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How To Always Be Yourself And Make Your Life More Fulfilling

How To Always Be Yourself And Make Your Life More Fulfilling

In a world that wants you to conform, follow the rules, and keep up with the Joneses, it can be really hard to always be yourself. And yet, it is completely necessary if you want to make your life more fulfilling.

Frustration, resentment, and unhappiness are just a few of the feelings that can come from trying to be someone else’s ideal version of you. On the other hand, contentment, joy, and peace are a few of the feelings that can come from being true to yourself.

It’s not always an easy path to take because it takes courage and vulnerability, but with a few key practices you can hold true to you and create a fulfilling life.

Take 5.

As a solo entrepreneur, being true to myself and taking a stand for what I believe in are integral pieces of building a business I really want to have. But there are days when all of the items on my to do list plus the distractions of social media, email, and kids running through the house can leave me feeling overwhelmed and questioning what I’m really doing… and who I really am.

So I take a break. Sometimes for just 5 minutes. And during that break, I turn off all electronics, walk away from my to do list, and find a quiet spot. This is an opportunity to breathe and reconnect to myself.

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After taking five, I feel centered and grounded. Like I’ve landed again. And from here, I can move forward again.

Action: Take a five minute break from everything. Breathe, meditate, go for a walk, or dance it out. But whatever you do, make sure it is something that brings you back to you.

Be kind to yourself.

I have days when nothing feels right. My jeans don’t fit, my energy is low, and I just don’t want to be around anyone. Least of all myself.

But rather than fight this feeling and force myself to smile and call a friend and be around people, I have learned to be gentle with myself. I let myself sleep in. I read a book. I eat what sounds good… without judgment.

Giving myself time to expand into the “not-right” feelings, allows it to pass sooner, and I find myself back on my path way faster than when I’ve tried to fight it.

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Action: When your inner bully is calling you names and when you feel “off”, do something kind for yourself. Take a bubble bath, take a nap, watch your favorite movie… but do it with love and without judgment.

Celebrate the small stuff.

We all celebrate the big stuff: you get a promotion, graduate from college, get married, have a baby, etc. But these events don’t happen very often.

When I first left my corporate job to start my own business, I had a constant sense of failure and dread. Nothing felt like it was going well.

But after a while, I realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit, and I was measuring success by outdated standards (aka getting the bonus checks and launching the multimillion dollar products).

So I started a practice of celebrating the small stuff. And by celebrate I don’t mean going out to a 5-star restaurant, sometimes it’s enough to just get a high five from my husband.

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Celebrating the small stuff is about acknowledging the good stuff that you make happen every day, whether that’s “I got one new subscriber” or “I made my first video” or “I landed my first speaking gig”.

And by celebrating the small stuff, you reinforce the good work you are doing every day. The little things that happen because you are being you.

No matter how big or small, every day there is something to celebrate.

Action: Take five minutes at the end of each day to list what went well (or your accomplishments).. at least 3.

Think about someone else.

No matter who you are, you have people in your life: family, friends, coworkers, neighbors. And you have someone who relies on you for something, whether it is for keeping a roof over their heads and food in the fridge or a smile, a helping hand, a friendly reminder.

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On those days when everything is overwhelming and frustrated, I think about my husband. Or my best friend. Or my stepsons. And I remember not just how important they are in my life, but what I add to theirs. This isn’t a conceited line of thinking. This is taking credit for what I bring to the table.

Whether that’s my sense of humor, supportiveness, uncanny ability to pick just the right gift, or the example I set. I add to their lives. This reminder helps me be more of who I am because I know that it’s important to someone else.

You are important to others. Remember that.

Action: When you get overwhelmed in your daily life, take a few minutes to think about who you impact by being you and doing the things you do.

Your life is what you make it.

How you show up, how happy you are, and how fulfilling your life is, are all up to you. You get to make the choices every day to step into courage and own who you are — or not. It’s not always easy to choose courage, but it is completely worth it.

Love yourself first, and the rest will follow.

Featured photo credit: Brandon Warren via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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