When I was fourteen years old, my grandma told me something that has been ringing in my ears ever since: “Whatever you do in life, always remember to be loyal to yourself!”
Back then, I couldn’t understand the real meaning of these wise, evergreen words because I was too young and innocent to understand how the world we live in operates.
But, now I can say for sure that self-loyalty is one of the most fundamental rules everyone should live by.
What does being loyal to yourself mean?
(I’ll skip quoting all those mainstream definitions of self-loyalty and instead write it in my own words.)
So, to be loyal to yourself basically means to be who you are, to listen to your intuition, and to be in touch with your true self.
It means being an active participant in your own life instead of seeking approval from others or doing things just because someone has told you to do it.
Being loyal means not only taking care of others and meeting their needs, but meeting your own needs as well.
Sadly, hectic lifestyles and the modern world we live in often force us to forget that and to think that being loyal to yourself is an act of selfishness. Today, we’ll prove to the world otherwise!
How To Be Loyal To Yourself?
Remind yourself of what YOU want and go get it!
Remember all those New Year’s resolutions you were so excited about?
Perhaps you promised yourself that you’ll start going to the gym, find a new job, stop smoking, start practicing a holistic lifestyle, work on improving your relationships, and similar?
They don’t necessarily need to be New Year’s resolutions, but something you’ve always wanted to do yet for some reason haven’t.
Perhaps stress accumulation has taken its toll, or you just keep making excuses so that you feel less guilty about not doing anything regarding your resolutions.
Whatever the reason be, if you want to be loyal to yourself, you need to remind yourself of what you want and start working on making it reality ASAP!
If your wish is to go on a trip with your significant other, start planning it right now. If your wish is to be more physically active, go for a run right now and create a gym schedule for the next week/month.
The most important thing is to motivate yourself and remind yourself of all your decisions and goals that you’ve put on hold. Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to – only if you want to!
Stand for what you believe in
We’re surrounded by millions of other people: our family, friends, colleagues, the media, modern influencers, and other virtual crew.
They all shape our opinion (especially the media) and hold different perspectives.
And there’s nothing wrong with that because if we all had one mindset, we wouldn’t be able to learn new things from other people.
So, being a good listener is a good thing because it teaches us new ideas (whether they are positive or negative), but neglecting your own beliefs because of others is something you should NEVER do.
Respect other people’s ideas and opinions, but always make sure to stand for what YOU believe in.
You should implement this rule in every aspect of your life, be it your relationships, work ethics, and religion.
From the moment you get up till the end of the day, you have to make plenty of decisions throughout the day, and what matters is that you know you did the right thing.
That is why it’s important to stand for what you believe in and trust your gut.
When things go south, it is easier to blame yourself for something you did wrong than for listening to others.
Learning from your own mistakes means evolving, so you should never be afraid of standing up for yourself and what you believe in!
Take time to reconnect with yourself
Chores, jobs, and other daily tasks often get us into a rut and we start feeling as if we’re stuck in a real-life Groundhog Day movie. Every new day becomes a reiteration of the one before.
Because of this, we start losing touch with ourselves and our self-esteem suffers. We begin to neglect our needs for the sake of accomplishing other tasks on a daily basis.
Being loyal to yourself means taking time to reconnect with yourself – with your likes and dislikes, things you’re good at, your dreams and desires.
Making yourself a priority and going back to your roots is not something you should be ashamed of doing.
When you’re connected with yourself, your confidence increases.
And trust me, there’s no better mood lifter than knowing you’re respecting and loving yourself in spite of all this negativity prevailing in the world.
Be honest with yourself
Lying, infidelity, violence, and other modern life vices are significantly depriving us from reaching our full potential.
Being loyal to yourself also means being honest with yourself about everything, including the negative things.
Acknowledge your imperfections, quirks, flaws, and bad habits. Don’t try to hide your imperfections on social media. Don’t try to convince yourself that your bad habit is not something you should be working on.
Self-improvement, patience, and kindness are character traits you should focus on. But, you should also keep in mind that you don’t need to be perfect.
Embrace your imperfections that cannot be changed and work on things that can be improved. Don’t make excuses for your bad behavior or try to run away from your problems.
If you want to be honest with yourself, then you will have to see things as they are at the moment, face them, and start working on improving them. It’s the only way to ultimate happiness.
Embrace your own feelings
Instead of prioritizing only other people’s feelings, honor your own as well. Pay attention to how you’re feeling when someone disappoints you or something bad happens.
Don’t try to suppress your emotions when you’re feeling down just because you’re afraid of being judged by others. Remember that you’re only human and you’re not expected to be happy 24/7.
You have the right to have a bad day, to feel betrayed, disappointed, and broken. Embrace all those feelings – not only the positive ones – because if you don’t, then you’re not being loyal to yourself.
When you’re focused on your own feelings, you understand yourself better and your relationships with others improve as well. Remember that you don’t need to be perfect in order to experience unconditional love.
You don’t need to change yourself completely and suppress your thoughts and emotions in order to be seen and praised by other people.
