To be myself, I had to change myself.
Oh no. I’m doing it again. I’m all over the place. I can’t keep watching myself! Every time I turn around, I mess up again. Then I regret it later. I’m a liability to myself.
Do you know that feeling? That feeling like you’re contradicting yourself. Like you can’t be trusted. Like there are multiple parts of you and each one is going in a different direction and you feel lost, not knowing which part of you to follow.
I’ve found that it happens the most when you can’t keep your word. When you start keeping your word, and being true to your own promises, then you start trusting yourself, more and more.
A few things happened in my life recently. Both to me and the people around me. These events made me realize how far I’ve come from 7 years ago when I first started my journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. I took the red pill. I looked at myself and how I was. I mean really looked at myself. All my flaws and what I hated about myself as well as all the things that I thought were good.
There was a point in my life where I said to myself, “I’m going to do this“. Then I didn’t. I said it again, “I’m going to finish this“. Again I didn’t. Every time I felt like I’d failed myself. When I said things, I didn’t do them. After doing this a few times, I couldn’t trust myself any more.
And when I couldn’t trust myself, of course, I projected it onto others around me. Unconsciously, I was pulling myself away from the world around me, because I thought that what I did was wrong. And I felt that everyone around me also thought that what I did was wrong. I felt like I was lying to myself and the world around me. Have you felt like this before?
The thing was, I didn’t actually know at the time why I felt so unhappy with myself. So I took the red pill. I sat down and thought for a long time about things. And I realized that I wasn’t consistent.
Being consistent could mean a lot of different things, but for me, it was about having my internal voice and my external actions coming together. When I questioned myself, I started noticing problems:
I said I loved family. Then why was all my time being spent away from them? I said religion comes first. Then why was I forgetting it in my daily life? I said I wanted to be strong in any situation. Then why was I scared of talking in front of people? I said I wanted to be smart. Then why had I stopped reading as many books as before?
Even though to anyone outside, it looked like my life was actually pretty fine, inside I was carefully disassembling the idea that I was living my life in a way that was good for me. I was realizing that I was probably being self-destructive and that my current attitude would give me some major problems in a few years.
What were my core values?
I had to sit down and really think about how I would live my life if those really were the values I thought were important to me.
That internal conversation evolved into questions of whether those really were my core values in the first place.
What was important to me? I mean really important to me?
It took me time to figure them out. But it was worth it. After that, it was easier to see when I went off track in my life. I just had to look back at whether it fit in with my core values. Honestly though, it’s still evolving even now. Not the values themselves, I have those down I think. Rather, my understanding of how those values fit in with my life are evolving every day.
Be myself? Or change myself?
I struggled with this for a while. It’s not my fault, society made me that way. I was bombarded for years with messages of, “You’re unique” and “You should be yourself”. The problem was, nobody ever explained it to me.
So I thought that it meant I could never change a single thing about myself, even the parts that were horrible, and wrong, and self-destructive.
It took me a long time to realize that being myself should mean following through with the core values that I thought were important. In short, my ideal self. Everyone has their own vision of how they would like themselves to be. That was the truly unique self that I needed to become.
To be myself, I had to change myself.
That realization was mind-blowing for me. I had to change myself to become consistent with my ideal. I had to change myself to be the person I wanted to be. I had to change myself to be myself.
In the end, I’m happier now after changing myself to become more consistent.
Some side effects of being consistent
- Be true to your word. Promising something means you have to follow through. If not you’re not being consistent with yourself, this is when you start having multiple selves. The part of you who really wants to do it and promised to do it. And then there’s the part of you who is against it and in the end decided to skip doing it. Every time you don’t follow through, you not only divide yourself in two and more, you also start giving your negative side more power. The person who goes through with his word is the person who is fully in control of both sides of himself.
- Have a much stronger sense of who you are. It’s the you that believes in these things and ACTS on them, not just says the words. You’re consistent, your life flows, and when questions and decisions come your way, you can be consistent and easily decide what you want to do as long as it doesn’t go against your core values. At the end of the day, it’s much easier for you to look back and say, “Here. This is the kind of person I am. Everything I did today reflects that.”
- Have a clearer direction in life. All those choices which are useless to you (and aren’t consistent with you and what you want) are simply ignored. This doesn’t limit your life. It frees up your time for you to do much more meaningful things rather than wasting time worrying and regretting. When you don’t know what to do, you have to spend so much time experimenting new things to see if you might like it. Odd thing is, you’ll even try things that are bad for you even when you know it. Be strong. Be principled. Be consistent with how much you want yourself to succeed. Forget all those petty side issues that aren’t in the direction you want to go in your life.
So the question is, would you change yourself to become a better version of yourself? Are you doing it now?