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Learning to Be Yourself


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Learning to be yourself is one thing they don't teach you at school, but is one of the scariest things about life.
In today's world of media hype surrounding celebrities - their image, body shape, fashion and hair style - it's so easy to get sucked in, longing to look like, sound like, act like and be admired just like the famous face of this month's magazines. The pressure from peers to do so creates an awful tension between being yourself and fitting in with the people around you, and will often lead to many more severe personal issues.
I have forever been overshadowed by a self-consciousness that has grown from the concern about what others think of me. As I've grown up and learned about who I am, I have often been scared to talk about my problems, the things I believe in and things that really matter to me. I was always so afraid that nobody would listen or understand and that I'd be teased for being who I am that I found it easier just to do, say and act as I was expected to in order to be accepted. Eventually I grew sick of pretending and I reluctantly allowed myself to be the person I really am. I learned that if others can't respect me for who I am or are going to judge me for the way that I look then they are not worth my time, energy or friendship.
Self-identity is about much more than what you wear and do, it's about what you believe in, what you dream of and about allowing yourself the freedom to live for nobody else but you. I still don't know who I really am or where I belong but I have found the confidence to overcome my fear. This is a small step that has given me great strength to love, rather than fear who I am, to be happy and to make sense of my life.