How To Be Your Authentic Self and Why

Maggie Morrow, counselling, CBT therapy, life coach and psychotherapist London. MSc Integrative Psychotherapy, BSc Psychology, Adv Dip, UKCP.
Author: Maggie Morrow, Award Winning Psychotherapist, Counsellor & Life Coach
Last updated: 16th March 2023

how to be your authentic self

If you ever get the feeling that something is missing from your life but you can’t quite place what it is, rather than turning to external sources, looking inside yourself can provide the answers you need and bring the deepest fulfilment.

Have you ever marvelled at the way a young child barrels through life content and without a trace of self-consciousness? When you were young, you were simply yourself. You didn’t know any other way. However, as we grow and succumb to the pressures put forth by different environments such as education, family, work or friends, we can slowly and unperceptively lose sight of our authentic self. Instead we increasingly conform to what we imagine others expect. Eventually we can feel like a false, fictional version of ourselves which we think other people want to see.

By unleashing your authentic self, you can start to reclaim the things that will really make you happy in your adult life.

 

Does Being Your Authentic Self Result In Loss and Rejection?

 

Many people worry that being true to their self, may damage or destroy their security, family, relationships, career and other important things in your life. This is not true. When we feel empowered to express our truest self, rather than lose things in life we actually receive much more than our conditioning lead us to believe was ever possible.

What Is Your Authentic Self?

 

Your authentic self is the “true you”, the person who you are when all adaptive pretences are stripped away. Your true self is the person who you are when you feel a deep inner peace and knowing on the inside. You connect with this state of being when your values, goals, beliefs, words, actions, and public image align with your personal values. Although it sounds simple in theory, many of us have a difficult time letting our authentic self take centre stage.

How To Be Your Authentic Self

 

Here are a few things you can do once you’ve decided to explore and embrace who you really are:

  • Take a personal inventory. To better connect with your authentic self, a bit of introspection is called for. Grab a pen and paper and make a list of the things you love about yourself. Make another list of the activities you enjoy doing and the things in life that bring you joy. What do you love and why do you love it? This information will play a key role in guiding you on your journey to becoming your authentic self, so really take the time to assess your lists.
  • Don’t worry what others think. While this might be easier said than done, you can never truly be your authentic self if you are constantly worried about what other people think. Being a people-pleaser might sound like a positive attribute, but pleasing others often comes at the price of your own happiness. Make a commitment to stop worrying about being the way other people expect and let your true self shine through without making any apologies.
  • Embrace your fears. Being scared is part of human nature, and fears of failure, being judged, disappointing others, or making mistakes can hold you back from being your true self. If you’re scared to express yourself or go after what you want, the only way to move past it is to admit your fears, own them, and express them. After all, they are part of who you are. If you’re finding it difficult to confront aspects of yourself that you don’t like or understand, psychotherapy can help.
  • Celebrate you. Truly appreciating and loving yourself is the ultimate goal of the journey to being your authentic self. Stop looking to others for love and validation; no amount of money, success, romance, or fame can fill that void. You must find the love within you and give it to yourself if you want to find true fulfilment in life.

 

The Benefits Of Simply Being You

 

Our culture is fixated on reaching goals, and some people might view taking the time to work on yourself as somewhat indulgent. However, being your authentic self can reap far greater rewards than other, more concrete career-focused goals. It doesn’t mean you stop working towards success, it means changing your focus so the success you achieve not only reaps concrete rewards but also gives you a sense of purpose, that is meaningful and satisfying to you personally.

Being comfortable in your own skin is very satisfying. One of the biggest benefits of embracing your authentic self is feeling a sense of fulfilment in life that cannot be obtained in any other way. Even if your personal relationships or career are in shambles, being your authentic self can help you rise above everything and feel hopeful about your future. Life coaching can help you keep everything on track as you bring your beliefs, values, goals, and actions together.

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Maggie Morrow, counselling, CBT therapy, life coach and psychotherapist London. MSc Integrative Psychotherapy, BSc Psychology, Adv Dip, UKCP.

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