"Own who you are." Sure—it sounds like a simple idea! However, in reality, it can actually be very difficult for a lot of us to implement in day-to-day life.
But once you do learn to be confident in yourself, the effects will be powerful. Not only will you feel great about yourself, but you'll also be better able to make progress in different areas of your life, like your finances, work, health, and more.
That's what we'll be breaking down in this article!
What does it mean to own who you are?
Above all, owning who you are means having confidence in yourself. However, this doesn't necessarily mean you're 100% confident in everything you do every single day.
After all, we will always continue to make mistakes, and the goal isn't to chase perfection so you can finally be confident in yourself.
It means being comfortable with the unique person you are
Think of it like this: Rather than coming from perfection, confidence will come from comfort. In other words, by being comfortable with who you are, you can start to own who you are.
Importantly, owning who you are means owning all the parts of yourself—both the good and the bad.
This includes your past and your mistakes, as well as your dreams, your attitude, your actions, your body, your voice, your accomplishments, and much more.
Why it's important to own who you are
Owning who you are doesn't just feel good. It may also have a ripple effect on many different aspects of your life.
It strengthens your relationships
You've likely heard it before, but we'll say it again: Relationships are not Band-Aids. You must learn to love yourself first.
But in the end, being confident in and comfortable with yourself will set a good foundation for all your relationships—from friends and family to romantic partners and even colleagues.
When you're confident in yourself, you're less likely to get caught up in bad relationships because you know your self-worth and how to stand up for yourself.
Furthermore, confidence in yourself can actually make you more compassionate, as shown by a recent study on the positive association between self-esteem and empathy.
With fewer feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and other feelings of insecurity, you're ready to be more compassionate, empathetic, helpful, and caring to others.
It helps you achieve your professional and personal goals
Owning who you are can also help you achieve your professional and personal goals. It's all connected to living consciously and with intention.
If you are confident in yourself, then you'll be more confident in the choices you make and the actions you take.
In turn, you'll have more confidence to try new things and push yourself to new limits. In the end, you'll see the fruits of these efforts via big progress toward your professional, personal, and financial goals.
For example, maybe you've always wanted to start a blog, but you feel embarrassed because you're worried that your friends and family will judge you. This negative thinking is holding you back.
Conversely, if you own who you are, then you'll have the self-confidence to start that blog—and maybe even turn it into a successful side hustle.
Why you shouldn't be ashamed of yourself—or your finances
A big step in learning to own who you are is to get rid of shame.
For many people, a big source of shame is the state of their finances. But no matter where you or your finances are currently in your life, there is no need to be ashamed of yourself.
Because comparing or blaming yourself can hold you back
We know that it's easy to compare yourself to others. Even on good days, you can quickly find yourself comparing your mistakes to other people's successes.
But no matter what you don't like right now about your life or your finances, know that everyone makes mistakes. And just because a mistake has been made, it doesn't mean things can't change.
For example, maybe you feel like you made some financial mistakes in the past. That's okay!
Remember: No one is born knowing how to manage money. It's a skill that you can learn just like anything else.
Moreover, your financial missteps don't have to continue. In fact, every time you make a mistake, you learn something that will help you make your future even stronger.
Above all, you have to stop beating yourself up for any past mistakes. Acknowledge them; accept them, and keep moving forward.
Make progress towards your goals: 8 Tips to own who you are
Learning to own who you are is the biggest gift you can give yourself. But it's not a one-step, one-and-done task. It's a process and a journey!
Here are some tips to help:
1. Make a list of things you like about yourself
You're great! And it's time to pay attention to it and give yourself credit for everything you are.
Get a piece of paper and go to a quiet place—your kitchen, the park, or your favorite café. Then, write down 20 things you like about yourself.
We know—it seems like a lot! But don't just roll your eyes and give up. Instead, really push yourself to think. (Spoiler: We bet you'll start to feel a lot better about yourself by the end of the list.)
Feeling stuck? For example, your list can include things like, "I like ...
- My sense of style
- My smile
- My work ethic
- My financial goals
- My desire to help others
- My special cookie recipe
2. Own up to your mistakes
It might seem a little counterproductive, but part of learning to own who you are is to not just think about the best parts of yourself. You also need to own up to your mistakes.
