To Thyself Be True

“Why do we do so much, just to fit in?”

By Jolade

I get it. Honestly, I do. The insane need to be a certain way in order to be acceptable, wear a mask so as to fit in, make yourself be small so you don’t hurt fragile egos, act dull so you don’t appear too smart or upset the status quo, put up a front just so they don’t get to see the real you, live a fake life so you can keep up with the Joneses. We say fake it till you make it, if you can’t beat them join them.

The scenarios are endless, so are the motives and justifications. But at the center of it all is a falsehood no matter how noble, self-sacrificing or justifiable the scenarios are to be painted.

It is true that this phenomenon called life is a long play we are all born to act, the time between our intro (birth) and outro (death) is full of various scenes and performance some of which we are required to take on different characters. Still, the core essence of who we are should never be so wrapped up in pretense and false living that we end up losing ourselves, losing our bearing like a ship lost at sea struggling to keep up with the tides.

But my question is why do we do so much just to fit in? Why bend till you break to meet up with perceived standards?

The fundamental issue I see here is that the version of ourselves we have in our conscious or sub-conscious mind is not enough. There is a deep seated sense of inadequacy that we may even refuse to admit. We keep chasing shadows all in the name of trying to live up to a perception.

The scarcity of self-love and self-identity in our life will only leave us drained, unfulfilled, prone to depression, anxieties and a host of other psychological and behavioral problems.

The onslaught of the social media lifestyle modelling is something that should be studied. People jettison their own identity to mirror other human beings whom themselves may be nothing like their social media postulations. Whilst there is nothing wrong with admiring other people’s way of life, trying to live up to that perceived standard is totally absurd because you don’t have the full picture and have no idea about all that goes on behind the scenes.

The recent trend of “what I ordered versus what I got” can be avoided in real life situations if people will just be true to themselves. It is grossly unfair to our sense of individuality if we shortchange ourselves by being anything less than our authentic selves.

People have entered relationships, marriages, even business contracts based on a lie. The sad thing about these arrangements is that there is just so much you can do and how far you can go before it all comes crashing down. Why? Living your life based on falsehood is never sustainable. It is why Ponzi schemes fail, at the core of it is a non-existence and invalid business that cannot survive real life variables.

We go on dates; we pretend, at interviews; we lie, when we are asked questions; we give responses we feel the other party wants to hear. We hide it under ‘putting your best foot forward’ ‘political correctness’ ‘socially acceptable norms’.

To me the only way to impress others is to be yourself. If you keep on pretending to be something you are not, at some point you are going to be caught out, where does that leave you? We have many masks in our bags we pull out as the need arises, the real us lost in the midst of it all. Some of us have believed the lie so much it has become our reality, I wonder if it is a coping mechanism.

We pretend to be all nice and glossy in front of others although we might be raging storm on the inside, we pretend to smile while we may be crying from inside just to show that we are strong, we pretend to be little saints with our goody two shoes with no vices just to feel superior to others, we pretend to love people when all we want is the benefit that comes from them, the list is endless. We pretend all the time until we are in a room alone with our true selves. Even then some of us will not still unmask! Staying in character till the end denying yourself the glorious being that is you!

It takes courage to be real and show our real selves and be proud of it. The more confident and secure we are about ourselves, the less masks we need to put on and the less we need to pretend. It is true that in the world we live in, the urge to create a perfect picture is strong due to constant scrutiny and other social forces but why not take the higher road by staying true to yourself? Stay true to your real beliefs, values and moral compass.

This is what I want you to do- anytime you are in a situation and ready to put up an act, choose to respond with your most authentic self. I promise you will feel better for it.
Don’t wait till you can’t bear to look in the mirror because you don’t know who the person staring back at you is anymore.

P.S– this post is as much for you as it is for me, I am on a journey to a better me.

Stay with me on this one, I will share with you as much as I can, next is something about self-love.



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11 thoughts on “To Thyself be True”

  1. ibilola Famugbode

    Thanks for Sharing Jolade.This was quite relatable.Las las everyone will go home and we will have to be by ourselves.I aspire to be a better person daily because I really like me and want to be proud of me too.

  2. Wow. It really pays to be yourself at some point in life especially in the society we find ourselves in today’s world. But it takes a lot of courage.

  3. Wow Akin, this one is like a bomb to the reality of most the people today. Telling and living a/ the lie while abandoning our real self. Indeed, maybe, just maybe it is a “coping mechanism” as you put it.
    But for me, living a lie is like wearing a borrowed robes, in the end, your true you will pop out and stand like a fat slap in your face.

    Thanks for the advice on how to ensure we live right and true.

    Fantastic writing as always. Well done!

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