Being told or seeing posts say "Just be yourself" used to make me feel frustrated, resentful and even more insecure. It was no help at all.
How to be myself seemed to be the hardest thing to figure out.
I felt that "my true self" was covered up by decades of trying to live up to other people's expectations, comply with social standards and fulfilling multiple roles at a time.
And, ironically, the worst thing was that I always believed that we are all unique - because that belief's logical conclusion was that nobody else but me could find out what it meant to be my very own one-of-a-kind "authentic self".
Truth be told, I felt lost - I had no idea what precisely made me me.
And no matter how many inspirational quotes I found or how many self-help books I read, it didn't get me closer to rediscovering what it meant to be me.
So I stopped.
And I started to observe myself - I started to be completely honest with myself about how I felt in certain situations and how I wanted to feel.
I developed the courage to stop doing what did not feel good, what I didn't enjoy or what felt like a chore.
In Marie Kondo style, I would ask myself: "Does this spark joy?"
If it didn't, I would no longer do it.
And slowly but surely, I started to realise that those moments when I felt joy, that was "my true self" starting to reveal itself.