The topic of today’s article will be based on some techniques on how to maintain an authentic personality in a world where popular ideas exist, and we all try to please everyone around us adapting to different circumstances. I am not going to get political or talk about politics, ’cause that would be very specific. Instead, I will generalize it and talk about ways via which you can ensure an authentic personality that isn’t copying someone else just because he is “cool.” If you don’t understand yet what I’m talking about, then it’s simple as this: When a popular opinion exists (or least popular) and there is a status quo, how do you remain original and don’t switch behaviors and points of views?
This is an issue mainly for people that have lower levels of self esteems. The people pleasers are a good example of that group of people. It’s the ones that don’t necessarily have leadership positions or are working really hard to maintain such positions. It would be fair to say that everyone gets influenced by other opinions and other people everyday. Which is why you see someone and he/she has changed so much after a certain number of years. It’s natural: we are all living between us, interacting with each other and exchanging ideas. It’s part of being a member of society. Members of society though can also have bad influence. For example when you were younger (teenage years) your parents will probably telling you to make sure you stay away from things like drugs, alcohol and people what abuse these. And even though everyone “tries” to protect themselves and families from such disasters, you see the percentages of people using substances to get their day started and it’s really sad. This comes back to what I was saying about “weaker” personalities. It isn’t that those people don’t have a personality. I believe everyone has some kind of personality that is very unique (but yet can be categorized.) It’s simply genetics: Some people are born with a stronger character and others with lower self esteem and levels of confidence. That is perfectly fine: we can’t try and change genetics. It’s not humanly possible. I as an example deep inside am very insecure and have low self esteem. On the outside I appear perhaps stronger, but deep inside there is a soft part of Tony. That soft part is the one that always switches around, depending on the views and ideas that the brains enhances.
So to get back to the original question: How do you maintain your personality – the one you feel comfortable with and don’t want to change? A very good way would be that you don’t compromise when it comes to people you hang out with. If you consider unacceptable for people to use alcohol or smoke pot during the day, then you should stay far away from such groups of people. Something similar goes when you talk about people’s beliefs: If someone is more conservative or more progressive in his ideology, you probably don’t want to hang out with that opposite character. Main reason is because you will be forced to get into arguments that never end. Believe me…from all the years of doing this, I can tell you that most arguments never end. And if they do end, it means that someone compromised. That is the trap! That is the problem. It’s okay to change opinions because you understand you were wrong (for example if it’s something measurable and statistically you are off) but when it comes to simply personal opinions on things that don’t matter, then you want to maintain something original.
You probably have noticed this: When some celebrity gets an ugly hair cut, suddenly in school everyone starts getting that hair cut…even professors (kidding.) But it’s true! As an adult, you probably aren’t still influenced by what celebrities do – those are teenage idol kind behaviors. But in your adult life you probably admire a successful person in your industry. Someone you look up to. If you change your beliefs, just so that you fit in and become accepted, then you are doing wrong. You are doing something wrong both for yourself and the people around you. The reason is because you aren’t being true to yourself and honest to the people around you. You have to understand, that you have been built in a certain way. Certain non measurable beliefs have been “installed” in your character, and you live your life based on those. Hang out with people that are similar to you. People that accept you for who you are. I know it sounds kind of childish and the type of advice we received when we were children. But is this really something we should never forget as grown-ups.
Someone talked about a story of a fruit being the best “apple” you could get in the world. If you are a a “peach” and you try to look like that apple you probably won’t succeed. But even if you do succeed, you will be the second best apple. Because the apple is already there. If you stay true to yourself (the fruit in this example) you can be the first peach in the world.
I hope I didn’t lost you here with this parallel example. I am just trying to make a point. That being that just because people disagree with you, doesn’t mean that you are mistaking or what you believe in is false. Get something that is evidently true and promote it someone who disagrees with it, no matter how hard you try and convince him, he will deny it over and over again. Does that make your true evidence of an opinion false? Of course not! You are just dealing with ignorant people. So many times you need to simply agree to disagree. That’s right! I learned this the hard way. Whenever I would get in some kind of argument, I would always try and convince my opponent that I’m right. However I was never great at convincing people (genetically, my whole family is like that) so even if I had something evidently true, it wouldn’t be accepted. I can tell you: I would be the worst defense attorney in law history. Moving on though, what I ended up doing most of the times was back down on my opinion and compromise, just so that my opponent and I can get along together. I know in politics this is called diplomacy. But in real life, you really can’t be diplomatic when opinions matter and your life choices will take you far into life. You need to have a solid stance in what you believe in. Getting back to my example, I used to compromise way too much when I was younger. And when it happened that I was actually wrong, that turned out to benefit me. But when a few times I was actually right but settled for a good relationship, then it costed me dearly (in all seriousness.) I almost lost it all and was on a train that would throw me off a cliff. I am not kidding at all. I have never been drunk or high in my life. But do you think all the ones that actually get into that mess, wanted to do that 100%? Probably not. They simply compromised so that they are “in.” So that they can be accepted and make things more comfortable.
Even today I catch myself switching opinions left and right. Gladly, I’ve been a little more stable, but my weak personality is a curse I need to carry for the rest of my life. It’s okay, because I know & understand my week spot and know how to control it. Whenever I get an opposing opinion, what I’ll do is look at facts, the type of person telling me about it (yes, I judge) and “does it make sense.” If these 3 aren’t agreeing towards something good and beneficiary, I just throw it in the trash. And it’s simple as that. So far, it has benefited me greatly and have avoided those roller coaster rides down a cliff like the one I talked about earlier, when I compromised.
Message of this article? Make sure you maintain a solid personality with solid ideas with solid evidence to support it. Do your research to find the truth. And then once you find it, hold on to it like it’s the most precious thing you have. Because it is. Many times you will board that train that leads nowhere. Make sure you get off it soon enough, so it doesn’t kill you or traumatize you dearly. Take it from someone who was really near eternal (lifelong) disaster.
Thank you for tuning in today, and God bless you!