Being yourself doesn't work. Here's the surprise reason why

Being yourself doesn‘t work. Here’s why

You will have been told before to just be yourself. But what does being yourself mean? Here's why the old saying isn't letting you live up to your full potential.

The old saying is to be yourself because everyone else is taken.

Sounds good. But here’s why being yourself doesn’t work.

The person we are at a particular time is not the person we should be forever. Life events, wrong turns and things outside our control are going to require us to adapt.

Our identity has had so many different influences that shaped our habits, our beliefs, our behaviours, our attitudes and our perception of reality.

In that respect, we are not ourselves. We are a combination of our parents, our teachers, our mentors, our siblings, our families and our community

All of these factors go into a melting pot that shapes our thoughts. Our thoughts create chemicals. Those chemicals create feelings. Those feeling create emotions. Those emotions affect our decisions and every decision we make shapes our lives.

Truth is, we are on autopilot in our own lives. Dr Bruce Lipton, the famous epigenetic scientist, says that everything we do is subconscious programming 95 per cent of the time.

If our only experience of relationships are harmful and toxic, that form our beliefs around what relationships are. If we experience great relationships, it would have a positive impression on what relationships are. You would make decisions in relationships based on your beliefs.

The same goes for money. If we were led to believe that money was the root of all evil, that would impact our ability to create wealth and be successful.

If we are taught the positives of money and that it has no emotion but is only paper, money can create abundance and be used to create the life we want (and also use it to do good.)

A lot of people make poor choices on health, relationships, money, career, all because of the subconscious programming we have been exposed to since we were children.

Poor environment, bad advice, lack of education, social media, the news can all distract us from who we are inside and that means being yourself doesn't work,

As American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley said, "I am not who I think I am, I am not what you think I am, but I am what I think you think I am".

Take the time to reread that and get your head around it.

Who we are is shaped by our perception of what we think someone else thinks we are … I know, right, wow!

Look back at the many influences you have had in your life, the good, the bad and the ugly.

So this notion of being yourself starts to get complicated.

Hopefully, I haven't lost you.

The question is, if being ourselves won't take us to our success and being someone else doesn't work either, then what can we do?

Bruce Lee said it amazingly.

"You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup. When you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water into the teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip, and it can crash. Be like water, my friend."

Be shapeless, formless, adaptable, resourceful. Have behavioural flexibility to adapt to different situations. Become the person you need to be to create the life you desire, not the programmed version of you.

Entrepreneur Tom Bilyeu said we are born a pile of jello with no talents or inherent abilities, yet as we get older we form ideas that we are not smart enough or talented enough to turn into real achievements.

The talent myth we have been sold is a lie.

So not being the current version of yourself could be a good thing.

BE the person you desire to be.

BE the person in your hopes and dreams

BE the person that is better today than you were yesterday.

As American strategy author Robert Greene saw it, "Mastery is not a question of genetics or luck but following your natural inclinations and the deep desires that stir you from within."

Create the next version of you every day. Get after it.

Daniel Burgess is a Pro Coach mentor at The Coaching Institute, and a speaker and coach. Working one-on-one, he has helped hundreds of people  develop self-belief and overcome their biggest challenges. He has coached thousands of people to rewrite their stories and chase their dreams.

Daniel Burgess
Daniel BurgessThe Coaching Institute