The Art of Being Unapologetically You

The biggest challenge of life is being yourself, in a world that is continuously trying to make you like everyone else
 Photography by-  Michael Edwards

Photography by- Michael Edwards

I posted a caption the other day on my Instagram speaking on my insecurities about being an influencer, and the comments under that particular picture were fascinating to me. Everyone talked about how happy they were that I felt that way and others even applauded me for being "myself" and sharing some of those feelings with my followers. I didn't overthink it when I wrote that caption, but from the responses I got, I realized how vital being yourself indeed is especially in the 21st century and as an influencer. 

As kids, you hear the phrase be yourself a lot while growing up and you try your hardest to become the person you want to be while facing societal pressures that make being yourself hard. I remember always being called the loud one, weird one, or the one that liked way too much attention every time I thrived in an environment by purely letting my true self, shine. Often, when I heard these comments, I would retreat and sometimes cry out of frustration. I just could not make sense as to why I did not fit in with one particular crowd. It didn't make sense to me that after being told to be myself for so long, that when I finally figured out or thought I knew who I was, everyone seemed to have an opinion on the type of person, I should be. 

I grew up wearing many masks, and for some time those masks stayed on longer than I expected. I often remember times getting so frustrated at myself for not understanding why I could not get the courage just merely to be myself... it seemed easy you know? Such a simple phrase yet such an incredibly hard feat.

 Photography by  Michael Edwards

Photography by Michael Edwards

I feel a sense of hope and strength in the woman that I am now though. I won't pretend that I know what I am doing, heck I am still so young, and I change and learn something new every day but, I have found solace in understanding the uniqueness that is the beauty of who I am as an individual and to me that is the greatest gift that I have given myself. So here are a few things to guide you to being unapologetically yourself, they aren't hard fast rules, but they have helped me, and I hope they can help you too.

Do not try to please anyone but yourself

If this ain't the TRUTH! We all do this don’t we? Try really hard to make sure everyone likes us. I struggled with this for a long time and honestly still struggle with it now. Especially since I moved cities, I have found myself continually trying to please everyone, so I could make friends and they would like me but honestly, it’s been brewing disaster, so I have seen myself pulling back and honestly just being myself. Don't care about what others think about you but more so learn how to live your life authentically, and everything else will fall into place. 

Embrace your imperfections

One of my all-time favorite phrases to say is- I love my beautiful imperfections. I stand in the mirror most days and look at the things that I find myself hating. Whether it’s the way I struggle with being so impatient or how small my eyes are. Whether it’s the way I pronounce certain words or say "lol" instead of actually laughing (yeah I know my generation is bonkers). I stand in front of that mirror or honestly just speak to myself and say I love my beautiful imperfections. I embrace that they aren't perfect because no one is but they are mine, and since they are mine they must be beautiful. This affirmation goes a long way in breeding confidence. It helps for those days when you feel like going into your shell, and you need some reassurance. 

Focus on you, not the world

The world is such a prominent place and with so many people in the world, it’s hard to sometimes forget that the focus should be on you. Stop doing things you don't want to do just because the world says so. Stop agreeing with society if that is just not how you feel and speak up for yourself when you feel strongly about something. That is how you think not anyone else's opinions, and you should make that heard. 

Be Fearless

I honestly still struggle with being fearless myself and that is okay. I find myself rethinking certain things because of the fear that it just might not work out. Being daring and courageous takes time but find that courage and show your quirks and uniqueness. Live freely like every day is your last and once you begin to do this, everything will fall into place, it is only natural. 

And finally, being you makes you unique, embrace that

No one is the same, we are all unique and being unique makes you special so own that. Ask yourself what you are afraid of by running away from who you are? Ask yourself why you are holding yourself back? If you were not you, the world will be the same and nothing would be different, but because you are who you are, everything changes. Embrace that.

Now, don't put pressure on yourself to change overnight. Begin small, take a step, go on an adventure, set personal goals that freak you out and trust that if you set the goal of being more real, you will be able to do this with time. And it will feel so good! Learn to build yourself slowly, it takes time, but when you are finally living authentically, there is nothing like it.

Love, 

Sofi :)

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