After starting a journey of self-discovery, bettering myself, developing stronger social skills, and learning how to date, there is this phrase that is thrown around that has irked me. “Be yourself” a lot of women say it all the time, “oh a guy just needs to be himself”, “he shouldn’t try so hard”, “he should just relax, be himself”. Now if you were anything like me, starting out, that bothered the hell out of me because a bunch of women said that to me. I thought to myself “well I am myself”, “how am I anything but myself?”. If being myself doesn’t get the girl, then why would I want to be me. I know a lot of guys feel that way, that’s why they give up. Then I learned a thing or two through my journey in all this, and I realized now what it means to be yourself. First off your pitching or portraying yourself in the wrong light. A lot of times you’re highlighting or focusing on the wrong things and need to focus on what’s right about you. The funny thing about people is that they will see what you see in you. If you show them a self-conscious, low self-esteem guy, then that’s exactly what they see. Change what others see, by first changing what you see about yourself.

Many guys will disqualify themselves automatically, because they feel they lack certain qualities in order to be attractive. Qualities that you think are negative are most likely just being looked at wrong. Things that you think disqualify you, are actually places of strength. I’m a bit of a nerd so I am going to use a gaming reference. All the time I hear from guys that they wish they were one thing but they’re actually another. They are complaining they are not warrior. They wish they could swing an axe, or a sword, or wear plated armor like others can. When they are actually a mage. Mage’s are amazing in their own right, they can cast spells, conjure magic portals, and summon elementals that fight for you. Warriors can’t do any of that! Mages are badasses! Yet many guys don’t see that. They complain and whine wishing they were someone else when who they are is already pretty awesome. Mostly anything that you hate about yourself can be changed just by looking at it differently. You’re not shy, you’re reserved, you’re not loud, you’re passionate. By changing the way you view yourself, you change the way that people view you. If it isn’t something you can accept, then change it. If you suck at dancing, then take a dancing class, if you are overweight, then join a gym. A friend of mine simply hated that he was overweight and refused to accept that about himself, so he changed it. All behaviors are formed from habits, and all habits are created through our choices. So in short, it’s your choice whether to accept or change who you are. The thing is, it’s easier said than done. The title of this article is what it is, because at first the advice “be yourself”, at least for me, was tough because I didn’t know how to make it applicable to my life. Then when you really dive down into it you realize that it’s a lot harder than you thought. Accepting yourself for who you are or changing what you can’t accept takes a lot of work. Most people aren’t willing to do that. So the next tier is, how bad do you really want this? Is your drive sufficient enough to really push yourself to become better? In Josh Kaufman’s Ted Talk “The First 20 Hours” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY) he said that when learning something new, the hurdle to learn something new isn’t intellectual, it’s emotional. When you’re learning something new, it has nothing to do with your capacity to learn it, it has more to do with your emotional perseverance, to stick with it until you get it. No one likes to feel stupid or inferior, so when learning something new, that feeling is constantly coming up. “I suck at this”, “I’ll never get this” “this will never happen for me.” But the laws of success dictate that if you stay with something long enough, no matter the odds, eventually it will stick. It’s less about chances and more about you getting better overtime. Anything worth being good at, is worth being bad at. But in order to go from bad to good, there is a lot of work in between, and are you willing to put in the work?

It took me years to figure out who I was, appreciate who I was, and accept me in my entirety. I always tried to reach for others validation outside of myself to complete me and wondered for years why I always came up short or lacked something that I could never get. It was through understanding, patience, and time that I realized that everything I was looking for or hoping for was there the whole time. The first real relationship you need to have, is with you. First go inward before you start to reach outward. Once you start to take the steps to improve, change, and learn who you are, you realize that who you are is pretty great. Not perfect by any means, but great. You start to settle into yourself, like a comfortable coat that you love to wear. Miles Davis once said, “it took me years to learn how to play like myself.”

After putting in the work, developing yourself, finding out who you are, and accepting this awesome person that you’ve become, maybe you realize that the girl you’ve set your sites on before all this, the one that you were fixated on isn’t what you thought. The thing about change is that it changes everything. Sometimes when you finally bring that girl that you’ve put on a pedestal, to eye level, you realize that maybe she isn’t the girl for you. Sometimes getting the thing you wanted or being in a position to reach for that which you want, helps you see that it truly wasn’t what you wanted in the first place. By finding out more about yourself, you also find out more about others, including that girl that you might be doing all this for. When changing yourself, your values changes as well. Maybe things like physical attraction doesn’t hold up like it used to, and you realize that personality and character are much more valuable than a pretty face. You’re looking for more, because you need a deeper connection than what may be superficial. Say you reach the man you’re meant to be, and she is still disinterested. Do you really want to be with someone that doesn’t accept you for you? Do you really want to morph yourself into a person that someone else wants? Trust me when I say, it’s much more satisfying to find someone that thinks you’re pretty awesome already. Someone that sees things that you might think disqualify you, but they actually find cute or attractive. Always be striving forward in your growth, but strive to also find someone that accepts you for you and the stage that you’re in. You are already amazing, you just need to find out in what way. If you are constantly focusing on the negative parts of you, then everyone else, including the girl you like, will focus on that as well. If they do see a weakness in you, and they point saying “what’s that?” then just point and laugh and say, “that’s me.” Imagine this, you’re giving a tour of your apartment, and your showing her around. If there is something in your house that you don’t want someone to see, say it’s an ugly lamp. instead of jumping in front of it and trying to cover it up, or moving her out of the room and sweeping it under the rug, come out and say it, “that’s my ugly lamp, have had it for years, haha!” The analogy is, instead of trying to hide things about yourself, if they are spotted, bring them to light, or better yet, laugh it off and say “yep, that’s me.” Owning yourself, even your insecurities, is attractive to everyone. Caring less about what others think and caring more about what you think of yourself is huge. So, focus on what you do well, laugh at what you don’t, and change that what you can’t stand. Doing this will turn you in to the person you’ve always wanted to be. Which will in turn attract the women you’ve always wanted. Finding out who you are is very rewarding, but it can be difficult without knowing where to start. I recommend Personality Plus by Florence Littauer(https://amzn.to/2Z4hEZJ), this book has helped me and others I know get a little more in-tuned with ourselves. There are more books I recommend, but I’ll go into more detail in a later post.

As you start to know yourself, you become less self-conscious and more others-conscious. You begin to realize that you’re a great product. Then you stop worrying and asking if you’re good enough for someone, and start asking more things like “are we right for each other?”, “do we make a good fit?”, “I’m awesome. she’s awesome. but are we awesome for each other?” These questions stem from knowing one’s self, and trusting in one’s self, and one’s abilities. This is how Webster’s Dictionary defines confidence. Knowing one’s self, is like knowing what is in your tool box, while confidence is knowing what to do with those tools once you know what they are. But we will get to that in the next post.

So my challenge to you is to take the necessary steps to learn who you are. because before you can start any relationship with any woman, you first need to learn about you and your relationship with yourself. When I first started this journey, I thought I needed pickup lines, tactics, or strategies to be successful in dating, when now looking back and wading through all the garbage. I realize that a solid foundation of knowing one’s self has taken me farther than any pickup line or tactic ever could. It’s the man that makes the suit, not the suit that makes the man. So be the man that knows who he is, so when you finally met that girl of your dreams, she can get to know him too.