Ok so I’m not sure when or how this phrase of “be you tiful” started (I looked it up and still couldn’t find a clear answer). I’m kinda in love with it, yet also annoyed that it’s literally everywhere.
Be You Tiful is the name of so many businesses; I see it in framed artwork at salons; there are books about it apparently and t-shirts, and other paraphernalia. It’s like an entire movement.
Don’t get me wrong I’m really glad that we have something like this to remind us and motivate us to be ourselves (I just sometimes go crazy literally seeing it everywhere).
What Does It Mean?
I wanted to delve into what that phrase really means, because as we all know, when something gets overused or we see it eveywhere, the meaning can get diluted and it just becomes a catchphrase and gimmick.
So, to start, I looked it up. According to Urban Dictionary, be you tiful is defined as:
Play on words that means that you’re beautiful when you decide to be yourself
Honestly, that’s pretty amazing. In a world where we are so caught up with fitting in and keeping up with what others think, this term is forcing us to redefine how we see ourselves, and where we put our energies.
But, It’s Not Easy to Be You
The whole idea of being “be you tiful” rests upon you doing just that: being you.
That’s kinda hard.
I pride myself on being myself, and sometimes I struggle.
- I struggle to get out of my own head
- I get caught up in other people’s perceptions
- I experience self-doubt
- I fear not being accepted or being judged if I AM myself.
It’s a crazy annoying stupid process. And these struggles are especially pronounced if you’re trying to do something new, or make a change, or are venturing into unchartered waters.
As an example from the blog, I write purely on my own experiences; on things I’ve done, things I’ve tried, or things that I’m learning and so I pass it along. I try my best to keep it original and relevant. It takes a lot of work to write and post, yet I rarely talk about it to people. On top of that, I sometimes hesitate when I write because I don’t want to come across as a weirdo. (of note: when that happens, I take a break from writing so that I can screw my head back on straight).
Anyway, what I’m trying to say that is being yourself can actually be hard. We live in an era where we are being judged left and right. Criticism over the Internet is super easy because no one has to do it to your face. It’s a nonissue for the complainer to type some random thing and hit send.
Reading bad feedback, not getting enough likes, having too few views of your video, or not having enough people read your blog…these are all blows to your self esteem. It’s not easy to continue forward as your true authentic self if you’re being bombarded with feedback that says you aren’t enough or that you aren’t good. Translating this to real day-to-day life, we look for compliments, positive feedback, and physical cues like someone laughing at our jokes, or smiling at us as we pass them in the hallway. If those things don’t happen we wonder…
So how can we continue on?
We all need reminders and we all need help. No one is always on the “be you” train all the time. It’s not possible. I’m not saying that everyone is walking around faking it, but I am pointing out that we all have doubts, we all wonder, and those thoughts hold us back sometimes.
To be you, authentically and all the time, means to not be bothered by anything happening outside of you. Much easier said than done, AND there’s a lot of self-confidence required.
I’m not going to go into the self-confidence part, as I think that would require like 10 blog posts. But I would like to try and give suggestions for how you can remind yourself that to be you, is enough; that you don’t need the outside feedback and lack of feedback means nothing against you.
So, How Can You Remind Yourself?
This is what I do and it’s definitely not an end all, but maybe it’ll give you some ideas, or help you out if you find yourself struggling.
Contact Your Squad
Find those who know you best. Truly know you. Call them. Talk to them. Have this discussion about how you’re struggling. Ask them questions that you ask yourself.
The way we see ourselves is much different than how others see us. Getting feedback by those that are closest to us is a great way to put yourself back into perspective.
Take a step back
When you’re getting bogged down with doubt, with questions, with confusion, take a breather. Often we think that we need to have the answers right away, and that if we don’t then it means there’s something off about us. A simple example from my life, I’m trying to decorate my house. Choosing a style of a coffee table, for instance, gave me so much anxiety. I was like “what if what I choose isn’t actually me?? What if people walk in and say, Sanjana chose this??”
SERIOUSLY. My level of anxiety was through the roof. I felt like I was failing myself because I didn’t know my own style, and then there was this thought of “do I even have good taste”.
That’s a really superficial example, but you see where I’m going? IT DOESN’T MATTER if I don’t know my style. IT’S OK, if I don’t. I took a break from shopping for a few days and then finally decided once my anxiety calmed down.
We are constantly changing right? You’re evolving. So it stands that your choices today won’t be the same as a few years ago, and the same goes in the future. So, if the answers don’t come to you right away, don’t worry about it. It’s fine. You will be fine and you will figure it out.
Leave Comparison Behind
We all compare ourselves to others, its natural. However, stop. Don’t compare yourself to others. Doing so is a happiness killer, you’ll get nothing out of it and you’ll lose focus of your own path.
To be honest, this is my hardest thing to put into practice. Why? Because I’m over 30, and I’m single. While I know we live in a society now where most people are single, literally everyone I know is married, or in a serious relationship. I, on the other hand, have the worst dating luck and it’s super frustrating to always feel like life is leaving me behind. I know my friends will read this and be all like “you’re young, it’s fine, better to be single than in the wrong relationship”. I KNOW. It doesn’t change the fact that I haven’t achieved what I want in this part of my life.
I cope by trying to remind myself that I do believe that everything happens for a reason; I try and trust the universe that when it’s my turn it’ll have been worth the wait. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it’s a reminder that helps me to power on.
