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10 Benefits of Being Yourself That Could Change Your Life

10 Benefits of Being Yourself That Could Change Your Life

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, “A Return to Love”

The first thing that comes to mind after reading that quote is, “Enough said!” But let’s dig in and pull out at least 10 benefits of you being your awesome self that can rock your world with very little effort on your part. After all, you’ve been you since you were born, you know. 

1. Wherever you go, there you are.

Let’s face it: you can’t even go to the bathroom without you tagging along, so making peace with your authentic self can make every experience on this path of life much more interesting and entertaining. When you’re at peace with yourself, you’re more open to being present, which means you’ll notice and enjoy the intricacies of the “small stuff.”

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2. When you like you, others will like you too.

People can always tell when others are being fake. Not necessarily fake in the negative sense, but fake in general. Maybe you’re unhappy, overly happy, always the victim, or maybe just not living up to your true potential. When you’re in tune with you, you automatically–yet non-verbally–give those around you permission to get to know and like the real you as well.

3. Being you will give you confidence.

Now that you’re trying on your own shoes instead of  walking in someone else’s that are too small, you won’t have to focus on the pain of pretending. You can walk taller, throw your shoulders back and hold your head high. Regardless of your gender, you know wearing stylin’ shoes that fit makes you feel better about yourself and puts a spring in your step. Let that confidence carry you through the whole day–and the whole day after that.

4. Confidence attracts confidence.

Like the quote says, your playing small does you or anyone around you absolutely no good. Your being yourself for the sake of being yourself will attract more authentic people into your life and create a network of supportive, uplifting and even fun folks you can genuinely call friends.

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5. Having true friends helps you silence the voice of manipulation.

When you’re comfortable with you and have people around you who also love you for you, the void of feeling alone is filled and the need to “play” people for the sake of not being alone disappears. You free up space for your relationships to grow and become even healthier than they already are.

6. Being authenticly you allows you to breathe easier.

Hiding and pretending can be emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually exhausting. The more you allow your essence to mature, the less stress will be in your life and the more relaxed you’ll be in every area of your life.

7. Less stress makes you more productive.

You know it’s true. When you’re not stressed out and can focus on what’s going on in front of you rather than trying to live as who you aren’t, your productivity in your work, your play and your life in general will skyrocket.

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8. Those who no longer fit in your life will be free to move on.

Like attracts like, and when you’re able to be comfortable in your own skin, those who aren’t comfortable in theirs may get left behind. And that’s just fine because you’ll have your network of new friends who keep you playing in the big leagues.

9. Being true to yourself will help you remember how to dream.

Surviving each day being untrue to yourself just to survive the next steals your creativity and passion. Allowing yourself to dream again will open doors you deadbolted years ago and lead you to your purpose. Imagine actually living each day inspired and doing what brings you joy. Believe it or not, it’s entirely possible!

10. Everyone else is already taken.

You have been wonderfully made, and no matter what’s happened in your life up to this point you have a purpose that no one who’s ever lived or will live can possibly fulfill. You were born to shine. Hiding your brilliant light from yourself and the rest of the world is an injustice to those of us who need what you have to offer. If you’re still struggling with being yourself for yourself, will you at least consider doing it for me? If not for me, find someone close to you who you know 100% needs you and your whole self and do it for them. We–those of us in this world–need your light!!

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“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” ~Dr. Seuss

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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