One of the most common advise you will hear is “Be Yourself“. Its a good suggestion but practically not easy to implement.
Because we all have multiple personalities or faces. With our friends we are different, with our parents we behave differently and when we are alone then we are totally different person and so on. We cannot be same with everybody. Because society does not allow anybody to be himself or herself. Parents, teachers, friends, relatives all have different expectations from us and we change our self to please others. Thats the only way to survive in the society. Because society does not like rebels or individuals.
This ever changing behavior of ours represent our personality but not the individuality. The personality is shaped by the society, upbringing and our likes and dislikes. It is more of our mental and emotional set up. This personality will change from life to life as it is affected by the family, society or country you are born in and is thus not permanent.
On the other hand, Individuality is related to our intrinsic quality or something which is our real nature or the quality of the soul. It is unique to our soul. The individuality is related with our inner center that is soul. Whereas personality is related with the periphery that is our emotional and mental make up.
So in materialistic world when people say “be yourself” then they tell you to follow your personality. But in spiritual sense it means to “get centered from within” or to find your original nature or know yourself. So the same word “be yourself” has different meaning in materialistic and spiritual world.
So how to be yourself:
The easiest solution is to always listen to your inner voice. There is only one voice you should hear that is your inner voice or the voice of your soul or the gut feeling. As long as you are honest to your inner voice, you are on the right path and integrated within. But when you start listening to the multiple voices within the mind then the division inside you begins. The different voices in the mind will distract you from listening the voice of soul and will also drain you of energy and will make you confused.
Being Individual means there is no split personality inside you. You do what your inner voice tells you and you don’t do something simply because society expects you not to do it. As a spiritual seeker, you are only answerable to your inner voice and you don’t need to change your nature to please others. If someone wants to be your friend then he should accept you the way you are. So do things because you love doing it and not because everyone else is doing the same thing. Don’t be part of herd mentality. Individual person is one from within because he does not change himself to please others. He is not affected by the society likes and dislikes. He is true to his inner nature. Whereas thats not the case with the personality. Because it is big time shaped by the trends of fashion popular in the society. Your personality has no center of its own because it is affected by the society. Think about it?
When we follow our inner voice then there is no regret or guilt feeling or conflict inside us. Whereas, when we don’t listen to our inner voice and instead try to imitate any hero or cult figure then we lose touch with our source and we start developing a personality. Personality is a mask which we wear to please others, whereas individuality is your real face. We all are unique beings and have something special in us. Instead of imitating others, one should always strive to be himself and for that always listen to your inner voice. So that you can attain to your inner potential and be true to yourself.
Respect yourself whosoever you are. Never underestimate or insult yourself. Love yourself. Everyone is needed in this divine plan. Don’t compare yourself with others. Instead do things which brings harmony, stillness, peace, love, compassion, bliss and silence inside you and avoid doing things which bring discord, conflict, hatred, anger, jealousy, possessiveness inside you.
Always keep your heart clean from malice and mind free from thoughts. Be in touch with your inner voice and you are just yourself. You can be yourself only when you are in tune with your source and your inner voice comes from that source only. So pay attention to your inner voice, if you want to be yourself.