How to be Yourself
What a strange question but am sure you would have an answer after reading this…
I guess you may argue that “well it is normal to act like those we idolize”
Yea! But where is the sense in that? Is it supposed to be normal or we have made it so.
I remember watching the Peaky Blinders series , and I said to myself “damn! I want to be as badass as Thomas Shelby” and immediately I took on his demeanor.
For a while, I felt better and confident about myself because I was putting on the face of a strong fictional character that possessed the infallible qualities a man should have.
Preye Raymond was weak and fallible, but Thomas Shelby (which was my new face) was strong and indestructible.
I hated myself anytime I derailed from acting like this character. When I made a mistake or behaved irrationally, I would often ask myself “would Tom behave like this?”
It became obscene…
Am sure there is a psychological name for such condition, if you know more about what it is, please feel free to spell it out in the comments.
Whenever we watch our favorite performers and artists take up strong roles in their various artistic works, e.g movies, music, dance, seminars, etc…We often perceive them to be infallible.
And that sparks our love and admiration for them even to the point of obsession.
In another case, one that is not so far-fetched, whenever we see others post an elaborate lifestyle on social media, we display the same kind of admiration and perception of infallibility towards them.
At this point you may be saying “Ok! We get it… comparing yourself to celebrities, influencers and people on social media is bad and unhealthy”
Yes it is…but this is just on the surface, let’s analyze the root cause.
And What is that?
It is the idea that when we idolize or perceive certain group of individuals (celebs, influencers, perfomers, etc) as “infallible” , such perception becomes the foundation for our insecurities and why we easily throw away our individual identities to embrace theirs.
The character of Thomas Shelby have been scripted to paint the “ideal man” to spectators:
- A man that has all the plans
- A man that gets others to obey him
- A man that is confident in every situation even when he is faced with danger, and so on.
I started pondering on these questions- can a man truly be this way? Especially in an unpredictable and difficult world?Because life experiences have shown me otherwise.
As a YouTube addict, I often watch self-help content creators and podcasters use such movie characters (like Tom) ,including celebrities and influencers as an example of what it means to be successful, confident and powerful.
But whenever I consumed such content I felt more insecure than I already was. I started to ponder- how can I level up to this? Can I ever achieve this? Especially when I see contents about how David Goggins can run for 24 hours without sleep.
When Nicki Minaj took over the female Hip-Hop genre, every young woman in the black community wanted to look like her.
Not to engage in comparisons, but it is safe to assume that Nicki Minaj’s hour-glass figure got black women (and even white women) more obsessed about increasing their bum with cosmetic surgery and waist trainers, than any other hot female artist you can think of.
There is always this unnecessary pressure on defining who we truly are and what makes us unique because of what is steered up by pop culture and its never ending trends and so-called entertainment .
It subtly diminishes our nomenclature and we begin to exist as just a metaphor of the real thing.
Drop all the faces when you look in the mirror. Your body is yours not like Nicki’s.
Avoid the thought of you having to look like A or B because you think they are infallible angels.
Wearing the faces of a fictional character was too much pressure at some point in my life.
I am glad it gave me some common sense as I grew older to realize that whoever has the spotlight or is in front of a camera follows a scripts.
It also made me realize that not being yourself, is craziest part of your life’s journey. Something you must overcome.