We all put on masks everyday. We wear them at work, around our friends, and even at home. Masks can be a good thing. They help us navigate the waters of social interaction and they protect our true selves from being hurt. But sometimes, we can get so caught up in wearing our masks that we forget who we are underneath them.
What being your “authentic self” means
Being your authentic self is about understanding and accepting who you are as a person and not hiding behind a mask. It means embracing qualities that make each of us unique, both good and bad, without feeling the need to pretend or compare ourselves to others.
It also involves being conscious of our behavior, asking ourselves difficult questions and digging deep to uncover the answers that shape us into genuine individuals. All in all, it’s a lifelong journey of transformation towards authenticity.
Why is it important to express your authentic self and live in alignment with your values and beliefs?
It is natural for humans to conform and hide away their true self in today’s society. By keeping up with the latest trends and doing what seems to be accepted by those around us, we tend to forget the values and beliefs that motivate our behavior. Expressing your authentic self and living in alignment with what you truly believe are essential for personal growth.
There is no better way to discover yourself than being aware of your choices and decisions. It takes dedication, but ultimately it yields inner peace and a deeper connection with others. This can lead us on the path of understanding our purpose more clearly while giving us the strength to live out our beliefs without fear.
How can you start living more authentically right away, even if it feels scary at first?
Living an authentic life can be daunting, especially given the multitude of stereotypes and expectations of today’s society. Nevertheless, it is possible to become our true selves without fear. To start living more authentically right away, begin by learning to accept yourself for who you are and refusing to allow any judgement to come in the way.
Purposefully partake in activities that bring joy and have a positive impact on your mental health – from listening to music that speaks to your soul or spending time with people you truly care about – these moments will help in the process of uncovering your true self. Understanding the source of external pressures like societal norms is also beneficial, as being conscious of what motivates us can aid in separating it from our own thought processes.
Potential obstacles when trying to be your true self, and how can you overcome them
It can be difficult to figure out the ‘true’ you in an environment where masks are commonplace. Society often pressures us to conform to certain expectations, making it hard to feel comfortable being open and honest even with yourself. Internalized feelings of uncertainty, fear and self-doubt can prevent you from expressing your true self outwardly.
However, you can start overcoming these obstacles by first being aware of them; it’s important to make a conscious effort to observe how particular surroundings or influences affect you mentally and emotionally. By staying mindful, you can slowly but surely build a deeper understanding of yourself and ultimately start expressing your authentic self without fear of judgement or hesitation.
If you are struggling with this issue…
The journey to finding your true identity can be a difficult one, but it is well worth investing the time and effort required. While there may be feelings of confusion, fear or uncertainty along the way, don’t forget to celebrate even the smallest of successes. Remind yourself that you are truly unique, no matter how hard it may seem right now to feel like your authentic self; you have a spark of something special inside you waiting to come out!
Work towards building self-confidence and give yourself grace as you work through this journey. And remember that there is always support available for those who need it. You can do this!
If we can all become more aware of the masks we wear and learn to take them off when appropriate, the world would be a more authentic and compassionate place. It’s not always easy to be our true selves, but it’s always worth it in the end. So don’t be afraid to let your authentic self shine through – the world needs your unique light!
Some personal thoughts
A lot of people feel unsure and insecure when they go into new situations. It could be a job interview, or a party, or a move to a new school or a new city or a new neighborhood. Human beings, by nature, want to feel accepted and part of something. You have probably faced a situation like that, and maybe someone has tried to help you by giving you this advise: ‘just be yourself’. That may or may not have been helpful advise, although usually it’s not.
People who have not been placed in situations where they had to do a lot of soul searching and personal evaluation may not even know what their authentic self is all about or who they are. It’s been said that people grow and change through adversity and tough times. That’s true – but it doesn’t have to be the only way to achieve a sense of self-knowledge. Why wait for tragedy or pain to be your catalyst for self growth? You could decide to get to know yourself without that, if you choose.
Start by making a list of things that are important to you. It could be honesty, or compassion, or generosity or self-lessness or intelligence or a sense of humor or a spiritual foundation. Only you know what makes other people attractive to you, and so start there. Since you were attracted to this article, you probably already want to learn how to be your authentic self. Since you can recognize and admire those traits in others, you already have that ability within.
It takes one to know one.
Angry people find other angry people.
People who want to gossip can find others who want to gossip. If you admire a strong spiritual foundation in someone, you have the capacity for that too, you may just not recognize it in yourself.
Once you have that list, try to remember a time when you behaved that way. Also try to remember times when you weren’t true to the things that you value. Try to remember the times when you just tried to fit in and belong and go along with, and realize that never makes you happy.
It might make you accepted on a temporary basis, but at what cost?
Being true to yourself means placing what you value, over what someone else values. What you value matters. What you value in yourself is of utmost importance. If you have been led away from this knowledge in the mistaken belief that acceptance at any price is the key to happiness, I hope you sit and think about this. Think about this a lot. The next time you go out in the world, try to keep your important personal values in mind.
If kindness is important to you, and you have a chance to be kind, do it. If intelligence is important to you and you have a chance to learn something, go for it. If honesty is important to you, and you are faced with a choice to speak your truth, or go along with the crowd, think about standing up for your truth.
Use discernment of course.
You can learn to be tactful and kind and discerning in your sharing of the truth as there are many truths. In a volatile situation the truth may be that you need time to think things over before you commit yourself one way or another. The search for your authentic self can bring you a lot of rewards and it’s a wonderful feeling to be at peace with yourself.