'I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good... born to lose.' 'I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world... no matter what colour, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself...’ - Woody Guthrie

Free to be me

This is a quick overview of the topic, 'Free to be me'. If you just want to listen to the music on this theme click on the links below:
* Self confidence
* Identity
* Assertiveness


Highly recommended: 'Make Your Own Kind Of Music' by
Mama Cass (
Lyrics)

Who is 'me'?
Deciding on you we are may not always be simple. It mean sorting out 'me' from 'them'. Are we following our own dreams and needs or simply doing what family, school or TV has told us to do?

So it can be difficult to know what will make us happy. Perhaps then it's best to get back to basics. As humans we all have body needs. These include things like food, water, touch and movement.

We also have head and heart needs. These mental and emotional needs include

  • Being loved and giving love
  • Understand what's going on and being understood by others
  • Letting our feelings out (in a way that doesn't harm others)
  • Having the power to make choices in our lives

What is your head, heart or body dreaming of, that it doesn't have now?

Raise your self-esteem

Do you remember 'The Greatest Love Of All'? it was originally recorded by George Benson and then was a hit for Whitney Houston. The greatest love it talks about is self-esteem or love of self. This isn't the same as being selfish or big headed. It's not about comparing yourself with other people or doing them down. Self-esteem is about liking yourself. Not listening to that voice in your head that criticises you and stops you 'being free to be me'.

High self-esteem is based on two things. The first is believing that you deserve love and happiness (though not at other's expense.) This means accepting who you are. The second thing self-esteem is based on is self believe. Believing that you can do the things you want to do. This of course is within reason, there can only be a limited number of Mick Jaggers. Well, one actually but you know what I mean. If you decide your dream is unrealistic, you may have to grieve and get back in contact with what you really need and other ways of getting it.

Be flexible
We all have an image of what we think we're like. We also have an image of what we think we should be like. If the two don't match our
self-esteem will suffer. We'll feel disappointed in ourselves. These self images often reflect the roles the world says we should play, be it tough man, good mother or logical scientist. Some roles had very few positive messages attached to them however. One response to this, by Afro-Americans, was 'Black is Beautiful'. This went against the racist beliefs of the time and reminded them of their own worth and abilities. James Brown caught the mood perfectly in his song 'Say It Loud - I'm Black And I'm Proud.' What are you proud of about your own background?

Roles have little to do with real human needs and potential. At best they exaggerate certain human qualities at the expense of others, e.g. men being tough and women being caring. The important thing is to be able to flexible in what qualities and skills you develop to be happy.

Communicate better
There are a lot of songs on the jukebox to help boost your confidence about yourself and also to help stand up to other people when you need to. This can be really useful but other skills are helpful too when dealing with other people. Fewer songs seem to have been written about communicating and negotiating well with others. Those that have are in the 'Love Tips' part of the website.

Want more information, skills or support?
Then I'd recommend Co-counselling International as a cheap but effective way of learning more about yourself and building your confidence. It's not everybody's cup of tea but I love it. Similarly, Re-evaluation Counseling has its critics but the eight years I was involved in it I found really useful in exploring how the roles society had taught me, limited who I was.


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