Be who you are...
everyone else is already taken.
- Oscar Wilde
and say what you feel, because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.
- Bernard Baruch, also often attributed to Dr. Seuss
not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.
- Henry David Thoreau
What's holding you back?
You'll never please everyone all the time anyway.
Does being who you are give you carte blanche to do whatever you want, wherever and whenever you want it?
I don't think so.
The Bhagavad Gita says,
All living creatures, even wise sages, behave in accordance with their own nature. Everyone's behavior is rooted in the thoughts and tendencies that predominate them. The answer is not to restrain your nature, but to progressively improve your nature. You have to live by your inner truth rather than your selfish desires.
I invite you this week to pay attention to your thoughts and behaviors as they shape your interpersonal interactions. For example, you could set a timer on your handy-dandy smartphone to remind you two or three times throughout the day to stop and think about what you were thinking, doing, and the last person you interacted with beforehand.
If you don't want to set a clock, you can also set an intention to reflect about it every time you eat or drink something. This exercise will increase your awareness of thoughts and tendencies that make up your nature bit by bit. As we can all hopefully agree, awareness is the first step.
See if you can also take the point of view of those you interact with; what might be motivating, aggravating, inspiring, or saddening them? This would not only exercise your empathy muscle, it will also help understand the part you play in every interaction you have. If there's a conflict, can you soften your tone? Ease up on your way of inquiry? If there's a misunderstanding, can you explain yourself more fully using different words or gestures? Modify your facial expression? This might go a ways in identifying how and where you might "progressively improve" your nature. As a bonus side-effect, your relationships will blossom.
Let us know how it goes in the comments? Thanks! :-)