The hardest and most important thing to do in life is to simply be yourself. In a world full of people who go around pretending to be something that they’re not to fit in with the “it” crowd, we lose track of who we really are.
The idea of a true self is something that psychologists and philosophers could argue over all day, with one side claiming that at the core of an individual, there are fundamental aspects of their personality, things about them that remain over time and do not change. These internal things tend to have something to do with the idea of morality. Meanwhile other philosophers are more prone to say there is no true self, just an “empty palace of mirrors.”
The idea of a true self stems from the idea that there are some fundamental aspects of your character, whether that is that you are a forgiving person or a stubborn person for example. But it goes further than that. One of the biggest qualities that stems from someone’s true self is spontaneity, coming from the fact that when you are acting spontaneously, you are not looking for approval, or trying to avoid pain. Rather, you are simply acting on what you truly want to do and who you truly are. This simple act of action, specifically action without conscious thought, leads closer to one’s true, basic self, regardless of whether the actions in question are “good” or “bad.”
When we are alone, even just for a moment left to our own thoughts and devices, we can begin to figure out who we truly are consciously. In this way consciously thinking and trying to figure yourself out can often be as good, if not a better way, to discover who our true selves are.
The problem today is that everyone gets wrapped up in who they believe society wants them to be. So they change themselves to fit in, because fitting in happens to be very high on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This need to fit in, the need to feel like you belong, is something that seemingly every human feels, and while it can be beneficial and make you friends and give you a sense of belonging, someone doesn’t really belong when the face they show the world isn’t theirs. If faking a personality means fitting in, it isn’t truly fitting in.
We all wear masks to fit in, a mask for every group of people we meet in our lives, but these masks, these different versions of ourselves, lead to loneliness, the opposite of what we wear them for. These masks that we put on, like any tool in a toolbox, are honestly worthless when they do the exact opposite of what you want them to do.
We live in a society where everyone is told to fit in, where to belong with any group of people you need to become like them, to betray who you truly are. In doing that you end up doing the exact opposite of what you set out to do. As individuals we must choose to be our true selves, or else we are doomed to suffer the loneliness of no one knowing us.