“Be yourself”, is universal advice. You hear it in movies, songs, video games, and day to day life. Parents, friends, coaches, teachers, girl and boyfriends, co-workers; they’ve all told us. Heck, we’ve said it too to other people, “Just be yourself”.
What does it mean when someone tells you to be yourself? From my perspective, it’s about being you and not someone you’re not; being your authentic self. But if you look at the advice from another perspective and context, it could be interpreted as stay as you are.
Is it good advice?
No! You should never try be someone you’re not. You have to be you, but better everyday.
Strive towards what’s better
In 2016 I was interviewed to talk about reinvention, the chat was dubbed “Being in a constant state of becoming“. What does this mean? A tip from Heraclitus: We are constantly in a state of becoming; an endless state of flux in which we are constantly changing, evolving, and becoming more (and less) at the same time.
In other words, we’re not set in stone.
For me, you’re either getting better or getting worse; there is no middle ground. I know this mentality doesn’t make sense to everyone, but why not strive for better when you could be way more; and it’s your choice?
Because you’re not everything you could be. And you know it.
The tweet below inspired me to write this post:
“Be yourself” is the worst advice of all time. Here’s why. pic.twitter.com/f7dmHTyRrZ
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) October 3, 2021
Here’s the video:
Be better than yesterday
To be in a constant state of becoming means recognizing we could and should be better and then deliberately striving for that. We have the power to mold ourselves. Think about it, compared to a year ago, are you a better parent? A better spouse? A better friend? A better co-worker? A better leader?
Be honest with yourself because before you can get better you have to examine your present self, accept that you’re not all you could be and then take deliberate action on improving.
Lastly, our time here on Earth is limited, there are people who only exist; others who live. Go ahead and make the most of your time here and live all out, striving to be better everyday.
Bottom line: Be your authentic self, but better.