Be Yourself – Really?

Most of us give and receive advice. It’s human nature, as much of who we are as breathing. But is all advice good. What about “Be Yourself.” Sounds like an easy yes. Maybe not.

We are in the Age of Authenticity, where “be yourself” is the defining advice in life, love and career. Authenticity means erasing the gap between what you firmly believe inside and what you reveal to the outside world. As Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, defines it, authenticity is “the choice to let our true selves be seen.”

We want to live authentic lives, marry authentic partners, work for an authentic boss, vote for an authentic president. In university commencement speeches, “Be true to yourself” is one of the most common themes (behind “Expand your horizons,” and just ahead of “Never give up”).

Be authentic, but realize that this doesn’t mean just being yourself without consideration for those around you.

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