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What Does Staying True to Yourself Mean?

What Does Staying True to Yourself Mean?

If you spend some time watching television, Dutch television at least, you will hear some relation to “bij jezelf blijven” which translates to “staying true to yourself” at least a few times. Once you start paying attention to it, like it definitely will now (sorry), honestly it will get annoying. What is it with these people that staying true to yourself needs to be mentioned that often? What do people even mean by it? Is there something to it? Or is it really another hyped up and empty phrase that everyone throws around without really knowing what it means? I am dying to know. Read this blogpost, if you are curious to know what the outcome of my short investigation is.   

Defining Staying True to Yourself

OK, first observation: it is not just on TV. Google it and you will be surprised by the hits you find. Observation two: there are way too many interpretations out there to even understand what a person could mean.

Here’s a short summary of the many interpretations I have found:

  • “Accepting yourself”
  • “Thinking about whether your choice is what you want to do or if you are doing it for someone else”
  • “Being less to independent of others in satisfying your own needs”
  • “Doing only those things that suit you”
  • “Doing only those things that feel comfortable”
  • “Not changing and joining others”
  • “Being authentic”
  • “Having a solid opinion of your own”
  • “Not being a sheep”  

Why Would You Want to Be?

The answer to this is, I have no idea! If staying true to yourself means that you should be comfortable at all times, then I think you missed last week’s article with the quote “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. How would you evolve if you only did the things that suit you now? Fifteen years ago, I was under the impression that I wanted to be a (skater) boy. Imagine how that would have turned out? Me of all people, that literally melts every time a new eyeshadow palette or highlighter reaches my Insta feed. Change is what we need to evolve or we would still be hunting to have a decent meal and living in caves. Then there is the point of having your own opinions. I am all for it, but please don’t have an opinion if you don’t have the full story. Just don’t.  

I am going in with a quote here that I think best describes that it is not wrong not to stay true to yourself:

If you don’t like where you are, move, you are not a tree

I am sure “who” also applies here as well. So, the interpretations that I am left with and I can sort of relate to are: do things for you and not just for others and be independent. Next time, please just say: I am doing this for myself because I like/love it, possibly by myself. Otherwise, go with I did this because I really like it this way. Something in that order in anyway. Then we will all now what you mean, including yourself that is ;).

Tips On Staying True to Yourself

Tip number one: quit saying that you are true to yourself hihi. This is herd behavior, a catch phrase that lost its meaning in the number of interpretations out there.

Another tip I found is to pre-think decisions prior to meetings, coming up with your own arguments. This way you will be less likely to become a victim of herd behavior.  

Apparently, you need to listen to your gut and feelings. My interpretation: Oeeehhh I love this bag, those shoes and that top and you know I NEED THEM. Honestly, I am one of those people that always knows what she is feeling. A short recap, in desperate need of more candy, shopping sprees, cake and truffle salami ;).

The only other real tip I found is to learn how to say no. This one seems legit as doing things you don’t want simply because you cannot utter the two letters “N” and “O” is indeed staying true to anyone but yourself. Unless of course, never ever saying no is your thing. In that case, please contact me. Then I would like to ask you to get me a puppy! If you need help in this department, try reading Liona’s article on the magic of not caring here.

So, Are You?

If anything, this small research has taught me that even more people use the phrase than I thought! However, I was very pleased to see that I am not the only one that somewhat wants to criticizing the whole thing. Glad to see I am not alone! One of the funniest one is by Japke-d. Bouma. Unfortunately written in Dutch, but definitely worth the read if you are a “kaaskop” like me. Her other articles are also a great read by the way, a great spin on office clichés.

Are you also slightly aggravated when you hear someone say that he or she is staying true to themselves or you should? Or do you insist on keeping it on your vocabulary? What is your interpretation of staying true to yourself? Are you ready to share it in the comment section below? Please do!


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