Psych Central

Learning to be Yourself“Just be yourself.”

What would that feel like? Because we have been conditioned since we were born, it is sometimes very difficult to know who we really are. We grow up observing our parents’ views and beliefs, we model ourselves after our friends and family, and then we also have society’s expectations.

As we grow up and enter into relationships, we tend to learn certain things about ourselves. Right now, think back on some of your relationships. Were you able to be your true self?

After you get to know someone, you tend to relax, your walls come down, and then you can begin to trust this person and be more of yourself.

Parallel to this idea, when you allow your partner to be him- or herself, without criticizing or placing judgments, you create a safe place for them to feel comfortable with you. We tend to trust those who don’t disapprove of us for our thoughts or past experiences. We are close to others that allow us to express ourselves without being judged.

Celebrate your individuality, express yourself positively, and be happy with you! Here are a few ways to do that.

  • Who are you? If you put a definition to your existence, do you accept this person? Take a moment and jot down your “you” definition, including your strengths, weaknesses and achievements.

  • Don’t get caught up with others and what they think about you. What you think of yourself is more important. If you are always masking who you are to appease others, you will lose your “you-ness.” Be yourself. Everyone else is taken!
  • At times we can be insecure and hide or disguise those areas we are not proud of. We all have imperfections; we are human. Take a moment and write down five areas with which you are uncomfortable. Accept those areas, whether they are physical or emotional. When you are writing these areas down, look at your words. Are they negative? If you were to say these areas out loud, what tone would you be using? Watch what you say about yourself – you are listening!
  • Laugh it off and let it go. Life is too short to dwell on the things that we cannot control. Be so comfortable with yourself that you can shake off the things that go wrong in your life. Don’t hold onto them. Visualize yourself sitting on a train, watching each issue pass by as you are looking out of the window. Relax. Breathe. Enjoy every stepping stone.
  • Always be yourself. Express yourself, don’t suppress yourself. If you are hanging around critical people, it’s time to find some new people. Be proud of who you are. Don’t lose “you.”



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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Sep 2013
    Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Bright, R. (2013). Learning to be Yourself. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from


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