Everyone said, “Be yourself and you’ll find love.” They were wrong. Here’s what actually worked.

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As a relationship writer and founder of Hack Spirit, I’ve heard the age-old adage, “be yourself and you’ll find love,” countless times. I’ve even preached it myself, citing my knowledge in mindfulness and eastern philosophy. But after years of observation and personal experiences, I’ve started to question this seemingly infallible advice.

Firstly, let’s break down this well-intentioned guidance. Essentially, it promotes authenticity as the key to winning hearts. But what if your authentic self is still a work in progress? What if your personality quirks aren’t exactly crowd-pleasers?

Intrigued by these queries, I decided to embark on a journey of challenging the very premise of this advice. I dug into research, talked to relationship experts, and even conducted my own social experiment.

Now, before we delve into the heart of my findings, remember that love is multifaceted. What works for one person might not work for another. However, this exploration does provide a fresh perspective on finding love. It’s not about debunking the importance of being yourself, but rather understanding that there’s more to the equation.

So let’s get started. What did I discover in my quest to understand if “being yourself” truly is the magic formula for love? Is there a better approach or perhaps some other secret ingredient that we’ve been missing? Read on to find out…

My journey into the heart of authentic love-seeking

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of my experiment, let me highlight something. If you think this is about pretending to be someone else to attract love, that’s far from it. It’s actually about understanding and embracing the multilayered complexity of our true selves.

To begin with, I started by conducting a deep self-assessment. I took a long, hard look at my personality traits, both endearing and not-so-endearing. Examining my strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and everything in-between.

Next, came the social experiment. I decided to take two contrasting approaches to social interactions and dates:

  • Approach One: Following conventional wisdom, I was entirely myself, unfiltered and unchecked.
  • Approach Two: I presented a more refined version of myself, where I was conscious of my actions and consciously made efforts to be the best version of me.

This experiment wasn’t about putting on a facade or being fake. Instead, it was about acknowledging that we all have room for improvement and growth. It was about showing up as the best version of ourselves — not just for others but for our own self-satisfaction too.

Now that you know how I embarked on this journey and what it entailed let’s delve into what I discovered. Read on as I unveil the surprising outcomes and insights from this exploration.

Unveiling the surprising outcomes

Embarking on this journey was enlightening, to say the least. The results were not at all what I had initially anticipated.

In the first approach, where I was entirely myself, responses were mixed. Some appreciated my candor, while others were put off by certain traits or quirks. There were moments of awkwardness, misunderstanding, and even disconnect.

However, with the second approach, where I presented a more refined version of myself, things took a surprising turn. This didn’t mean I was being inauthentic or pretending to be someone I wasn’t. Rather, it was about consciously making decisions that reflected the best aspects of my personality.

The response? It was overwhelmingly positive. People were more drawn to me. Conversations flowed more easily and connections felt deeper and more meaningful. It seemed as though this conscious effort to grow and be better was not just appreciated but also attractive.

What’s interesting is that this didn’t just affect my romantic relationships. It spilled over into my friendships and professional relationships as well. I felt more confident, happier with myself and the results were evident in the quality of my interactions.

Now, you might be wondering why these results seemed so surprising to me. That’s because I came into this experiment with a different set of expectations. Let me share what those were…

Defying my initial expectations

When I embarked on this journey, my expectations were firmly rooted in the popular advice we’ve all heard: “be yourself and you’ll find love”. I naively believed that being entirely myself, quirks and all, would be the most attractive thing to potential partners.

I anticipated that people would appreciate the raw authenticity and be drawn to it. After all, we’re taught that there’s someone out there who will love us, flaws and all. So I expected that my unfiltered self would be enough to forge real connections.

But my experiment proved otherwise. It wasn’t that being myself was unattractive or wrong. It was just that being the best version of myself was more appealing. The conscious effort to grow and improve resonated with people on a deeper level.

It made me realize how the advice “be yourself” is only half of the story. It’s not just about being yourself, it’s about being your best self – a self that is continually growing, learning, and improving.

Now, let’s delve into the most significant takeaway from this experiment. This revelation has changed not just how I approach love, but also how I view personal growth. Let’s explore this further…

Applying the lessons learned

So, what does this all mean for you, the reader? How can you apply this lesson in authenticity and personal growth to your own journey of love?

Firstly, understand that being yourself is indeed essential. Authenticity is key. However, it’s not about presenting a static, unchanging version of you. It’s about showcasing a version of yourself that is committed to growth, open to improvement, and ready to learn.

Don’t shy away from your quirks or unique traits – they make you who you are. But, at the same time, don’t become complacent. Identify areas where you could grow or improve. Whether it’s becoming more patient, kinder, more open-minded, or better at communication – these are all aspects that not only make you more attractive as a partner but also contribute to your personal happiness and satisfaction.

Remember, striving to be your best self isn’t about impressing others or landing a partner. It’s about personal growth. It’s about becoming someone you’re proud of. And trust me, when you’re genuinely proud of the person you are becoming, others will notice too.

So don’t be afraid to grow and evolve while being yourself. After all, we are all works in progress. Embrace that journey. Only then will you truly be ready for the love that complements your growth and evolution.

Embracing the journey and the bigger picture

So, what’s the broader takeaway from all this? It’s more than just about finding love or being your best self. It’s about embracing a holistic approach to life, where self-improvement, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence take center stage.

Let me break it down:

  • Embrace Mindfulness: By being present and aware in your actions, you can consciously choose to be a better version of yourself.
  • Prioritize Self-Improvement: Strive for personal growth. Remember, it’s not about changing who you are but enhancing who you are.
  • Develop Emotional Intelligence: Understand and regulate your emotions. This will not only make you more attractive but also help you build healthier relationships.

This journey taught me that being your best self isn’t a destination but an ongoing process. It’s about continually evolving, learning, and growing.

In my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego,” I delve deeper into how Buddhist principles can guide us in this journey of self-improvement and mindfulness. Check it out here.

Remember, life isn’t static, and neither are we. So embrace that dynamism. Be open to growth and improvement while staying true to yourself. And trust me, not only will love find its way to you, but you’ll also find a deeper sense of fulfillment and happiness within yourself.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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