This is a tricky one. Remember: There's no need to be too harsh and beat yourself up. But holding yourself accountable is important.
It lets you right any wrongs you can (e.g., apologizing to those you've hurt). And it helps you move forward with a clean slate.
For example, maybe you're in debt because of past financial decisions, and it has affected your finances and how you and your partner manage money. Acknowledge what went wrong with your decisions and how they contributed to your financial situation.
But don't get stuck here—dwelling on your mistakes. Instead, try this mantra: "I messed up on this. This is something I can do to fix it. And I'm forgiving myself and moving forward to try my best."
3. Let go of your past
A big part of owning who you are and owning up to your mistakes is letting go of your past.
For example, those mistakes you just owned up to? Recognizing them is important. Holding yourself accountable is important.
And making sure you learned a lesson is important. But then you need to MOVE ON.
Write a letter
Here's a good exercise to try: Write a letter. It can be to yourself or someone you know.
First, acknowledge what happened in the past. Express your thoughts about it.
Then, "mail" the letter. To do this, you can rip it up, throw it away, or tuck it in your journal.
The point is that you gave the past the attention it deserves. You owned it. And now you're letting go so you can move forward.
4. Repeat positive affirmations
Okay, back to positive thinking!
A big part of owning who you are is owning up to your mistakes and your past. Now, it's time to give yourself some positive encouragement for the future.
It may seem silly, but positive affirmations can actually help you improve your confidence, Dr. David Hamilton tells Fortune. What's important is to make these positive affirmations a habit.
And no, you don't have to stare in a mirror and tell yourself you're great (unless you want to!). Check out these 100 positive affirmations to give you some inspiration for your own. Or try positive financial statements to help you with your money mindset.
5. Start a gratitude journal
Another great way to build your confidence and own who you are is to express gratitude.
Too often, we get caught up in focusing on all the negative aspects of ourselves and our lives. Instead of always thinking about what we want to change, remember to take time to focus on what you love and appreciate in your life.
It helps to start a gratitude journal. Each day, write down at least three things you're grateful for. These can be big or small (e.g., your family, your health, or just a cozy night in watching Netflix).
Then, this is where you can turn when you're having a hard day or feeling down on yourself. Your gratitude journal will help remind you of all the great things in your life and give you a well-deserved confidence boost.
6. Do a social media detox
Comparing ourselves to others is the fastest way to kill self-esteem. It's reasonable, then, that one of the best ways to build healthy self-confidence is to take a break from the biggest comparison machine out there: social media.
Numerous studies report that social media causes a decrease in self-esteem.
Instead of spending time staring at pictures of other people's lives and how seemingly great life is for everyone else, hit pause.
A social media detox gives you space to focus on yourself, enjoy your own life, your own financial goals, and build your self-confidence. (Bonus: A social media detox can even help improve your finances!)
7. Review your budget
Finances are a big source of stress, shame, and comparison in people's lives. But there's no reason that finances need to be a confidence killer!
To turn your finances into something you can be proud of, the first step is to check out your budget. Consider:
- Where is your money going every month?
- Where are you overspending?
- Where can you cut back?
Wait—do you even have a monthly budget? If you don't, it's okay. Now is the ideal time to learn how to budget!
Ultimately, reviewing your budget and taking control of your finances will be a boon for your self-confidence. When you control your finances, you feel more independent and more powerful overall.
Plus, by setting financial goals and working toward them, you'll remind yourself just what you're capable of, which can make you feel a lot better about yourself.
8. Make a financial vision board
If you're not happy with your current budget, it's okay. You can make changes to get it where you want it to be.
Start by thinking about your financial goals. Then, make a list of what you want to achieve. For example, maybe you want to:
- Start investing
- Build your emergency fund
- Pay off your debt
- Save up money to go back to school
- Create passive income streams
Making a financial vision board is a great way to help you put focus on your goals. It will help inspire you and give you an image for the future to work towards.
Don't just believe us—research from SAGE Journals proves that setting goals can increase confidence.
Own who you are today and every day!
Building confidence and owning who you are is an ongoing task. But the more you practice this, the simpler and easier it will become and the better you'll feel.
You can start small with the tips above. But remember that there's always support available when you need it!