I’ve written about authenticity, or owning your quirks and individual differences and living into them, as a way to be happier. It’s true: Being true to yourself is a fast track to feeling happier both today and in the long-term. So why can it be so hard?
The fact is that expressing quirks or doing what you like when it’s different from what everyone else likes can sometimes be isolating or difficult. It takes strength to maintain authenticity when others are encouraging you in other directions. I’ve pulled together ten quotes that I think are helpful reminders to be true to yourself when times get tough. I hope you find mine helpful. What quotes keep you feeling good about being you?
Ten Reminders to Just Be Yourself:
There has never been a man who could straighten others by bending himself.
2. T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
3. Carl Jung
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are.
4. Judy Garland
Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.
Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love
6. R.E.M., Walk Unafraid
Say “keep within the boundaries if you want to play.”
Say “contradiction only makes it harder.”
How can I be
What I want to be?
When all I want to do is strip away
These stilled constraints
And crush this charade
Shred this sad masquerade
I don’t need no persuading
I’ll trip, fall, pick myself up and
I’ll be clumsy instead
7. Salvador Dalí
Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure: That of being Salvador Dalí.
8. Jonathan Safran Foer
You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
9. Franz Kafka
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
10. Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.
And a bonus extra that I came across in a book after writing this draft post:
11. Molly Wizenberg, Delancey
I’ve always thought it was a little stupid to look up to celebrities. But if I’m going to, it’s got to be a celebrity who can teach me something about living authentically without fear, like [David] Byrne or Animal from the Muppets.