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If You Don’t Know How To Be Yourself, Read This.

If You Don’t Know How To Be Yourself, Read This.

Most people appear confident when in reality, they want things that they can’t have, and feel badly about it. Everywhere I go, I see them talking about ignorance without realizing their projections and insecurities are manifested in what they say and how they act. They are clones, automatons, and they do just the opposite of what I am going to tell you to do below, wading through life without ever knowing how to be yourself.

1. Find your passion.

My little brother has no passion, but he’s got likes. He likes food, girls, and alcohol. Unfortunately, he doesn’t want to get a job in these fields. Perhaps most of all, he likes to brood. I’m pushing him to become a philosopher, hoping that his preference for deep thought will help him make money. In the meantime, he’s going to finish college.

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2. Be fearless.

Fears are weaknesses. To be yourself, get rid of all fear in your life by facing it head on. Even if you fail, you should learn how to succeed next time.

3. Be kind to yourself.

Judge less and appreciate more what you do and what you have done. Everyone has different talents and can help to leave the planet a better place than it was when they found it, which is really the goal of life. Even if your way of enhancing the world is to smile at strangers, that’s still worth a lot more than what some people offer.

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4. Accept failure.

Fail faster to find success. It may take five years instead of ten, but as long as you stick with your failures and appreciate them, learning from your suffering, you will find that the core of who you are is stronger than ever.

5. Dream.

Dreams and goals are very similar. If you dream of achieving something, you can set goals to reach it. If you don’t dream, you will live an average life, indistinguishable from the crowd.

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6. Read.

Some people think that reading isn’t as important as keeping up with their Neflix queue. They fail to realize that the brightest and best minds and most interesting experiences central to human experience have been put into writing for the past five thousand years. To learn more about yourself, spend some time alone with a book and tap into the richness of literature.

7. Surround yourself with good people.

Too many people I know are satisfied to stoop low and pick up dirt when it comes to those who they believe are “friends.” True friends are loyal and share your interests. They are willing to do more than gossip and talk about things. Perhaps most important, good people are willing to make you feel better about yourself, without talking about how great they are. They will enjoy you not for being like them, but rather for knowing how to be yourself.

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8. Go against the grain.

Most people seek the comfort of a group. Usually, however, this does not teach you how to be yourself, but how to conform. Instead, think about what matters to you and do it—don’t care if everyone else disagrees.

9. Think about your clan.

What would your family think? By being close genetically to you, those who raised you or were there with you during tough times are good to turn to when in trouble. The values your family supports can translate to your own, especially on big issues you don’t know how to answer.

10. Travel.

Seeing how other people in the world live can help you appreciate what you have and what sets you apart. Plus, on any trip, you will come across challenges, such as communicating and getting to where you need to go on time. Traveling alone can force you to learn things about yourself you never knew existed.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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