To be ourselves means acknowledging how we hold ourselves back; how we may protect our hearts from others and armor against the world. How we may have learnt to deny and shut down parts of ourselves: of needing to be a certain way, in order to keep ourselves safe.
When our energy is not focused in self-protection, we become available for connection.
To be free to be ourselves we need to notice our self judgment, the shame and shrinking. The fears of not being (good) enough or being too much or of being rejected. We can let go of ideas of needing to be a better person in order to experience self acceptance. We need to give ourselves permission to accept ourselves before we can expect others to meet us in the way we want to be met. When we are open-hearted towards ourselves we can meet the world with an open heart.
We need to find a way to meet our own vulnerability, not be scared of what we feel. We need to be able to find our voice, use our anger, establish boundaries, and be assertive in order to feel comfortable with expressing our needs.