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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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