People often say 'be yourself', which when I was younger, I always thought was odd because, who else could you be? It wasn't until I started high school where I really began to figure this saying out. I saw how easily girls changed their personalities for guys or their friends. I saw how my natural awkwardness wasn't really accepted by certain people. I saw many kids trying to figure out where they belonged, who they wanted to be, and why they weren't being accepted. I knew I was quirky, a bit weird, and very shy, so I tried to hide it in a sense. It's a difficult thing for a young person to say 'forget what everyone thinks' because you inherently want to be accepted to a certain extent.
I remember in college being in conversations about how 'so and so wasn't acting like herself', or how 'so and so was fake', 'so and so changed'. That still happens now. Oftentimes, we complain about how someone has too much personality, too little, or none at all. What a vulnerable thing to do, to put yourself out there completely, when there are so many people ready to judge you.
To me, being yourself means to figure out your best qualities, embrace the worst, learn to love the rest, and concede to the fact that you only get to be you once.
Funny clip from the movie Just Friends