In a world, that is constantly trying to make you someone you’re not — it’s not easy to stay true to yourself. We all experience it. And trust me, you and I are no exception. For me personally, I’ve felt the pressures many times. During these moments we are tested, it’s easy to forget who we really are. It doesn’t matter whether the social context is a party, school, or workplace. Remaining authentic to your true self, no matter what the situation may be, takes courage. So, to help you summon that courage, below is a list of 5 of the most inspirational be yourself quotes to help boost your confidence.
Are You, Really You?
How much of your personality and behavior is your own, and how much is determined by outside forces? Do you really choose what shoes to wear and what songs make your music playlist? What decisions are controlled by invisible forces? Forces such as social pressures and personal anxieties that are beyond your control. Understandably, questions like these can be difficult to answer.
The truth of the matter is, most people in this world strive to remain true to who they are. In an effort to do so, they intend to make authentic life choices that reflect their genuine selves. But, of course, as many of us already know, this is generally easier said than done.
As KeepInspiring.me contributor Kye points out, living the “life that is most real in your heart” is an age-old fight. Fortunately, this means that countless others have faced struggles with their self-esteem and persevered. They’ve fought the judgment of others — and won.
Our Top 5 Inspirational Be Yourself Quotes
The following be yourself quotes from some of the world’s most iconic figures give valuable insight into the power of defining your own identity. Furthermore, it can also help point the way to self-determination. But, perhaps more importantly, however, they are able to inspire by example. In the words of Kye, when you know that others have risen to this challenge, “you too can learn how to be yourself, standing tall and proud.”
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.”
— Judy Garland
It’s great to have role models. But, if you try desperately to be exactly like them, you do it at the expense of your own identity. While copying other people might be a good strategy to ‘fit in,’ it certainly does not help you to be yourself. As Judy Garland makes clear, even if you manage to copy your role models’ behavior precisely, you will still lack the authenticity of the original. Remember, the best person at being you — is You.
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
By recognizing the difficulty of being yourself, Nietzsche’s words should speak directly to people who are trying to stay true to themselves in the face of overwhelming social pressure. If you have dealt with peer pressure, you know that standing up for yourself and going against the grain can be both lonely and frightening. But you should also know: being yourself is the ultimate prize!
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
— Bernard M Baruch
This quote packs quite a punch. In short, however, it’s a sharp reminder to stop worrying and just accept yourself! Nobody’s perfect, but few people have the courage to accept their imperfections. In his Planet of Success article “How to Be Yourself,” Steve Mueller suggests to not only acknowledge your mistakes but also to welcome them as learning experiences. In his wise words, Mueller goes on to say; “occasional failure might not be such a bad thing after all.”
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
— Lao Tzu
Even though standing up to peer pressure can be alienating, it can also reap social benefits. As humans, we are naturally drawn toward authenticity, courage, and confidence. And they respect and admire people with those qualities.
“Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re brave enough to be yourself.”
— Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Although this is a line from a fictional character, the wisdom it imparts — is very real. While it takes a touch of courage to be yourself, never let yourself become like everybody else. Echoing the insight of JK Rowling, Bustle contributor Alex Weiss points out that being different can be a celebration. “Be weird, have fun,” he writes, “and enjoy every little part that makes you different.”
See also: How to Be Yourself in a World that is Trying to Change You.
Go Be You
Why all this focus on being yourself? It’s a topic that is just as important to modern fantasy writers as it was to ancient religious philosophers for one simple reason: being yourself is often the first step to self-improvement. So, the next time you feel you need to be brought back to your genuine self, come back and revisit these quotes. Remember, embrace what makes you different and always stay true to your unique self. Because who knows, someone may just be looking up to you for who you really are.