Torres column: Be genuine
“Don’t be afraid of losing people. Be afraid of losing yourself by trying to please everyone around you.”
Around 10 years ago, I decided to be myself and stand up for what I believe is true (compared to what other people want me to believe). I decided that I needed to be genuine to myself since I was never honest to myself.
Before my change, I tried many times to please other people, even though I did not agree with their beliefs and philosophy. I was their puppet. For some reason, doing that made me weak. We know inside of us when we do and say things that make us weak. I knew that, and I never did something to change it, maybe because I was afraid of people not liking me.
It was not until I decided to become a better person and version of me that I decided to stand up for my values. Something inside of me changed. I knew many people would get annoyed because of my new “attitude.”
I got fired because of it; I lost many friends; I was less popular with my peers, and I could not fit into many circles of people. It was very difficult in the beginning, but things started to turn around.
Even though things were not turning out good, I started to feel confident and happy. I knew inside of me that everything would come to be okay. For the first time, I was good with myself.
Another bad behavior I had was that I used to lie consciously and continuously for many reasons. You may empathize with me and understand that it is easier (physiologically) to tell a lie then say the truth. But, in truth, it is easier to tell the truth than lie because of the consequences.
When I decided to stand up for my beliefs, I also decided to start telling the truth no matter the consequences. The truth is hard for many people, and many times will hurt people and make others angry. Even though there are many who never get over their emotions, others will control their emotions, and they understand that telling the truth is the best thing for everyone.
This year, I discovered an amazing clinical psychologist who recommends not to say things that make you weak and to always say the truth. His name is Jordan Peterson. He explains how doing so helps you put your life back together, and it helps you to be an asset for society instead of a burden.
I discovered that he is right and being genuine to yourself is the best thing you can do not only to be an asset to society, but also to be happy.
Many people struggle in life because they are not true to themselves. They suffer anxiety, depression and other psychological symptoms. They put themselves into stress to try to please others, and they end up miserable because they are unable to truly commit to themselves and fail to be liked by everyone.
It is just simply impossible to be liked by everyone.
Now being true to yourself is not following your carnal desires. It is to listen to yourself, to go against what you know you are doing wrong. It is to contemplate your life and understand that you may be practicing bad behavior even though it is accepted by society. Being true to yourself is to truly do what is right when others disapprove of your behavior.
There are so many behaviors that can be against your will, but your body wants to practice, such as alcoholism, pornography, impulsing shopping, binge eating and others.
The key here is not to give up and not to let yourself down. You will see how your self confidence increases because every time to do what you know is true to you, you know you are being honest with you.
If you have not tried to be true to yourself and tell the truth no matter the consequences, maybe it is time for you to try and see how your life turns around.
Becoming an asset for society I think is a good motive, but what I really think is the real reason to change is to find yourself and with that genuine happiness.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the books “Lose Weight Permanently” and “Finding Genuine Happiness.” His column appears on the third Wednesday of the month.
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