It is easy to become cynical when reading all the inspirational sayings on social media that talk about ‘being true to yourself’ – what does this even mean? It sounds similar to the type of advice you would find inside a Christmas cracker. You would be forgiven for dismissing the advice to ‘be true to yourself’ as just a meaningless platitude, but this might mean that you are missing out on something important that could benefit your life.
Why Does It Mean To Be True To Yourself?
Being true to yourself means doing what is right for you rather than just doing what other people expect of you. It is not about becoming selfish but about doing less people-pleasing. Being true to yourself also means being willing to leave your comfort zone so that you can begin living up to your potential. It is about facing your fears and refusing to accept a life that is anything less than what you deserve.
The reason being ‘true to yourself’ can seem useless advice is that most people wrongly assume that this is what they are already doing. The reality is that most of these individuals will be living a life that is less than what they are capable of. This could mean things such as continuing with a job they dislike out of fear of change, wasting hours every day on TV, struggling with their finances, and doing lots of stuff just because it is expected.
The Importance of Being True to Yourself in Recovery
Some people are enthusiastic about recovery in the beginning but, once they have been sober for a few months, their motivation starts to diminish. This usually happens because the person fails to find purpose in their new life, meaning that it feels as if they are just going through the motions. The person may feel that he or she is just doing things to please others, which is just not a compelling reason to stay sober.
Humans are almost hardwired to develop routines, and in the modern world there is a lot of pressure to keep on taking on more and more commitments. After a while, it can begin to feel as if you are doing all of this stuff, but it is not what you want to be doing. If you feel obliged to continue as you are, or you are too afraid to change, it can mean you become increasingly resentful or disappointed with your new life in recovery.
Being true to yourself means remembering why you got sober and using this vision to guide your future choices. This is not about making rash choices – nobody is suggesting you should just go and quit your job tomorrow. However, if you have a goal then you need to be doing things to get yourself closer to that goal. If all you ever do is dream about a better life, it means you are not being true to yourself. If you settle for just physical sobriety and do not see the need for any further development, you are not being true to yourself.
If you have kids, you do need to put them first, but this does not mean you cannot be true to yourself. The likelihood is that if you are unhappy with your life, it will be negatively affecting them anyway. Keep in mind that being true to yourself is not about being selfish but about getting the most out of your life so it can benefit your family as well as yourself.