A purely personal blog, with purely personal opinions, about life, the universe and everything.

Sep 5, 2010

"Be yourself" is the biggest lie you've ever heard.

I haven't written for a long while, because I didn't have much to say actually  (I wonder how all these people on Twitter manage it, but oh wait, they actually don't! :-P)

In any case, what got me to it, was an e-mail I got from a world-class job-searching web-site I had subscribed to in the past. This particular e-mail was about "5 Common mistakes people do in a work interview". And there really were 5 advices about 5 really common mistakes after the click. All 5 were about how you should act, what you should say, how you should present yourself, etc. In the end, there was the "BONUS 6th" advice:

Be yourself.

Did it sink in? Nice. 

So, I was actually thinking that after getting so much of this particular, and so obviously fail, advice when I was a teenager I wouldn't have to be given to it again as an adult. Yet, here we are once more. 

Maybe I should be a bit more clear on that:
As a teenager in the early '90s (I guess it doesn't happen anymore to the information-overloaded angst-ridden sex-savy teenagers of '10s), people used to tell you that in order "to get love" you have to "Be yourself", but forgot to tell you that they actually meant THAT OTHER self, which you were obviously not.

Fifteen years later, people come back and tell you that to get a job you have once more to "Be yourself", but once more they mean THAT OTHER self, which you are obviously not. That self, which will form from following the advices given above and some more, that were not actually written anywhere.

I could give some more examples about the "Be Yourself" paradigm from my lifetime, but I think these two are the most important ones. 

To keep it short, after 29 years, I can offer only one small piece of wisdom: 
"When someone tells you to 'Be YOURself', either 'Be THATself' that they want you to be or ignore them and really be who you are". (and no, I don't mean "be who you really are")

Because when it all comes down to it, "Be Yourself" is the biggest lie you have ever heard.