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Challenge your Mindset

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10 reasons why you should always be your unique self.

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It’s a common social anxiety to just be yourself. Something that should come naturally is always accompanied by doubt and fear. If you have interests or live in a way not considered ‘normal’ or ‘mainstream’ you fear that others will judge and mock, which causes you to retreat when you shouldn’t. Be proud of your unique self.

Here are 10 reasons why:

1) You’re not that unique

It’s slightly narcissistic and self-absorbed to believe you’re that different that no one will understand you. You underestimate the willingness of other people to meet new people from other walks of life, and you also underestimate the difficulty in being completely unique amongst seven billion people on the planet. Be confident in your perceived quirks. If it helps, do quick internet searches on your interests, especially on social media profiles, and you’ll see the scope on how popular your interests actually are.

2) Lies are hard to keep up

Be careful with pretences. The bigger the web of deceit you weave, the higher the likelihood that you’ll eventually be trapped by it. Pretending to like other things just so other people like you is harder to do than it looks. You’ll eventually get caught out the closer you get to these people. In psychology, the model of the ego, ID and superego explains it. Your ‘ID’ is the base passion and natural behaviour which dictates how you think and what you desire. It needs to work in conjunction with your ‘superego’, which is how you express yourself to the outside world. Your ego mediates between these two parts to put across a genuine you that is socially acceptable. If you change your superego so that it contradicts with your ID too much, the ego will have a hard time keeping up the pretence. Accept who you are and like it.

3) You’ll upset yourself more if you’re not

The only person who will be hurt is you. Friends can move on from your fakery and get new friends. Your parents and family either know the real you and will carry on as normal despite your ‘phase’, or don’t at all and are therefore unable to support you in the way that you need. Colleagues can still work with you as long as the professionalism stays intact. You suffer the most from not being yourself. Many cases of depression highlight the root cause as denial of who you are, especially in the cases of sexuality and religious beliefs. You need to please yourself.

4) You’re limiting your enjoyment of life

You’re not going out to the places where you’ll have most fun, you’re not laughing and joking with people who understand you best and you’re not following routes that reflect what you want out of life. It’s hard to appreciate and enjoy life [Why you are losing your zest for life] if you’re not being yourself.

5) You’ll find friends who are harder to relate to

Friends are necessary, especially if you’re limited family-wise. When you’re in trouble and turn to friends who don’t know your real, unique self, they’ll probably be less able help to you. Personality is very important to getting on with life. What two people express can be exactly the same, but the way they express it will get the point across better to two different kinds of people. Make sure your personalities match.

6) You have solutions other people don’t

With your unique self comes unique ideas. You need different people in the world in order to progress and develop. If everyone was the same, then eventually creativity would be stifled and we’d hit a standstill in all fields, from science, to politics, to art, to economics. If you’re unique, think outside the box you’re forcing yourself into. You might have the winning idea which moves you up at work or solves a problem for someone you care about.

7) It’s normal to be disliked

It’s good to be comfortable with the idea that not everybody is going to like you. The chances of it are impossible, not matter how kind-hearted and open-minded you are. Even the people you idolise or want to emulate have their detractors and naysayers. If you lived your life just for everyone to like you, you’d eventually resolve to never leave the house. The best option is to be yourself.

8) Interesting opportunities are always there

From unique interests arise great opportunities. This could be career-related, romance-related or completely random, from travelling across the world to being on television. You never know what you’re preventing from happening if you don’t pursue what you love. Live with the optimism that sticking to what you believe in and expressing it can bring great things to you.

9) You’ll be better in social situations

You might think your uniqueness makes it hard for you to get along socially, but you are more likely to be more awkward if you constantly try and impress people and hide things about yourself. The pressure to be liked will make you harder to relate to because people can see when others are uncomfortable. Relax and be confident in who you are.

10) And… no-one likes a copycat

It’s embarrassing and obvious when you try to be someone else. Potentially one of the most disliked features in people is when they feel the need to copy others. It illustrates perfectly how much more people prefer others who are just themselves. If you struggle with finding your own identity visit our Video Moods section for a bit of insight and support.

It is a shame that people still live to please others and not be their unique selves, especially in more serious cases to do with sexuality, religion and other cultural conflicts in the modern world. When others are cruel to you, which can happen when being yourself, remember that they have the problem, not you. If they feel a need to judge others who cause them no harm, then their insecurities in who they are showing. If you’re confident in yourself, then you’re not going wrong. Keep being the unique you.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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