I was talking to a friend once as I stood up a stack of chairs fixing something at the top of the door. We were getting ready for a CYP event. Now, if you live in Vasai and don’t know CYP- you suck. So, I told her I was a little nervous and hadn’t prepared to say anything. I was in charge of hosting that evening.

“Be You. If you try doing something that’s not you, it won’t work. People will start to notice that. Just BE YOU” – was her very quick answer. I just smiled, thinking, “That didn’t help a lot now, did it?!”

Sometimes, it can get annoying listening to advice from random people. It’s funny how they offer advice that’s intangible, useless and very, very intimidating. What does it really mean to be yourself anyway?If you just passed 12th boards by the way, get ready for muft career and vocational counseling every time you meet a relative or a family friend.

But really, ‘Be You’ is such an overrated millennial jargon these days. People love t-shirts and coffee mugs and stickers and aesthetic stationary supplies that say “BE YOU”. It’s a pretty popular phrase that you can stick with any problem under the sun.

Sticky note that says BE YOURSELF
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

“Are you anxious because of that speech competition? It’s okay. Just be you!”

“Can’t seem to find a good life partner? That’s no problem! Just be you and you’ll find the right person in a jiffy!

“Trying to impress the sasur (in-laws) or your boss? Be you!”

“Want to be an astronaut? Be you!”

But, what does it even mean to be you? Have you ever asked?

Mom: “Judith, why did you throw a rock at the TV screen?”

Judith: “Mom, I can’t find the remote and Discovery channel was on, the program was about dealing with dad issues?! Don’t blame me, I’m just being myself. You asked me to be me, right?!.”

I don’t know what being you can mean to you in your own lives, but I thought this might help:

1. Change the mirror you use

Cartoon GIF

I can only see the brokenness, the hurt and all my ugly features when I look in my mirror. So, I change mirrors with God. It is letting go of worldly perspective (mirror) and bringing God’s new beauty standards into your world. Now what I see is ‘Fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139).

This might seem cliché, but you can’t be true to yourself if you can’t accept who you are inside out. Look at you the way God looks at you. Not that you need to overlook your mistakes and think you’re an ultimate goddess. But, accepting yourself is part of being yourself.

2. Accepting your mistakes and flaws

Of course!!! Growing up, I hated how I looked in photos, I stopped showing up for group pictures at all. But, part of looking at me how God looked at me was accepting all my mistakes and flaws. Mistakes are our own doing.

Flaws could be something that we see in ourselves as imperfect or not very acceptable. Take both knowing that God and your parents and (people who secretly crush on you), love you in spite of all these things.

3. Be willing to change

“So what, I’m flawed. I’m flaw-some. This is me. Take me as I am or leave!” Let me guess. You’ve heard every other cheeky teenager say that, haven’t you?

Snow White and the seven dwarfs gif

I don’t think that is not a very correct attitude. If you are being you, you probably realize how amazing and mind-blowing your potential is. And that certainly includes getting better, learning new stuff, evolving, and being teachable to life. It is not being stubborn and not asking others to accept you for all the bad habits you continue with, thinking that is ‘being you’. We all need to change for good and be open and teachable to these changes. If not, I’m sorry, but you’re just being a pathetic, immature and stupid mess. And that, my friend, is not “YOU”.

4. Develop a relation with yourself

We are such complex beings. We’re so much more than just a huge bag of bones, muscles (or fat) with ugly emotions. But, we need to put down the phone, sit quietly and look at who we are on the inside. You won’t know whether or not you are being you if you don’t know who you are in the first place. Think your thoughts, analyze your behavior. Ask, what do I like? What are values that matter to me? What are my fears? Ask these questions often.

5. Pray daily

My dad says that The Bible is a mirror. When we read it, we can see who we really are. Praying not only gives me solid ground to accept myself as I am, but also the courage to acknowledge that I am wrong and thus, change. And I don’t mean you need to be floating two inches over ground level for your meditation. You only need to be in sync with your creator.

You don't need to be floating two inches over ground level for your meditation. You only need to be in sync with your creator. Click To Tweet

6. Do what you like doing

Now, don’t say you like watching FRIENDS. On this journey of self-discovery, doing what we like helps a lot. I mean active doing, not passive entertainment. I went to art class for two years and realized I don’t have the patience to sit in a studio, make paper flowers and break my back. But, I can sit for hours and read a book, or write a book. How’d I know that? I took time to check on myself and see what I was feeling, see what I really like doing.

When you do your liking, you basically fuel parts of you that are blooming. What you like, is part of your identity as a whole. Even if you’re working, you can always make 20 minutes to do what you like. Come on!

7. Discipline yourself

Just because you like eating pasta from Urban Juice Cafe doesn’t imply you should do it ALL the time. If you love yourself and you want to be amazing at being you, then discipline yourself. Discipline is part of loving yourself. Go ask Justin Bieber. He’ll tell you.

8. Don’t copy others

There’s a difference between learning from someone and copying someone. Your heart knows the difference. So, if you wear crop tops because your friends wear them, that’s stupid.

Get a life, (or an opinion of your own)!! Pick up the good stuff from everywhere- that’s learning. Being influenced by a crowd and imitating their practices just to fit in isn’t who you are, it’s just some fake version of you.

“Be you” is a powerful mantra Click To Tweet

“Be you” is a powerful mantra. Firstly, you can stay true to your Christian values even in a negative surrounding with this trick. Secondly. this will help you think more positively about yourself. You can change and become the best version of yourself with this.

Guess where this strong mantra came from? Jesus, of course. He’s the OG, that guy. No one else could come up with anything like this, obviously.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28.

What Jesus is basically asking you to do is- come AS YOU ARE, to Him. So, the good news is that we don’t need to undergo a quality check or fulfill some harsh requirements. You just have to BE YOU. He wants you to be you. He draws that fine line in between accepting yourself and growing.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17