Just Be You

what does it mean to Just be you?

I’ve said it myself dozens of times: to a friend interviewing for a job, a bestie going on a first date or to a client going to speak before a new group, “Just be You.”

One of my friends called me on it recently.

“What the F does that MEAN?!” he cried.

“Well, uh,” and I was floored.

He was right. Should he show up to his job interview as the nerdy, snarky guy that permeates his social media feed? Or perhaps he should be the him that is the favored child in nearly every family setting? Maybe he’d do well to be the fashion icon we all know him to be? Or perhaps he should be the super smart, highly efficient, number-crunching savant with a side of humor that we all know and love in the office?

This call to “just be you” is a good idea, in practice it can be another useless cliche without substance.

Like my friend, I have many sides to ME. I’m a nerdy know-it-all when it comes to useless information. I’m a former cheerleader and a sorority girl. I’m a leader with a lot of compassion but little patience for people who lack initiative. I’m an outdoorsy girl who loves room service. I’m a loyal friend and have been called out-going but need to have large swaths of space in my calendar for doing nothing. I’m a workaholic. I’m a person who loves deeply but trusts slowly. I’m an adoptee who loves her family but still wants to know my biological family. I avoid conflict as much as possible but will get on my soapbox and call out systems and people that I see as abusing power.

There’s so much more too!

I’ll bet you’re the same way.

With all these diverse parts of our personalities, what does it mean when we’re told to “Just be you”?

What I ended up saying to my friend before his big interview was”Bring the best version of you that makes the most sense for this gig to the job interview. Don’t forget all the parts of you, but if they’re not germane, don’t feel pressure to tell them all those side of you in the first meeting.”

That’s what I mean when I tell myself, “Just be you.”

That’s what I mean when I ask you to be yourself. Be the version of yourself that makes the most sense where you are. Be open and honest. Resist the urge to force feed every one of your beliefs in the first meeting. Let who you are unfold in your relationships.

When  you’re speaking to a group for the first time, you can put them at east by being totally you. If you’re nervous, let them know. If it’s the first time you’re giving that talk, let them know. Pull your audience into the moment with you and let the relationship unfold from there.

As I began to read hands, I learned to remind people that when they learn more about who they are, they have the choice to always present the best version of themselves in every setting. It’s up to them to determine what “best” means at any given time. However, in our pursuit of more happy in life, it’s easy to lean into the pieces of ourselves that make us feel most at home. That’s a great place to start!





Do You Tell People You’re a Palm Reader?

Hi, I'm Peggie adn I'm a Palmist

I read hands and have been a professional palmist for more than 13 years. I also talk to animals, listen to messages from Nature, meditate and have a deeply personal practice with A Course in Miracles.

These are not necessarily things that come up in mainstream conversation.  While I’m a proponent of “being me” and encourage others to find their inner bliss and live it out loud, I also have a very stubborn Saturnian streak – that is about practicality, nuts and bolts and to an extent, fitting in which is at a polar opposition to my unbelievable need to live my eccentricities out loud.

It’s hard to tell people that I read hands and never mind the struggle I have about how much is too much to share about the rest of my beliefs. My beliefs are all hard won, lots of soul searching, researching and practical testing have gone into my stances on everything from eating meat to working for the man to reincarnation.  All of these are intrinsic to who I am and how I see myself, but they aren’t always easy to share. I’d rather blather on about some funny story or a tidbit of what happened on my last hike in the Canyon than tell you some of these deep-seated beliefs of mine.

It seems I don’t care if you think I’m too talkative or even too bossy, but I do care what you think about my deepest beliefs.  I guess I’m just afraid I won’t fit in. In that I’m not so different from everyone else in the world – we all just want to be loved and we are all desperately afraid that if someone knows the “real” person residing inside, then we will be unlovable. Right?

I’m telling you this in case you ever find yourself in a position where you feel you can’t be “you.”

Now I’m not talking about overt bias and bigotry – that’s a real problem that cannot be shifted with a few mindset shifts primarily, because the bigotry resides in the mind of the bigot.  I’m talking about plain old-fashioned self-defeating fear that says you can’t fit in and be you.

I’ve heard people of all ages tell me that they don’t give a hoot what anyone thinks of them. I admire that stance but I also sense in many of their declarations a defensiveness that comes from a desire to, in essence, ostracize themselves before they can be ostracized.

What do you do if you feel like you can’t be you? How do you deal with those feelings that make you want to hide out – at least from a part of who you know yourself to be?

I posed the questions, “Do you ever feel like you can’t be yourself, and if so, how do you overcome that feeling?” to one of my private Facebook groups and was intrigued and delighted by the responses.

Being yourself in all situations can be hard, but here are some tips, thoughts and insights from my brilliant Facebook group members:

Really the idea of one’s ‘whole self’ is a misnomer. It usually means the self to which I am most attached, that I accept as ‘me’ – that I wish others to accept as ‘me’. This no more ‘my whole self’ than the selves I keep private. Feeling constrained in the presence of others is a matter of comfort – not essence. Advice? I like ‘follow your bliss’ – just not sure what it means at 4am, 3rd wakeup for the night tending to a baby, or elderly relative, or….any number of things that still require presence regardless of how the ‘whole self’ feels about it. Don’t do things that make you feel lousy, keep your word, back your own experience, recognize how much you don’t know, how much vaster the world (and I) am than I can possibly conceive. Don’t blame others for your disinclination to be in clear disagreement with them.” ~ Ruth

Kim shares, “I have often felt like that (like I couldn’t be myself) my entire life. Learning my Myers-Briggs type helped a lot with understanding the why of it but it has taken years (hand analysis and learning to read hands over the last couple of years added another layer of understanding) to feel like it’s OK to be me. There are times when I still “hide out” depending on the situation and people.”

And finally, Pamelah says, “I share the parts of me that I want to share with each person. It’s not the same with everybody and that feels completely right.”

So I bring the question to you fine reader, do you ever feel you can’t be yourself? What does being “your true self” mean to you? And what do you do to find your truth when you’re feeling afraid to share it?