|Just be yourself|
This old advice is normally given when you're about to do something important and are supposed to impress the spectator. From proposing to your crush, nailing job interviews, or even pitching your ideas to potential investors.
The advice had always been puzzling for me, especially the 'yourself' part. Which side of me can be considered 'myself'? Is there one, true form of 'myself'?
I am basically lazy. If you ask me to do something that I deem pointless, don't bet on me doing that task. I also tend to self-doubt and over-think about my every action: did I make any mistake, did I say anything wrong, was there an error with my work? I'm also very shy at times, even in simple things like asking for direction to random people.
But that is not all there is to me. I can be very hardworking when I have a sense of purpose. I can be very confident when I'm working on something that I'm already used to doing. And don't ever count on me being shy when my goal depends on me being bold.
All of the things that I listed above are part of my self: all of the good stuffs, and yes, even the bad stuffs. But I must be honest here, if there is no external motivation, no reward or punishment in any way, I would most likely revert to my lazy, shy, introverted self (it happens every weekends). Being optimistic, bold, confident, and hardworking is not easy, it takes a lot of energy and will power.
So no, I don't think 'just be yourself' will work on me. Instead, I believe in "becoming the best of yourself that you can be", because I believe that everyone has a great potential inside him / her. It is a matter of choice: would you choose the easy way being just yourself or the hard way being the best of yourself?
I believe that being great is not something that comes naturally to every person, it is the result of choosing to be great, each and every single day.