One thing that I struggled to be earlier in life is MYSELF. I always wanted to behave in a way that would be likeable to the other person, especially when it came to work and business. I went to great lengths researching perceived important people that I was due to meet, and then performed in a way that I thought would impress; the intention was to get what I want. Approval.

 We all have a desire to be accepted by friends, family and colleagues etc. and at times go to great lengths in our quest for approval. One of the key drivers is we want to belong and feel part of a tribe, which is part of our primordial human instinct. So the big question is, should we change who we are based on who we are with?

The simple answer is “No”. Changing who you are according to environment is not advisable as it can lead to exhaustion, feelings of inadequacy “I am not enough”; and, continuous guess work about what you ought to be doing to impress. Extreme forms of not being yourself can also lead to stress and anxiety as there is constant pressure to think and execute instead of just BEING.

 While you shouldn’t block out huge parts of your personality and filter yourself, work environments may come with a few requirements such as professionalism and a dress code; family circles may require you to show specific signs of respect, but this does not mean that you should hold back on who you are. Being yourself is truly a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), a marketing term that basically means “What makes you different.”

Here are 6 (six) reasons why you should be yourself:

You have inner peace – You are not caught up researching about your various roles and how you should be.

You can grow and get better – the more you are yourself, the better you become at being yourself.

You are the best person for the job – nobody else fits the role like you do.

 You can discover new things about yourself – As you grow within yourself, you will get to know new things about you.

You can show up authentically – Healthy relationships are formed through being genuine. Authenticity is also refreshing; the global village we live in has made it challenging to know who’s real and who’s fake.

You’ll be respected and admired for it – It’s a sign of confidence and maturity. “Wow, she is so real, she’s not afraid to be herself” they’ll say.

Anyone can have the same qualifications, experience and skills as you, but absolutely nobody can be you.