How to Stay True to Yourself When Feeling Pressured to Be Someone Different

5 Things That Will Help Maintain Your Integrity and Self-Worth

Neel Raman
6 min readDec 14, 2021


When you know how to stay true to yourself in any situation, making choices that’s best for you will become a lot easier.

It’s challenging being yourself because it’s not uncommon to feel pressured to conform or fit in.

It requires a strong character and having a positive self-image to stay true to yourself and your core values all the time.

1-Minute Summary Video

What Does It Mean to Stay True to Yourself?

Staying true to yourself is a display of your personal values and integrity. It’s about acting congruently, without compromising what you believe or stand for.

For example, in a social setting, if you’re offered alcohol and you don’t drink it, then it’s about being comfortable saying no. Even though you may feel some pressure to fit in and be like others, your personal integrity won’t allow you to say yes.

When you can true to yourself in all situations, what others think of you will not affect you or the decisions you make.

Why Is It Important to Stay True to Yourself?

It’s important to stay true to yourself because:

  • It will maintain or increase your self-worth.
  • You won’t conform to societal norms or pressures.
  • You will follow your heart’s desires.
  • You will display self-respect and treat yourself well.
  • You will avoid negative influences.
  • You will build a strong character.
  • You will develop real or genuine relationships.
  • You will feel good about yourself and not sacrifice your happiness.
  • You won’t compromise your values and live according to your beliefs.
  • You will make better choices.

When you don’t stay true to yourself, every time you act out of integrity, you lose more of yourself, which will cost you in the long run.

stay true to yourself

The Costs of Not Staying True to Yourself

If you do not stay true to yourself, the costs include:

  • You will not stay consistent with your actions or words.
  • Others will not have a high level of trust in you.
  • You may experience emotions such as guilt, regret, shame, or frustration.
  • You will have low self-worth and self-esteem.
  • You won’t have healthy relationships.
  • You will lose connection with your real self.
  • You will give your power away to others or circumstances.
  • You may experience sadness or depression.
  • You will not know what you stand for anymore or what your values are.
  • You will go through the motions in life because you don’t know who you are anymore.

Why Do People Feel Pressured to Be Someone Different

Common reasons people feel pressured to be someone different include:

  • They want approval or validation from others.
  • They want to please or impress others.
  • They want to fit in and get along with others.
  • They want to avoid being judged or rejected.
  • They don’t have a sense of their self-worth.
  • They’re unclear on their true identity.
  • They want to appear a certain way so that they can belong in a group.

5 Things That Will Help You Stay True to Yourself in Any Situation

Here are five things that will help you stay true to yourself when pressured to be someone different, so you can maintain your integrity and self-worth.

  1. Know your values and what you stand for. Your values are like guiding principles you live your life by. When you know what they are, it’s easier to remain authentic and stand for you believe. It’ll also allow you to identify how to behave in any situation, and have more clarity on what matters to you.
  2. Surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are. The people you spend most of your time with will affect your attitude and your mental and emotional states. Spend time with people who accept you for who you are, and are also willing to bring the best out of out. If you don’t feel good about yourself being around certain people, it’s feedback you need to do something about it.
  3. Embrace vulnerability while being immune to other people’s opinions. No matter what you do or achieve in life, people will have opinions about you. There is power in being vulnerable and admitting you could have done better. However, that does not mean you allow other’s to influence the opinion you have of yourself.
  4. Take responsibility for the choices you make and your actions. Sometimes, you will make mistakes and need to own up to it. When you take responsibility, you will learn from your mistakes and grow as a person. This will reinforce a positive self-image and support you in showing authenticity in all situations.
  5. Reflect regularly to learn from your experiences and from observing others. You can also learn from how others act and behave. If someone demonstrated a certain character trait you want to emulate, use reflection to identify how you can behave that way too. If someone acted out of character, reflect on what could have caused them to act that way, and how you can avoid it.

Final Thoughts

If you want to maintain your self-esteem or improve your self-worth, you must stay true to yourself in any situation. Even though you may feel pressured to be someone different or act a certain way, what you think of yourself matters a lot more than what others think of you.

When you stay true to yourself, others will respect you a lot more and you will too, which will enable you to live a confident and authentic life.

Action Step: Reflect on a situation where you felt you weren’t true to yourself. Perhaps while pursuing career success, you felt you needed to act a certain way to get noticed by others. How did you feel when you knew you weren’t being true to who you were? Identify how you can act authentically, without violating yourself or others.

Question: What is another action you can take to stay true to yourself when feeling pressured to be someone different?

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Neel Raman

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