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I have always been told to "be yourself"
But then again, what does it mean to be yourself?

For me, as a person who has always scared of being judged. My likings and dislikings are all shaped in a way that doesn't make anyone able to judge me. I dislike my own self, this is why I keep it away from people and never cared to improve it.

So 4s, how did you find your self?
 

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I have always been told to "be yourself"
But then again, what does it mean to be yourself?

For me, as a person who has always scared of being judged. My likings and dislikings are all shaped in a way that doesn't make anyone able to judge me. I dislike my own self, this is why I keep it away from people and never cared to improve it.

So 4s, how did you find your self?

Not sure if I'm a 4 or a 6 with a strong 4 fix. But...is there anything you like that others might not that you're sure you wouldn't be judged for? Some poem, some genre of music, some hobby, anything?
 

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I have always been told to "be yourself"
But then again, what does it mean to be yourself?

For me, as a person who has always scared of being judged. My likings and dislikings are all shaped in a way that doesn't make anyone able to judge me. I dislike my own self, this is why I keep it away from people and never cared to improve it.

So 4s, how did you find your self?
I think that first you have to learn to like yourself. "Who you are" includes your character, your personality, your hobbies, likes/dislikes (maybe I'm forgetting things - this is really new to me, too). Convince yourself that you're a valuable, worthwhile person with many positive qualities, and that your happiness and potential are worth trying out new things, and then explore the world and try out what it has to offer. Find hobbies, find passions - however small. Say you were to go to a painting class - if you were to not tell people that you were going, they wouldn't be able to judge you. Maybe once you find something(s) you're good at and enjoy, you'll gain pride and self-esteem, which could make you less concerned about what others think of you. In addition, identity is fluid and ever-changing. Every single stimulus that we take in changes us, whether it's turning the light on or hearing a bird chirp - tiny, tiny things. I always felt like I would hit some point where I'd feel like, "Aha! THIS is my identity! I've reached it!" but that's never going to happen for any of us. We just have to accept that things and ourselves aren't ever going to be perfect, and that that's fine. And we have to allow ourselves room to grow and flourish. We have to get out of our comfort zones because nobody has ever grown within their comfort zone. I hope this helps. I haven't tried it out too much yet, but I'm parroting what various counselors have told me one-on-one and in groups over the past month.
 

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I have always been told to "be yourself"
But then again, what does it mean to be yourself?

For me, as a person who has always scared of being judged. My likings and dislikings are all shaped in a way that doesn't make anyone able to judge me. I dislike my own self, this is why I keep it away from people and never cared to improve it.

So 4s, how did you find your self?
Being yourself means being aware of why you do the stuff you do. For example, why are you scared of being judged ? Is it to be in the spotlight ? Or is it to be judged negatively ? How do you react when you become fearful ? The more those kinds of questions you can answer the closer you are to understand yourself.

As we grow, the unconscious parts of ourselves become visible, and we can change our behaviors to be more healthy. Don't try to be yourself, rather don't force yourself to be. It's a lot like fishing, in the sense that the more restless you are the less fish you catch. Let it come to you, think only about enjoying yourself as much as possible, within reason.
 

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Here's the paradox of type 4...

Type 4 puts their focus and conscious awareness on the personal emotional and mental experience. Deep self awareness. We are conscious of our inner happenings more than other types so we also see how many emotions, feelings, preferences and mental processes happen at one moment and then contradict at the next. So we start questioning our selves, falling in the deep identity crisis. But for some reason we call it "not knowing myself" or "not being yourself" when I would say it's more knowing yourself too well to be able to cling to certain definitions about yourself.
Do you ever feel like you aren't constant but more of a flow of experience?
Other enneagram types focus their conscious awareness on other things, so they don't notice their contradicting nature and experience as much. It is easier therefor to not "become yourself", but rather "stay yourself" cuz you can always refer back to the most common experiences you have.
I feel like I'm everything and nothing specific. My emotional experience is very vivid and diverse and my expression of it therefor is chaotic and differs from moment to moment. I want to wear gothic clothes one day and princess dresses next because that's exactly how I feel then and there. But it's not because I don't know myself. It's because I know myself at every moment and want to be myself at every moment.

