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What is the Authentic Self and How Do You Find It?

Updated on February 26, 2014

The term “authentic self” gets tossed around in conversations today a lot. Yes, some people might say it is a buzz word or one of the popular phrases of this generation. So, what does it mean and how do you go about becoming more authentic? Here is some useful information to answer those questions.

Finding Your Core

Finding your own self - Who are you, really?
Finding your own self - Who are you, really? | Source

Definition of Authentic Self

To be authentic is to be true to who you are. Let me clarify: Who you TRULY are. It is not about your job, career or circle of friends. It is not about whether you are popular or not. It is the genuine form of you, underneath your clothes and skin.

The true or authentic self consists of your skills, interests and abilities. It is made up of your beliefs and truths rather than your job or expected role.

Unfortunately, some people get diverted away from the true self because they try to be whom other people say they ought to be. Those people might be family members, peers or complete strangers who give out these messages via media such as television and magazine ads. The difficulty comes when the core is different than what is expected of the person.

Ah, Freedom of the Self

Ah yes, the truth.
Ah yes, the truth. | Source

Poll, Please

Do You Act Authentically?

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Why is Authenticity Such a Popular Phrase?

Perhaps one reason the phrase has grown so quickly over the past decade is because people are seeking to become more of themselves. These people seek more from their world and their everyday lives than playing with technological devices and working 9-5 every day.

Indeed, it is difficult to gain complete satisfaction in your life if you base that happiness solely on your functions rather than on your beliefs and interests. When you search within, that is when your true happiness can begin to shine.

TEDX Talk - Julie Lythcott-Haims - Be Your Authentic Self

How to Discover Your Authentic Self

There have been hints here already about how to find the “true” you. It is not a process that focuses on looking at external sources, but instead comes from within. In other words, don’t look at the roles you are supposed to have in society but instead look at your inner self. But how do you find your inner self?

It certainly begins with trust. Trust in YOURSELF. You know your inner feelings better than anyone else. While you may not have analyzed your core lately, it is only you alone that can that can find what is truly laying there and what will bring you the most happiness possible. Of course, you have to be ready to take this step and be open to what you find – otherwise there are certain to be roadblocks that keep you from finding your genuine person.

A primary first step is to say to yourself “I am worthy of love.” It may seem hokey or overly simplistic but it’s not. When I was at my lowest point, my doctor told me to look at myself in the mirror every morning and say a similar phrase. I thought how silly that was, and I was embarrassed to do it. When I finally did try it, I felt embarrassed, even though no one else was in the bathroom with me at the time. I realize now that the embarrassment came because I didn’t believe in the words.

I know now that part of finding your true self is believing in those words fully and completely. Believe in your aptitudes, your lovability and your skills. Believe that those qualities are worthy of being loved and that you are deserving of affection. With that belief comes confidence and the desire to use those skills to make a valuable contribution to society. Yes, once you are in tune with that inner core, you feel strong and able to conquer so many things! Plus, you are doing what makes you happy, which just adds to that loving way you interact with the world.

Believe in Yourself

"You must believe in yourself." YOU.
"You must believe in yourself." YOU. | Source

One More...

Are You Motivated to Be More of "You"?

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Some Beliefs That Will Bring You Closer to Your True Self

Here are some beliefs that will help you in your journey:

  • The thing stopping you most from achieving your dream is your mind’s own limits. You CAN accomplish more things than you first led yourself to believe.

~insert smile

  • It’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, it’s encouraged. Only through mistakes can you begin to learn more about yourself and that life really does go on even when you’re not 100% accurate.

~insert hug

  • It’s okay to put yourself first. Do it. It’s not selfish – you deserve a good life, full of happiness. When you focus on your own needs first, you will see that other people benefit from it as you are able to give more of your inner self. People will be drawn to your genuine nature.

~insert YOU

These are just a few tips to get you started on your journey to your core. Developing self-assurance and worthiness takes time, but it all starts with a trust in yourself.

The authentic self is a popular phrase that really is simple once you start to put yourself at the center of your own life. Here’s to the true spirit and genuine activity; here's to making a positive difference on the world.

©2014 Christy Birmingham


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    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      An interesting Hub and certainly worth some thought. Thanks.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I think we all know our authentic self, but we are just too afraid to grasp it. I personally don't want to live a lie, which is why I got out of management a few years ago. I got tired of brutalizing people, and I wasn't good at it. Wise words!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 3 years ago from Western NC

      Ya know, I happened upon this blog this evening and it's just what I needed. :) Such a refreshing read and so full of love and understanding. This is why you're so awesome - because you have such feel-good messages and feel-good poetry - I just love it!

      I hope you're doing great, dear friend! HUGS

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada


      Thank-you for sharing your story here and for being so open to all that life can really bring us. It is not selfish to put oneself first, and it makes me smile knowing you see this too :) So glad you are in a better place right now and I really am happy to read your comment today!

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 3 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      I was in the past, a woman who would not believe in herself. Who didn't accept and at times even hid who I was from others. It made me unhappy. Then I met an amazing woman who made me change and even raise my view of who and of what I am. She is a true hero to me. And because of her, I met others who are the same. I learned that limits are relative to whether I say they are limits or not. She is still one of my two most closest friends I have.

