Stay true to yourself. This is a phrase I’m sure every teenager is familiar with it. It frequently accompanies a well intentioned chat with an older relative about not following the crowd. Other times it completes one of those motivational speeches you are shown in class that highlights being comfortable in your skin.
It’s definitely good advice and something we should all take into consideration, particularly in this social media era of propelling certain images and lifestyles into the spotlight. However, I think we can all agree that it is sooo much easier said than done! Here are five tips to help make it that little bit easier.
1.Don’t Hide Your Preferences
It might seem a lot easier when you are in a group to go along with things your friends want to do even if its not what you personally would like but hiding your preferences means you are still hiding a little bit of your true self. If you are finding this hard, start with something small like admitting that you aren’t actually a big fan of the place you usually meet for food but you think your friends might enjoy this other place you know. Remember even little things lead the way to other potentially bigger incidents in the future.
2. Don’t Disregard Your Own Opinions
As a teenager you will find yourself faced with many decisions. Some like choosing future career paths will be big while others including what to wear for a particular occasion will be smaller. Nonetheless, each of these decisions belong to you and will have an impact on you. Of course, it is really important to take on the advice of those around you, however, if you are only looking at that business course because a relative insisted on it or wearing that skirt because your friend claimed it was perfect for you, then be wary. Listen to others advice but don’t live your life by other people’s opinions.
3. Be Honest
The easiest and quickest way to stay true to yourself is to be as honest as possible in as many situations as possible. Speak truthfully to those around you and try to worry less about their opinions. This doesn’t mean telling your friend that actually you detest her dress and making her feel horrible! It might mean that you express your view politely on a subject even if it differs from those around you. How we speak and act is usually one of the quickest ways for people to get to know us, so try to make sure they are getting to know the real you.
4. Make Sure Your Friends Are True
If you find that the people you tend to hang around with or spend a lot time with are making it harder for you to achieve some of these steps, then consider taking a step back. Take look at how your personal beliefs and views fit in with theirs and if you think the differences are too significant then maybe revaluate the amount of time you spend with them. Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel comfortable will enable you to naturally display more of your true self.
Read More: The Meaning of True Friendship
5. Don’t Try To Change Who You Are For The Sake of Others
Sometimes an offhand comment or phrase slipped into a conversation can leave you doubting yourself and wishing you could change who you are in order to fit in more with those around you. Be conscious at these times that you risk smothering a part of yourself in an attempt to replace it with something you deem would make you more “likeable”.
Admittedly there are certain ways you could act that might make it apparently easier for you to fit in. However, if you have to “act” a certain way then straight way that means you are not being true to yourself. Often it appears that the harder it seems to be true to yourself, then the more significant the impact of it will be. If the people around you cannot accept you for acting in the way that is truly you, then trust me they don’t deserve any of you.