It’s really hard to be true to who we really are. Things like social media and friendship circles constantly create pressure to be someone we are not. We are always made to feel like we are too different to fit in or need to change to be accepted by others.
It sounds cliché, but these differences are what make you, you! To be true to yourself, you can start by accepting these differences, owning them and using them to your advantage. Think about how boring the world would be if everyone was the same. We need differences.
That said, remaining true to yourself is a lot easier said than done. You might be feeling pressured to conform to a new friend group, or just don’t feel as if you fit in with those around you, and the trend to just ‘be like everyone else’ can make anyone feel like an outsider.
A good way of being true to yourself is to surround yourself with others who do the same. Social pressure can be subtle, but it has enormous impacts on how we see ourselves. Being around people who can embrace the parts of us we think are silly, uncool or even just out of the ordinary, goes an enormous way to helping us accept ourselves. It may take time to find these people, but once you do, you'll realise the unique qualities you have become the reasons they love you.
Sometimes, we don’t actually know or recognise that we aren’t being true to ourselves. Hiding parts of yourself can make you feel as if you’re living a lie. If these parts have been hidden for a long time, it can be stressful and confusing.
We learn to compare ourselves with others, with their accomplishments, what they do and how they look – it’s normal to want to be like everyone else. People-pleasing is an extremely common way to try and fit in. Sadly, pleasing others can be the very thing that stops us from being true to who we are. .
Being true to ourselves means being able to be honest about our opinions, feelings, and needs – we should never feel ashamed to voice our thoughts to those around us (as long as those opinions don’t unnecessarily hurt anyone else). Trust yourself and begin to embrace the things that make you an individual. Remember, if the people around you don't accept you for who you are, then they're not the right people to be around. It's your life.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos While her previous foster families and teachers were all quick to write off Nova because she’s nonverbal, Nova knows who she really is, and so does her big sister, Bridget.
Wonder by R.J Palacio August Pullman, a boy born with facial deformities lives through the uncertainty and awkwardness of middle school. Especially the fragile friendships and changing social structures.
Wink by Rob Harrell Rob Harrell was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer as a middle schooler. He has to navigate the hallways of both hospitals and middle school with humour.
Eleven-year-old Riley moves to San Francisco. She and her five core emotions, Fear, Anger, Joy, Disgust and Sadness, struggle to cope with her new life.
Kayla Day, is in the eighth grade. She is introverted but also posts videos about self-confidence online. Soon, she realises she is not the person she is pretending to be and has to accept that.
How to Train Your Dragon Hiccup, a Viking, must kill a dragon to mark his passage into manhood and be initiated into his tribe. However, he ends up doing the exact opposite by befriending a deadly dragon, Night Fury.
The first step to being true to yourself is accepting yourself
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