Maybe.... Instead of judging yourself for not being an authentic definition of yourself, one that people could refer to you as. Or for yourself "knowing that this is me and will make me feel better" you just accept being in the flow and experiencing every moment of your emotions to the full.

If you can relate to what I said though.

So you find yourself the moment you allow yourself to be in the moment.

EDIT: sorry I didn't notice you aren't type 4, and kept talking.... But maybe it's still relatable.
 

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I have always been told to "be yourself"
But then again, what does it mean to be yourself?
We are always ourselves, as there's no one else for us to be. Yet sometimes we disown aspects of ourselves for various reasons, and enneagram is meant to help us peer into some parts that we have difficulty seeing. By fully accepting all of ourselves in the present, we allow growth into a future self that expresses itself more freely in the world.

Accepting ourselves allows others to more deeply see us as we are, and this authenticity leads to a virtuous cycle of growth. This is what I believe people are driving at when they advise someone to be themselves.
 

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One concept I've stumbled across is that there is no self - to declare a "self" suggests that people and the things that they use to compose their identities are constant. But they're not. People are always changing in a variety of ways. So how can you snapshot any point in that continuum of change and say "This is me. This is my real self"?

Now one option is to take this and say that "being yourself" is bullshit and anyone who strives for it are deluded idiots. However, I'm a positive-outlook type so I don't like dwelling on those kind of dead-end conclusions. "Being yourself" I suppose, could mean fully acknowledging and indulging whoever and whatever you are at that present time; it could mean pursuing whatever interest, acknowledging whatever taste or belief, expressing whatever emotion (through art or any other way) is part of your identity and your mind right now. No hiding, no lying, no masks. Ideally, no shame. But that doesn't usually pan out.


Alternatively, I tend to prefer the option of "creating yourself". Much more dynamic and less boring. Gives you something to strive for.
 

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I just had another thought. A counselor told me to write down a list of my values, and he said that if I try not to stray from them, they'll guide me into having a life that I'm satisfied with and being a person that I like. Maybe this could help you, too?
 

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I just had another thought. A counselor told me to write down a list of my values, and he said that if I try not to stray from them, they'll guide me into having a life that I'm satisfied with and being a person that I like. Maybe this could help you, too?
I think that's an excellent piece of advice for any Fi-dom, because the closer we come to becoming a living embodiment of our values, the more fulfilled we feel.

@mikan In all honesty I still keep a lot of my likes and dislikes to myself. I had so many negative reactions to them in the past (from fear/disgust to outright disbelief - as if I was lying about them to be cool or different or something) that I've built up a wall between my inner world and the outside world. So I go to hobbies alone. I go to concerts alone. I mostly only play my music when I'm home alone. I hesitate to take people to cafes or restaurants or places that I like, in case they don't like it and judge me for it. I'm trying to tackle the last bit, at least, but it's a long process.

It still hasn't stopped me from knowing and liking who I am though. I guess it's all the introspection and wallowing in my own feelings... from that I get a sense of how I react to things, what my values are, what I like and dislike, how I want to be seen by others, etc etc. If that feels too self-indulgent and ridiculous, maybe you could explore yourself through art or writing or by seeing which fictional and/or historical characters you relate to and why? Trying to find things that resonate with your Fi, whether it be colours, sounds, textures, vague feelings of something-or-other....? I think tapping into that deep well of your inner feelings will help you get a bit of an idea of who you are, or at least who you aren't.

I don't think I have any more advice that others haven't already given.
 

