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Defining your ‘Authentic Self’

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We are usually encouraged to be ourselves; being yourself seems and sounds pretty simple and self-explanatory: we just wake up and do what you want to do, without following the crowds, without fear of judgment. But sad to say, that’s not how the world works. We tend to stifle our authentic selves, to fit in without even realizing it. And doing so suppresses our creativity, ingenuity, and self-awareness.{{more}}

Defining Your Authentic Self

Are you living a life that is more in tune with your “authentic” self (who you were created to be) or your “fictional” self (who the world has told you to be)?

You probably weren’t even aware that these versions of your “self” existed!

Authentic Self

When you’re asked, “Who are you?” what is your answer? “My name is…” “I’m a mom.” “I’m a doctor.” “I live in St Vincent and the Grenadines.” Often the answer is not who you are, but what you do, what your social station is, or how you see your function in life. You can’t answer who you are, because you don’t know.

There is another level of existence that is the real, true, genuine substance of who you are. The authentic self is the ‘you’ that can be found at your absolute core. It is the part of you not defined by your job, function or role. It is the composite of all your skills, talents and wisdom. It is all of the things that are uniquely yours and need expression, rather than what you believe you are supposed to be and do.

Fictional Self

When you’re not living faithfully to your authentic self, you find yourself feeling incomplete, as if there is a hole in your soul. You may have found that it’s easier to fill the roles your family and friends expect of you, rather than becoming who you really want to be. Living this way drains you of the critical life energy you need to pursue the things you truly value.

When you live a life that has you ignoring your true gifts and talents while performing assigned or inherited roles instead, you are living as your ‘fictional self’.

The fictional self sends you false information about who you are and what you should be doing with your life. It blocks the information you need in order to maintain the connection with your authentic identity. Relying on information from the fictional self means you’re putting your trust in a broken compass.

Tips to live as your ‘Authentic Self’

Listen to Your Inner Voice

Listening to your inner voice will help you become aware of and identify your true self with honesty. It will help you strengthen your voice and overpower anyone else’s voice you are hearing. Ask yourself questions and become aware of how you respond mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically, and to what you have to say. It will help you identify your wants, likes, dislikes, desires, etc, without judgments and restrictions, and as a result help you naturally start living as your true self.

Give Yourself the Freedom to Be ‘You’

Giving yourself the freedom to be you by letting go of comparisons, labels, status, criticisms, cynicism, etc, will empower who you are within and give you the courage to actualize. It will also allow you to accept your uniqueness and individuality, regardless of whether or not you have any kind of support when becoming who you know you really are.

Make Changes

Making changes to allow your inner self to show through is a must. Getting yourself and everything around you to reflect what you are feeling within reinforces the freedom to express your true self. Empower yourself to make the necessary changes so your true self can actualize. These changes can range from your physical appearance to your lifestyle, and from your relationships to your place of employment. Be bold, take responsibility and break through any fear of going beyond your comfort zone.

Commit To Your Choices And Decisions

Committing to your choices and decisions reinforces the value and worth behind who you are. It validates the belief and trust you have for yourself, especially once doubt and uncertainty arise. It helps you to trust your initial choice and decision of becoming your true self and living as your true self, making it easier to move forward and adjust to your new normal.

Learn To Trust Yourself

Trusting yourself is a necessity in becoming your true self and living as your true self. There will be moments when you are standing out in a crowd or when you are going against the norm because of who you are or what you want. In those moments, trusting yourself will give you the will-power and the courage, along with anything else you might need, to continue pursuing what is in your heart.

Try New Things

Trying new things will help you be able to know if something works for you or not, instead of just wondering or assuming. There are some things you might be uncertain about. You might even be uncertain about whether or not this will work for you, but if there is any desire or curiosity, encourage yourself to at least give it a try. Sometimes, if something is not working for you, trying something new might be what you need to redirect you to your path of happiness.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Setting yourself up for success and approaching this transition and everything else you might come across in life with a successful outlook will set you up for exactly that. It will help you adapt an optimistic attitude and help you become a person who always finds a solution, instead of a person who makes excuses. Expecting success also allows you to follow your happiness, which is fully aligned with your true self. And when you are aligned with your true self, you naturally do what you need to, to live as your true self.

“To thine own self be true.”

William Shakespeare
 
Prepared by

Dr Jozelle Miller

Health Psychologist

 
 
 

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