      Today I am a different newer and better me. Thanks to these people and others, I now I have met a fantastic lady named Fehl, who believes in me just as much and encourages me and has enriched my life and passion for things.

      People who encourage us and nurture these things in us, they are precious. I didn't realise how unhappy I was before. I thought it was selfish to put myself first, and other people's feelings and opinions second. I was shown the other side of that coin. And seeing your hub here just reinforces what I was told, and what I learned.

      I have grown a lot because of this new experience and self-knowledge. This is a great hub, Christy. You are a great hubber and I love this hub.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 3 years ago from Thailand

      Accepting who you are, faults and all, is a massive step towards happiness. You are also right, believe in things and you can make them possible ...

      Many people have potential, but very few use all of it. Use it!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Great hub. It's not always easy to do. We often want to be who other people want us to be...but, that never ever leads to happiness. Once one finds themselves, they be pleasantly surprised that they like themselves! :)

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Lovely hub. Being true to myself is being true to others. Your insight is uplifting.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Wow, thank-you everyone for your reflective, inspiring comments! Your words in turn remind me to be authentic and true to my own self. I am pleased that this hub has resonated in such a positive way - and I appreciate all of the kind words here!

    • gypsumgirl profile image

      gypsumgirl 3 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

      What a wonderful Hub! I truly enjoyed it and will be coming back to reference it often. You are so spot on with what you said.

      Unfortunately, there are many people who live for others rather than live for themselves. Thanks for writing such an insightful Hub and making me think about how I've treated me. Great reflection...

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Conformity is very over rated, so many of us never get to know who we really are, we never get to realise our true potential. We live the lives we're told we should live, but if it wasn't for those individuals who pushed the boundary refusing to be led like the proverbial sheep, nothing would ever change. Be true to your self, I wish I had learned that lesson earlier in life, but I did get there in the end. Great article, thought provoking and inspiring.

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Wonderful article. Delved into the mystical and inspired my self analysis. I will be more positive about what I am. Great Hub.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Great message and topic, Christy. As I've gotten older, I'm less afraid to be authentic and to give feedback to others when they're not being authentic. I love, love, love that "shaky voice" quote. Sharing this!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      And you've written a great reminder to respect our own individuality, which we have to for others to respect us. Well said, Christy.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      This is a wonderful post and help to so many readers. I found out a long time ago that I had to learn to be myself and love myself if I was going to love others. You can't please everyone. Great message!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      We may stop and smell the roses but sometimes we forget we are a rose! Beautifully done Christy. In this day and age it is often a good idea to remind ourselves of our own value. "To thine own self be true", "Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." - Lucille Ball

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Good one, here, Christy.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

      I love this word, Christy and you have justified it beautifully.

      I agree with you that we have to learn to be honest to ourselves cause artificial just makes no sense and we will have a wasted life thus, ought to find what we actually like and not go on peer pressure!

      voted up and sharing across :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      So very inspirational Christy! Feeling comfortable in your own skin--and having the inside world match the outside world--so very important for happiness and contentment

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Fabulous Hub. Very inspirational and useful. Thanks for sharing. Voted up

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub with a great perspective - being authentic and look deeper within and realize who we are. Great write and an interesting post.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great hub, making us take a look at ourselves and ask "Am I authentic?" Actually, this may show my age but I have never heard that term before "authentic self". I have heard "true self", and am I being "genuine." Anyway, I am sure I went through stages of my life pretending to be things I wasn't or not standing up for what I really believed, but I think I can honestly say I am now 90% my authentic self. Very interesting, voted up.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Well rebecca took my words, lol. You make some great points, the last thing we want to be is everyone else. What fun is that? Great article. ^+

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      "Be true to who you are" ... there is no other way to be. I prefer to bring on the sunshine, but when my buttons are out! That's just me being authentic :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      To Thine Own Self Be True....good job, Christy!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Motivational and relevant! It is easy to think that I'm authentic when I''m not really. I need to check daily. Thank you for the reminder.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      BRAVO, Christy!! Wonderful hub on "our authentic self." have presented an amazing and realistic view on this important topic!

      Throughout my life...up to this point ( as a great grandma)....I have learned well and hard: In order to give yourself permission to BE your authentic self, one must be prepared for the bumps and bruises....brush them off and go forward.

      No matter WHO we are, what we say or do, know or don't know......there will always (ALWAYS) be those who don't agree with our ways, those who reject us and/or judge and dislike us.

      Said another way.....If absolutely everyone who has ever crossed your path simply ADORES are definitely NOT being your authentic self! Love this hub, Christy! Up+++ pinned & tweeted.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      This is so true Christy, I have forgotten who I really am over the last few years, and to be honest I am always surprised when someone reminds me of something I used to do, or be. I would love to find the real me again, because I was fun back then! lol! voted up and shared! nell

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love this topic, Christy! It took me years to realize it was alright being who I truly was. I think one of the advantages of getting older, at least for me, was the realization that I was okay just the way I was, and I didn't need the approval of thousands to be happy. That, my friend, is a huge realization. Thanks for writing such a reflective and important article.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I am always myself and so proud of it an interesting insight to oneself sometimes people just like being something they are not. You have created a hub with greater meaning on the authentic self.