Do you sometimes feel like you are losing track of who you really are? Do you sometimes do things that are just not you? Do you like living according to somebody else’s standards?
If not, you can start today using these three successful strategies to stop being yourself:
1. Always follow social proof
We are funny. We want to be different and unique, but in the end we do what others do. We want to fit in and there are various studies to prove it:
- We laugh more at sitcoms when laugh tracks are put on
- Restaurants, highlighting “popular items”, see an increase of orders in those dishes
- To get people to use less energy the most effective strategy is to let them know that 77 percent of their neighbours were already actively using fans to save energy
All theses examples show the power of social proof.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon, and stems from the principle that if you feel uncertain about what to do, then you’ll most likely take a cue from others about how to behave. In other words, if other people are doing it, I will do it too.
You are more likely to buy, if you see that other people already bought it. It’s a very common marketing advice.
For a blog like mine it would mean that you are more likely to share, like, or subscribe to my website, if you see that there are already many other people doing the same.
There are only a few people taking the risk of trying something nobody has tried before. In the marketing world they are called early adopters. They are the ones making new discoveries and challenging the status quo.
What does that mean?
It means that you need to discover the unknown. You need to be the first one to
- go to medical school when you are 54, had 2 divorces and work as a waitress
- train your dog how to play frisbee
- dance ballet in a Zumba class
Being the first one doesn’t necessarily mean to be the first one to set foot on Mars. But within your own life you need to do things that nobody approved to be good before you. You have to be your own early adopter for your life. Nobody is able to do it for you.
Each person is unique. Live that uniqueness.
Be aware of social proof and take the risk to unfollow.
2. Do everything in your power to be liked by others
“I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am – I am what I think that you think I am.” Charles Horton Cooley
We want to be liked by others. It’s an innate behaviour that we are born with. Studies show that babies’ emotions are directly drawn from the behaviour of the people around them.
We get high from Facebook likes and any kind of external validation we get for ourselves. Many peoples’ self-esteem and wellbeing depends on the opinion of others.
What we often forget is, that people judge us based on their own expectations and life experiences.
Have you ever disliked somebody for no apparent reason? If so, it’s likely that he or she has similar traits to somebody you dislike or somebody you have a bad experience with.
And maybe you look like the ex-boyfriend who cheated on her a million times. If you remind her in any way on him, chances are good she dislikes you.
The result? You might feel bad about yourself.
There will always be people that dislike you no matter what. Maybe it has nothing to do with you, maybe it does.
The good news is that you can decide how you deal with it.
And their are some pretty good options:
- Find out your values and act accordingly. Most probably not everybody will agree with you, but if you are true to yourself and if you know what’s important to you, your self-worth will not be effected by the ones who disagree.
- Stop worrying. Even if there is the one colleague, aunt, acquaintance who doesn’t like you, it’s not the end of the world. What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t talk to you. So what?
- Think about it as an experiment. When you are confronted with somebody who seems to dislike you, don’t take it as a final destination. Take it as a playground, as an experiment. Be aware of how you react to that person, what your thoughts are, what happens to your emotions. Just watch. Once you are aware you can actively change your perception and reaction and you’ll see:
What other people think of you really doesn’t matter that much.
3. Don’t accept who you are today
If you don’t accept who you are today you’ll successfully never be yourself. Congratulations.
There are so many possibilities of who and what we could be.
Of what we could do. Of whom we could be become.
We keep wanting
- more money
- be smarter
- be thinner
- get the job
- get married
- move to Ouagadougou,
and than we’ll be our better selves.
Until then you hold back with who you really are and what you really want to do, because you only are who you really are once you have fulfilled the unknown and never ending desire of…nothing.
Becoming yourself becomes a to-do on your list.
What can you do about it?
Celebrate yourself. Exactly as you are. Right now.
You are the best version of what you are capable to be. You did exactly what you were capable of doing at this point in your life.
If you don’t accept yourself as you are now, you won’t accept yourself in the future either.
It doesn’t mean that you should stop growing. It means that you should be aware that you are not your achievements.
Do you really become a different person if you get the job? If you get hired?
It’s only your outside changing. Your inside stays the same.