Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken

Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken

Social networking sites have been a game changer for the world. We can easily connect with people and get a good look at what everyone around us is up to. It is truly a blessing to communicate with our loved ones whenever we want, in just a few seconds.

However, one of the most significant downsides of these platforms is that it greatly lowers individuals’ self-esteem. When youngsters see their peers doing better than them or receiving recognition from everyone, they feel incompetent and unworthy. To ward off such self-deprecating feelings, they blindly follow their friends or try hard to become like them. As a result, they forget about their strengths and unique characteristics and become a poor replica of someone else.

Thus, on days when you feel inclined to copy your peers or become more like them, remind yourself that you will lose your authentic personality. By pretending to be someone else, you will not improve yourself; you will lose yourself. Therefore, always cherish your individuality as it will take you to places you can never even imagine going by being someone else. This is the main idea expressed in the following quote:

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken

Where Does The Quote Come From?

The quote is widely attributed to Oscar Wilde. Unfortunately, this attribution cannot be verified due to the lack of credible sources.

Who Was Oscar Wilde?

Oscar Wilde was an Irish poet and dramatist born on Oct. 16, 1854, in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a renowned surgeon and was highly concerned about his son’s education. Wilde went to Trinity College in Dublin, where he soon became famous for his wit. He later attended Oxford University to earn his degree.

His first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was published in 1891 and earned a lot of appreciation for creatively and ironically pointing out the flaws of conventional society. One of the most famous and thought-provoking quotes from the novel includes the following:

To define is to limit

You can visit the above link to uncover the meaning of Oscar Wilde’s beautiful and profound words.

Wilde gained immense popularity worldwide because of his satirical and humorous plays. Some of them include Salomé (1893), Lady Windermere’s Fan (1893), A Woman of No Importance (1893), and An Ideal Husband (1895).

Wilde was arrested for being in an intimate relationship with the Marquess of Queensberry son’s Lord Alfred Douglas. His trial became globally notorious, and he was imprisoned for a few years. After his release, he went to Paris and worked on The Ballad of Reading Gaol, published in 1898. Wilde talked about the inhumane prison conditions he endured. He died on Nov. 30, 1900, in Paris, France, due to acute meningitis.

What is the Meaning of the Quote?

The quote reminds us to embrace our individuality and give up the idea of being like someone else. When we see someone better than us in terms of appearance, financial standing, academics, etc., we feel disappointed in ourselves and secretly wish to be more like them. For instance, many teenagers and young adults long to have an athletic body or flawless skin they admire on television and their social media feed. They try their best to become more like the people they admire. While there is nothing wrong with getting inspired by others or working on getting what they have, hating yourself or feeling embarrassed about your identity is not a healthy approach.

 Since childhood, we are conditioned to be excellent at everything, such as our behavior, grades, communication, etc. Thus, as we grow up, we expect to be perfect at everything we do or have. As a result, our weaknesses or shortcomings make us feel incompetent and we start to critique ourselves to an unhealthy extent and compare ourselves to others. This comparison crushes our self-esteem and forces us to reinvent ourselves into something we are not meant to be. For example, many high school and college students sometimes dress, act, and talk like their classmates due to high peer pressure. They change themselves to fit in and be liked by their social group. As a result, they lose their individuality and constantly feel the urge to be accepted by others, which becomes stronger as time passes.

5 Perks of Being Your True Self

1.    You Feel Happier

The first advantage of being authentic is feeling happier and free from the stress of pretending to be someone you are not. People feel uneasy and anxious when they hide their true personalities. As a result, they never genuinely enjoy or feel free when they are amongst their friends and family. In contrast, embracing your uniqueness frees you from the pressure of being someone else.

2.    Boosts Your Confidence

When an individual copies or tries to be like someone else, they get anxious about being accepted and praised by others. Their urge to fit in with their peers often affects their confidence, making them nervous about showing people what they truly are. In contrast, a person who embraces individuality doesn’t feel the need for other people’s validation. Being true and authentic allows them to do and experience things without fearing what others around them will say or think.

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

Lao Tzu

3.    Feel Proud of Your Strengths and Accomplishments

A person who lives their life by trying to be someone else often fails to achieve their goals. That’s because, instead of working towards their dreams, they follow others and often tire themselves into accomplishing things they don’t even want. For instance, many young adults usually take up subjects, jobs, or select career paths that their peers take. Their decision to follow others often results in frustration and regret for wasting their time and not utilizing it to do something they love.

On the other hand, a person who focuses on their wants and goals without worrying about others paves the way to success. They feel ecstatic about accomplishing their goals and living on their own terms.

4.    Free Yourself From People Pleasing

Authentic people set healthy boundaries and do not attempt to keep everyone happy.They are content with who they are and do not feel the need to be liked by others. But, some individuals feel good about themselves only if others accept and appreciate them. Hence, to boost their morale and feel good about themselves, they agree to everything their friends, colleagues, etc., ask of them.

Be content to seem what you really are.

Marcus Aurelius

Constantly trying to win the approval of others will never allow you to have your own opinion or point of view. This is because you will always prioritize others’ beliefs over yours and think they are right. 

5.    You Make Wise Decisions

Being yourself allows you to live your life on your own terms. You can enjoy and experience different things you like without requiring the acceptance of others. Furthermore, you can make important life decisions without being influenced by what people around you are up to. For example, an authentic person would never support a cause or an idea solely because of their friends. Instead, they would think about it, and see if it aligns with their perspective and beliefs, only then they would agree with it.