We’ve spent almost our entire lives trying to be someone or something we’re not. We do things we don’t like just to fit in; we’re afraid of being different, of acting, or sounding different; we want to be like everyone else. It’s easy to forget who you are, why you’re here, and to live your life behind a mask, unable to express your true self. You end up living your life in the closet, suffocating, and unable to be YOURSELF because you are afraid of what others will think or say if you act or do things differently.

Have you ever done something or agreed with other people’s opinions, such as your family’s or friends’, but deep down you knew it was wrong, but you did it to fit in, to belong, and you were afraid of being rejected if you told the truth? Well, I’ve done that many times before, trying to fit in is so painful on the inside that you even pretend to smile and know you’re faking it, it’s not who you are but you’re afraid to be You.

We want to be validated by the world, to be praised by our parents, friends, and society, but we are dying a slow, painful death on the inside. We feel an emptiness inside, and we know something is missing in our lives, but fear holds us back; fear of what other people will think or say leads us to abandon who we are and live a life that was not meant for us.


I understand how difficult it is to pretend to be someone you are not simply because you are afraid of disappointing your parents or other people. I grew up as an obedient child, and my mother was proud of me; she would brag about me to other relatives and friends. I didn’t want to disappoint her, so I had to be the person she wanted me to be, which wasn’t easy. This carried over into my adult life, experiencing it in relationships and friendships. I lived to please others but not myself because I was afraid to be myself; I abandoned myself, hurt myself, all for approval.

Parents are the first to suffocate their child’s true self; most parents do not want their children to become who they are, but rather who they want them to be. We do not treat our children as human beings; rather, we treat them as objects, as if they are here to fulfill our expectations. We forget that they are here to fulfill God’s purpose, to become who they were created to be; our job as parents is to assist them in becoming who they are, but we do the opposite.


When you’re known for always saying ‘yes’ to whatever they ask, it’s harder to say ‘no,’ and you end up doing things you don’t love. People can take advantage of your generosity; they don’t care how you feel as long as they get their desired outcome. No one will take care of you if you don’t take care of yourself; you will live your life for others. When you’re afraid to be yourself, you do things you don’t want to do because you don’t want to disappoint others; instead, you disappoint yourself because you think you’re doing the right thing. The problem with seeking approval is that in order to obtain it, you must sacrifice your own values and beliefs.


Be yourself, let people see what you stand for and what you oppose, eliminate the need for approval, and stand up for what you believe. Trust yourself; if you believe something is right, you must stand by it. Everyone makes mistakes; don’t try to hide your humanity. Allow people to like you for who you are rather than who you pretend to be. Let those who don’t like the real you go; you don’t need people who don’t accept you for who you are. Anyone who wishes to change you is not beneficial to you. Some people will be offended if you are true to yourself; be aware that not everyone will like the true you; and be prepared to stand up for your truth, even if it upset others.

People who do not seek approval or care what others think or say live happy lives. Those people live life to the fullest, not afraid to be themselves and who they are. We think of them as abnormal, but they are the normal ones; they are free to be themselves.

Do you have someone in your life who you value their opinion so much? It could be a parent, a family member, a pastor, or a friend; if you want to do something, even if you believe it’s the right thing to do, you have to consult them; you don’t trust your decision, and if they disapprove, you don’t do it; their opinion is the most important to you. This type of person is like living through you and you have no control over your own life. Make your own life decisions; it’s okay to make mistakes; the important thing is to learn from them and grow; take responsibility for your own life. 

You try so hard to please others, even if it means hurting yourself because you don’t know who you are. When you know who you are, the idea of pleasing others becomes less appealing to you. When you choose to please someone or something, you must choose them over yourself; this means you are choosing them over yourself and hurting yourself. Who will put yourself first if you don’t? Every individual is responsible for their own happiness; it is your responsibility to ensure that you are satisfied with every decision you make; it must feel right to you. You don’t have to suffer as a result of doing the right thing. What is right for you may not always be right for others; always follow your instincts.


Published by Thuli Silinda

I am a certified life coach, I help individuals, to create their dream life. I can help you move from where you are, to where you want to be and achieve your dreams. Whether your dream is to be healthy, find a job, change a career, start a business or find your life partner. I believe you can be, do, have anything you want in your life, nothing is impossible with the help and support of a life coach.


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