Do you have the audacity to be yourself? Even if we really want to be ourselves, how many times are we actually able to do it? There is no denying the fact that often we have to wear a social mask in order to mingle with the society. But I have come to realize that a lot of times it is really the social mask that the society appreciates and cares about. The 'real' you, a 'frank' you is most likely to be rejected or mocked at. Most people fall in love with a perception of you and find it hard to replace the perception with reality when they do not match. Though this is not the case with everyone, I have come across a lot of people of this kind.
Many of us do things we don’t want to do, act the way we don’t want to due to societal pressures and the fear of what others might think of us. I think as long as it doesn’t intentionally hurt anyone, there is just nothing wrong in being yourself and doing what you like. What is the point in studying something or working a dissatisfactory job (exceptions are there of course) because it will make you look successful in the society? What is the point in marrying someone who is supposedly successful in the society or in their career but treat you like an object? What is the point in doing things which you hate but do only because it will make you look good in the society or amidst your family and friends? What is the point in following rituals and traditions which you hardly believe in, but do so to look like the perfect person who doesn’t give up their traditional values? You can always come up with excuses for these and some of these excuses could be genuinely issues. But for the most part these are mere excuses and you are not being true to yourself. I have always avoided being ashamed of any bad relationship that I have had or any mistake of mine, because I have learnt through experience that it is not really worth feeling bad about yourself based on other’s perspectives about you. A good friend used to say, don’t let someone run you through a guilt trip. Nobody is perfect and very few people have the audacity to accept that. Obviously you are bound to make mistakes, but isn’t that how life is, you make mistakes and learn from them. But of course being yourself does not mean that you never attempt to change anything about yourself. It is just that you don’t need to change yourself based on your assumptions about how people think of you. In my opinion I have learnt this from experience as well, that it is better to portray your true self to people than to later surprise them.
But of course there is the flip side to this as well. Being myself has not done me good all the time. It has gotten me a lot of haters as well. I have been called an egomaniac, arrogant, selfish etc etc. Not that I care about it. As a matter of fact, who is not selfish or don’t bother about their egos? How many of us are saints? And of course I don’t mean to say that I am completely perfect, but, atleast most of the time I have the satisfaction of having been myself. I have never gone around and intentionally attempted to hurt people or anything, in fact I have always showered people I really like with unconditional affection. However, I have my own limitations, my problems, my attitudes etc. And similarly I know what I am doing, what my responsibilities are, how I behave and my intentions as well. What is the point in trying to prove to people that you are not someone others have perceived you to be? If people cannot accept the person I am; I have learnt this over years in my life that it really is their problem not mine. You can please others only so much. In the name of love or affection or respect, we could attempt to please others, not that it is wrong, but in the end who are you trying to fool? Yourself, isn’t it? Truth is whether you like it or not, society and people around you love only the social masks and those who actually like the 'real' you, never make you feel that you need a social mask. Have the audacity to be yourself, even if many do not want to face the real ‘you’ most of the time.