You are YOU and there is no another you in the whole wide world. So, embrace your uniqueness, feelings, and opinions.
Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself
Have you ever blamed yourself for something that happened in the past? I bet you did (like the rest of civilization). You blamed yourself for the choices you made, things you did or said, and similar.
But, guess what? You cannot change it. And if something cannot be changed, there’s no point in beating yourself up about it.
Instead of dwelling in the past and blaming yourself for certain outcomes, focus on learning from your mistakes and forgiving yourself.
You will never be able to be totally free if you don’t forgive yourself.
The truth is, we’ll make thousands of mistakes during life, but what matters is that we learn something from them so that we don’t repeat them again.
If you’re able to do this, there’s nothing you should worry about. Being loyal to yourself isn’t about living a perfect life devoid of mistakes, but about forgiving yourself and turning them into valuable life lessons.
How We Betray Ourselves
There are millions of ways in which every single human being is sabotaging his or her own loyalty to a certain degree and often not even aware of it.
We surround ourselves with toxic people, absorb their negativity, and dance to their tunes.
We spend time with people who are bad for us, who are critical and oozing with negative energy, yet we keep hanging out with them because we’re afraid of being alone (or for some other reason).
We sabotage our own loyalty when we’re afraid to say no to certain things we’re not okay with, or when we’re blindly following trends instead of creating our own.
We deprive ourselves of self-loyalty when we’re trying to be something we’re not because we’re afraid that others won’t like our true selves.
Or when we say to ourselves that famous sentence: I wish I had listened to myself! When we deliberately ignore our intuition, we become slaves to other people and are no longer loyal to ourselves.
We sabotage our own loyalty in so many ways that if I decided to write only about it, this entire article would turn into a book. We forget that the key to true happiness lies in the following statement:
Being loyal to yourself means being who you truly are!
Do you think it is possible to be truly happy when you’re not loyal to yourself? As I’m writing this, I’m giving you a few seconds to think about it.
If your answer is no, there’s no need to question it. Being who you truly are! One of the most beautiful statements and at the same time one of the most difficult to achieve.
What does it even mean to be who you truly are?
Well, it probably means having your own style instead of copying others, having your own opinion, expressing yourself without feeling ashamed, and doing things not only because you have to, but because you WANT to.
In a nutshell, to be who you truly are, you must know yourself!
And you cannot know yourself if you’re not loyal to yourself. You cannot be in touch with your true self if you don’t give yourself permission to be yourself. (These interconnections are so beautiful.)
And William Shakespeare knows it very well:
“This above all: to thine own self-be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Hamlet)
34 Inspirational “Be True To Yourself” Quotes
These motivational quotes will help you understand the essence of being loyal to yourself and inspire you to start working on boosting your self-worth and self-love.
1. “We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” – Virginia Satir
2. “One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon L. Alder
3. “By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” – Edwin Elliott
4. “What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly.” – Carl Rogers
5. “Don’t let others box you into their idea of what they think you should be. A confined identity is a miserable way to exist. Be you and live free. Trust that in living true to yourself, you will attract people that support and love you, just as you are.” – Jaeda DeWalt
6. “Just because they disagree, doesn’t mean you ain’t right.” – Toba Beta
7. “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe
8. “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.” – Kurt Cobain
9. “When you dance to your own rhythm, life taps its toes to your beat.” – Terri Guillemets
10. “Never dull your shine for somebody else.” – Tyra Banks
11. “Being yourself means shedding all the layers of looking good, wanting to be liked, being scared to stand out, and trying to be who you think people want you to be. Being yourself means being naked, raw, and vulnerable.” – Jeff Moore
12. “With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey
13. “You need to love yourself and be yourself one hundred percent before you can actually love someone else.” – Christina Perri
14. “To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.” – Sandra Bierig
15. “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” – John Mason
“Stay True To Yourself” Quotes
16. “Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.” – St. Catherine of Sienna
17. “The strongest force in the universe is a human being living consistently with his identity.” – Tony Robbins
18. “We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” – Andre Berthiaume
19. “No other version, no matter how perfect it is, would ever feel better than being your true self.” – Edmond Mbiaka
20. “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” – Allen Ginsberg
21. “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life but define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein
22. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
23. “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” – Frederick Douglass
24. “Just be yourself. There is no one better.” – Taylor Swift
25. “To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on.”– Dave Pelzer
26. “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
27. “Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.” – John Wooden
28. “Take care not to listen to anyone who tells you what you can and can’t be in life.” – Meg Medina
29. “You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.” – Irene C. Kassorla
30. “Never complain, never explain. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or make excuses.” – Brian Tracy
31. “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” – Homer
32. “Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” – John Jakes
33. “The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.” – Leo Buscaglia
34. “If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your ****, then you deserve it.” – Frank Zappa
Be loyal to yourself. Because at the end of the day, you only have yourself!
Love yourself the way you love your family and best friends. Strive to do your best every day and never give up no matter what!