“Be yourself” is bad advice

Jewel Schuurmans
April 4, 2019
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April 4, 2019

“Be yourself” is bad advice

“Just be yourself.”

How many times have we heard this advice—when going to a new school, starting a new job, meeting your significant other’s parents? We’re told that all we have to do is be ourselves—don’t be nervous!

The thought process behind this phrase, “Be yourself,” is that we’re supposed to be authentic and true to we you are—not fake. So maybe the title is slightly misleading. “Be yourself” in and of itself is not bad advice, when taken to mean that we should strive to not be fake towards others.

This applies to any relationship, whether friends, coworkers, family members or anyone else. Really what this phrase is trying to say is that we should be sincere.  But by saying just “Be yourself,” however, we aren’t encouraging growth. By simply staying complacent, we aren’t striving to improve ourselves to be the best we can be.

So maybe a better way to say the phrase would be, “Be your best self.” Being our best selves to glorify God should be our goal in life.  This can manifest itself in everything we do. When it comes to employment, we should always strive to do our best. Instead of staying static, always look out for ways to improve and ways to become more efficient.

Showing a drive to improve ourselves will also prove to our employers that we are hardworking and willing to do our best, and this can result in possible raises or promotions.   When it comes to relationships, especially dating ones, we should always find ways that we can put the other person first instead of giving in to our own selfish tendencies.

Choose to do something they want to do instead of just the activity you want, for example. Putting others first shows that we care about them and value them.

Striving to improve ourselves doesn’t mean to be fake; we should always be sincere. We should always value ourselves as God’s creations and make it our goal to try to be the best version of ourselves while glorifying God.