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Re: Why Be Yourself is Bullshit

As a reply to my last email, I got a nice quote from Oscar Wilde fitting the Be Yourself topic.

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

Oscar Wilde

I love that quote. It’s simple and clear. And he’s right to a certain degree.

The problem with those quotes is that they are polarizing and binary. There’s only good and bad or a and b, however, you want to call it. That’s the power of those quotes and it really helps to make a point.

In this case, I assume it’s you should stop trying to be like the others and better be yourself.

I agree with him. Trying to be like your idol or your peers does help you at all. You just become a bad copy of someone else. Instead of developing your own self.

The emphasis is on developing yourself.

Which brings me to the next problem those quotes can have. People start to blindly repeat them until they become common wisdom, mindlessly repeated as “Be yourself”.

Don’t try to be like your friends. Be yourself and they will like you.

How many times have you heard those things during your childhood? Or even now?

I don’t know the number, haven’t counted it, but I bet so often that it became an automatic reaction to say that whenever the topic fits. I’ve observed that often, even me saying that.

It brings three issues along.

  1. Who am I anyway? This question pushes some people to an existential crisis because they have no clue who they are, but everyone tells them they should.

  2. I’ve always been like that. That’s just how I am. I can’t change.

  3. I don’t like myself. But wisdom says I should be. What now? Argh.

What do you do now?

The common pattern I notice is that people become too obsessed with the “being” part that they totally ignore that there is a “becoming” part.

It’s especially sad to see people in misery like drowning in their financial debts, complaining and whining, and then refusing to take action because they can’t because they have always been like that.

Yeah, and that being yourself brought them into the mess in the first place. It won’t bring them out of it.

The key to fixing your problems is to change yourself.

It’s the most important thing you have to understand. That’s why I am preaching it so hard now.

It’s like in Star Wars or Harry Potter or Spiderman or whatever you love. The hero follows a path in self-development. And at some point, they realize and accept that they have to change to overcome the new obstacles.

You are the hero in this situation now. And you can do it. Believe that you can do it.

And remember, the hero is never alone, and so are you. You got us for support.

I know you can do it and change :-)


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