleasing to someone else.

Rather than going to extremes to make someone happy, tone down your immediate urge to go over the top and stick to what really feels right for you to do.

  1. Identify your personal strengths and embrace them.

Everyone has a set of personal strengths. These are qualities and talents you possess that make you stand out among others. To make it easier to be you and be real, identify your strengths and allow yourself to play to them.

When you have chances to use your talents or skills, do it. If certain qualities about yourself shine in some situations, use them to your advantage. Focusing on your personal strengths is a great way to acclimate being real and being yourself around others.

  1. Remember that most people aren’t analyzing you as harshly as you believe they are.

Many people believe they are constantly being watched, judged, or analyzed by others. This is definitely not the case! Most people are consumed with their own thoughts and business. They may notice you, but it is highly unlikely that other people are examining you as closely as you might believe they are. Use this as a reminder to help yourself relax, especially in social situations where there are more people around and use that knowledge to let your true self shine through.

  1. Consider who you’re spending most of your time with: Are they good for you?

Take a moment to consider who you’re spending most of your time around. Are these people actually a good influence on your life?

If you’re trying to spend more time with people who make you feel uncomfortable, as if you can’t really be yourself and be real with them, you may need to reconsider your friend group.

Sometimes the problem lies with the people you’re trying to spend your time with rather than yourself. If the people you want to socialize with are making you feel like you can’t fully be yourself around them, reconsider your relationship with these people and upgrade your circle of influence.

Shannon D. Smith