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Seeing as you're gen z as well, you might not be there yet, and I wouldn't worry about knowing who you are, just about not trying to be what you know you're not. I've changed more between the ages of 17 and 20, and still changing constantly, than I had ever changed since birth. Transitioning into adulthood, it's been about letting go of who I used to insist I was, letting go of how much I cared about what other people think, and just letting myself be whoever it was that woke up that morning. Like seriously, so much crazy growth happens in this time of your life, by the time you do actually know who you are, if that's possible, you'll have already changed.

I can totally relate to the likes and dislikes thing though, although I love myself, I don't trust others to do the same. One of my least favorite questions is about my favorite music. I don't need everyone to like what I like, but I seem to hold some great weight on external validation and acceptance of my inner world that I end up just building a wall around it so no one on earth gets to see it, whether they would accept it or not. I also have a hard time showing people my projects, like novels, songwriting, etc. and at the same time my mom is really afraid to even ask to see them because she knows. When something is really important to me, to my personal integrity, and the feedback I get doesn't match my passion and enthusiasm for it, I get really damn insecure. Trying to work on that.
 

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Find things that you like: Activities, music or whatever. You can usually find people similar to you in those fanbases.
You need to stop caring what people think, You dont like yourself?, then become someone you would like and respect.
Find out what you like and do things that bring excitement to your life.
 

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I have always been told to "be yourself"
But then again, what does it mean to be yourself?

For me, as a person who has always scared of being judged. My likings and dislikings are all shaped in a way that doesn't make anyone able to judge me. I dislike my own self, this is why I keep it away from people and never cared to improve it.

So 4s, how did you find your self?
You can't be anyone other than yourself. That saying is silly and is usually said in specific applications. In your case, you shape your likings and disliking based on others and thus you're shaping yourself in a way based on how you believe others view you. You're still yourself, you've just made yourself into a person based on your thoughts, which may or may not be aligned with reality.

As I've gotten older it's not that I've found myself, it's that I started to care less about what others thought of me, which allowed me to do certain things I wouldn't've otherwise done due to fear of social consequences.
 

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I wish I could be myself, but my very existence is a threat to society.
 

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1. What, exactly is "self?" In the abstract, universal sense? What is it that makes someone, himself? Or herself?
2. What is the difference between identity, goals and values, vs. "self?" If any?
3. Where does life end and art begin? Life imitates art and art imitates life but where is the line between the two? If any?
4. What is the driving force in your life? Aside from survival needs and obligations - what DRIVES you to wake up in the morning? Or to stay up a little longer at night?
5. What would be left if you stripped away that driving force in your life, but you didn't have to struggle to survive? What is BEHIND that drive?
6. What does happiness mean to you?
7. What would you be willing to die for?
8. How do you want the people who love you most to remember you when you're gone?
9. What is your spirit animal/s and why?
10. What is a consistent thread in your life, starting from when you were young until now? Adjectives that could describe THE ENTIRETY of your life, starting from when you're small, through all your phases, losses and manifestations?
11. What is the meaning of "meaningful?"


Start there.. :D
 

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"A life never goes wrong because of a false trail; it goes wrong because the main trail is false." -yalom
Basically there's no right or wrong way to live or set person we are supposed to be, as long as you're in touch with the different aspects of yourself. If you end up living off some assumptions and make decisions off of lies then whatever choice you make isn't "you". I guess an example of this would be denying the reasons you're really doing something. The quote is from the book love's executioner by Irvin d yalom, which is a good read, and one of the characters (real stories) for example spent much of his life making easy decisions he thought were pragmatic and wasn't connected to any emotions, until he realizedhe'd just been trying to live a life devoid of emotional risk or engagement because event sin his childhood had made him shut down. It wasn't that he had to live a different life, but that he made those choices with blinders on, denying what was happening inside him or unaware of it.

you are is you in the act of becoming. It is impossible not to be you, unless you are living in a way that makes you unhappy/is against your potential or deep desires/values. It is possible to live the best you can and not know everything you can be and be genuine and later change your mind about certain things you were becoming; I don't that's ungenuine... only the act of actively lying to or surpressing yourself is a "false trail".
 
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