The same holds true for any situation you’re in. Rather than compare, remind yourself that your path is different and you’ll get to where you need to be in your own time. You shouldn’t change or stop being yourself because you are trying to achieve what others have. You can still get there, it will just be on your own path.
Write down how awesome you are
I feel like what holds me back sometimes is that I forget what I have going for me. So, I make a list and I keep it. When I’m in a really bad spot (lots of self-doubt, or feeling unaccomplished) I bust out that list and read it, and then add to it.
Trust me, this is not some arrogant exercise in boosting your ego. We are our own worst enemies; unless you see yourself as the badass you already are, it’s really hard to hold your head up and let your true self shine through. This is basically the written version of self-affirmations.
Don’t let mistakes or missteps define you
How many have overanalyzed a situation in your head and then mentally kicked yourself for not having done better? How many have felt like crap afterwards for a really long time?
This is a situation where its hard to get our of your head. I don’t think there’s a great solution here except to be nice to yourself and try to learn from every experience. PLUS, try not to let the next situation be affected by residual regret from the one before. Take each new thing as it comes and do your best to handle it in a way that is true to yourself…regardless of what anyone thinks, or if anyone else agrees.
Ignore the noise
Along the same lines of not comparing yourself to others, we gotta stop worrying about what others think AND we need to stop listening to outside opinions about what we want to do.
Is it important to get feedback and grow? Yes, of course, but we shouldn’t let outside noise bring us down, hold us back or deter us from our goals. More importantly, we shouldn’t stop being ourselves based on other peoples opinions or expectations.
Another example from me, when I started the blog I got all kinds of comments from friends on how “it wasn’t what I expected”. And that wasn’t said in a positive way. I felt really bad for hearing that because it made me feel like what I was doing wasn’t good enough. True, I was a newbie and so I did have no clue about alot of things, but the intent of my blog has not changed, neither has my message. As much as that feedback hurt, I kept going because I knew what I wanted to accomplish.
On that note…
Re concentrate your focus
Stay focused on your goals. No matter what anyone says. Those goals are uniquely you. You may not get everyone’s support for them, but do you really need it?
It’s nice to have cheerleaders in your corner, but what I’ve learned is that the more you try to do something new or different, the fewer people there will be who continue to applaud your efforts. I’ve also come to realize, that this has nothing to do with me and everything to do with their lack of understanding about what I’m trying to accomplish, and also a difference in priorities. And all of that is ok.
So, its ok. Let others think what they want, and let them have their opinions. Take from it what you will, but remember that your goals are your own, your path is yours; don’t let them go because they are a part of you and make you be you tiful :).
Ask yourself some questions
One last thing to add, I think what really makes a difference in our comfort level in being ourselves is how proud or happy we are of who we are.
Are you proud of your friends? Are you happy with your job? Are you living a life that you like to tell people about and share? Are you content with your decisions? Are you taking steps to improve upon what you aren’t happy or proud of?
These are all really deep questions, and definitely not something to address fully in one blog post, but I think does provide food for thought. Often, we are always on the go, but we need to slow down and take more time to self-reflect and make sure that the path we are on is still true to who we are.
BeYouTiful On the Outside
Guys, pleeeeasee don’t alter your appearance because of some pre-determined standard of beauty that changes every 2 seconds in society.
On that same note, please stop contouring your faces. Check out Instagram and you’ll see, every contoured person looks the SAME. You don’t need it. Keep your natural look; it’s beautiful in its own right, imperfections and all.
Again don’t get me wrong if you like things like your fake long lashes, then go for it. If that makes you happy, then all the power to ya. However, please don’t do it because you think you have to or you think it’s required to be accepted or fit in.
Yes take care of yourself, treat your skin, apply facemasks, keep your nails clean, get a regular manicure and pedicure and pamper yourself (if you want to). Wear makeup to make yourself look polished, but don’t try to change how you look; just highlight what you’ve already got.
Because what you have is already amazing.
Just Be YOU
Things don’t need to be perfect in your life; no one’s life is perfect, in fact, no matter what you see in the media or even amongst your friends. Everyone has troubles they are dealing with. What makes you, you is the unique set of positives and negatives you have in your own life.
Rather than trying to alter things so that they match up to other people, or so that your life mirrors that of someone you think has it better than you, take a step back and re-evaluate. Defining and being yourself is only long-lasting and truthful if it comes from within and reflects your own life and goals. So rather than conform, stand out, and embrace the differences; don’t let the world define you, instead define yourself and show everyone who you are.
There is only one you, with your experiences, your life, your knowledge, and your personality quirks. Outside validation, or lack thereof, doesn’t change who you are.
When you focus on you, you shine the brightest and become your own version of being “be you tiful”.
“Be you, everyone else is already taken”Oscar Wilde
Saw this in a Google doodle recently and had to add it:
“You help to make each day a special day by just you being yourself. There’s nobody else in the whole world who’s exactly like you.”Fred Rodgers
Featured and pinnable images courtesy of unsplash.
Sanjana is a physician anesthesiologist, avid traveler, and entrepreneur. She founded The Female Professional in order to give women a voice and a platform to express themselves. With her experiences as a physician, as a CEO of a startup, and as a writer, she understands the struggles and frustrations that women face. She also understands what it takes to move past those things and come out on top. Through this platform, Sanjana aims to empower women to be their best, authentic, selves, achieve work/life balance, and live life to the fullest.