5 Ways You Must Become Your Authentic Self
Do you ever feel like you are not you? Like you are not your authentic self?
Maybe you are unhappy at work, in your marriage, or with the general direction your life is going.
It is not uncommon that we one day wake up and realize that we are spending a tremendous amount of time trying to fit into the role that society tells us we should be.
What society tells you is not always the truth, and just because most people jump on the mainstream train doesn’t mean it leads to the land of milk and honey.
But here’s a secret: Fitting into society is not equivalent to ultimate happiness and fulfillment. It will only lead to you trying to hide who you really are, causing you to feel unhappy and unsatisfied.
Here’s the truth: The only way to feel genuinely fulfilled and happy is to stop hiding who you are, stop pretending, and start showing the world your real authentic self!
This article is based on an episode I did on the Passion Struck Podcast.
Pretending to Not Be Your Authentic Self
The society we live in is very good at telling us what we should be like. For example, certain professions are more prestigious than others; therefore, we should pursue them. There is also a certain way we should look and a specific way we should lead our lives. Work out regularly, eat healthy food, earn as much money as possible, etc.
All these rules you should follow and all these criteria you should take on in your personality often result in you not being your authentic self.
It’s like putting on a mask every day and spending a lot of energy trying to conform to someone else’s image of who you should be.
Why Do We Subconsciously Sabotage Our Authentic Self?
Research shows us that we are meant to live our lives as a part of a group. This is common among mammals, and we are, after all, mammals. In fact, studies have shown that our well-being increases when we feel that we are part of a group, both mentally and physically.
Knowing this, it’s not hard to understand why we struggle so hard to belong somewhere.
When this profound, fundamental need meets today’s societal narcissistic norms, there is a bit of a collision between the two. Let me explain.
The Public Eye
In today’s public view, there are certain opinions you are expected to have. You are also likely to say and think specific things that are considered politically correct.
In order to fit in, you need to jump on the mainstream train and say and do the accepted things. If you don’t, you might get canceled or ostracized.
Cold and Rough Climate
The climate of society today is cold and rough. Nothing is accepted except for a very narrow path of opinions.
Opinions that a small group of people has decided are ok. This is why we do this to ourselves. This is why we pretend to think and be certain things because we don’t want to be excluded from the social scene of our context.
Of course, if you need to hide behind pretense in order to continue being a part of your social context, you are in the wrong place and should get out of there.
Is Becoming Our Authentic Self Always Conscious?
To hide behind pretense is not something we wake up in the morning and tell ourselves we are going to do. Yet, sometimes, we do it without even knowing it.
Probably because we’ve been taught to do it or told what we should think and who we should be.
Because of this, we might live all our life without even knowing that we are pretending to be someone we are not.
Being told who we should be results in not really knowing who we are, to begin with.
Jim Carrey talked about this in an interview a few years back. He essentially said that he does not exist and is just an idea.
Of course, Jim Carrey is an actor, and his thoughts stemmed from the fact that he can actually put himself away for a few months to be someone else literally.
If you can put yourself aside, then who are you really?
So, reflecting around your identity can be exciting, and the phrase” you can be whoever you want” is essentially true because you can be whoever you want.
You really need to think about what you anchor your identity to. What defines you? Is it your beliefs? Is it your financial position? Is it the people who love you that define you?
Relief or Panic?
Of course, Jim Carrey thought this reflection was highly liberating. The fact that he does not really exist means that he doesn’t have to be bound to specific ideas or opinions.
He is not stuck with negative emotions and anxiety anymore. He used to suffer from depression and anxiety but now, he says, “the rain comes, it rains, but it doesn’t stay. It doesn’t last long enough to immerse me and drown me anymore.”
Either this insight gives you the same relief as Jim Carrey, or maybe it causes you to panic.
Knowing What’s Real
It’s really all about knowing what is real and genuine. There will be things in your life that are lies and deception. These things might seem real and valuable, and you might think these things are important to you. You need to develop the skill to locate these elements that do not align with your core values.
Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes it’s obvious. A typical lie is that your body should be shaped in a specific way. That is an absolute lie because everybody looks different, and diversity is beautiful.
Another lie is that your job should be your top priority. The truth is, it should never be the most critical thing in your life. While your career is where you spend a significant portion of your time, is that what defines you? Instead, isn’t it really your health, family, friends, purpose, and passion?
Breaking Free of the Matrix and Becoming Our Authentic Self
Of course, you can find your way out of the matrix-just as Neo did.
Actually, if you follow the points below, you will never even get lost in the matrix in the first place.
The key is to stop pretending you are someone you are not. Stop letting society shape you and start shaping the world instead by being your authentic self.
After all, that is what brings fulfillment.
Be True to Yourself
Start with yourself. Let’s say that you have a prestigious job that pays a lot. You worked hard to get there, and maybe you’re even in debt because of it.
That’s true for almost anyone.
You will find yourself trying to explain why you should power through, probably by thinking,” I’ve worked so hard to get here” or” It pays so good.”
But in the end, who cares about how much money you make if you are not happy?
All the money in the world can’t buy true happiness.
So stop lying to yourself and get out of that job to pursue something that actually brings you joy and a feeling of fulfillment.
Have the Courage to Change
It is not because it’s hard that you don’t dare to do it; it’s because you don’t have the courage to do it that it seems hard.
As Buddha said, “your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.”
Don’t chicken out! Do it, leave the job or relationship that makes you unhappy, and change your life for the better.
Find the courage; it is somewhere inside of you. Be courageous, take control of your own life.
Stop Trying to Fit In
There is no point in trying to fit in with a crowd that doesn’t mean anything to you. Chances are, the only reason you try to do it is that society is telling you that you should.
It is crucial to have good connections, right? It’s important that other people like you? Sure, if you are showing them your authentic self. If you pretend to be someone else, who are you trying to fool?
Probably yourself in the end. It is far more worthwhile being who you actually are and enjoying life like that than trying to fit in with people who wouldn’t care about you if they knew the real you.
Stand Up for What You Actually Believe In
This can be hard, especially if you have controversial opinions. It is so easy just to nod along, agree with people and go with the flow all the time.
Sure, it’s easy, but it doesn’t mean it’s right.
You shouldn’t adjust your opinions to fit in or gain false friends or admirers; you should stand up for what you actually believe in – even if you know that your views will upset some people and provoke others. Don’t be a pushover.
Stay on the Right Track
It is essential to check in with yourself every now and then. Take a break from everything, separate from the crowd, and have some alone time.
Knowing your authentic self also means spending a lot of time with yourself. Especially if you’ve gone through an identity crisis where you’ve temporarily lost track of who you are.
To then take moments where you are just alone is essential. The key to getting to know anyone is to spend a lot of time with them. That is even true for yourself as well.
This might come as a surprise to you because you are with yourself all the time, right? No, not really.
You pay very little attention to yourself when you are in a crowd. You pay a lot of attention to other people. If you spend all of your time in groups, you spend none of your time with yourself.
The Key Takeaway
It is not easy to know who you actually are, especially in a world that constantly confuses you and forces beliefs on you. What society tells you is not always the truth, and just because most people jump on the mainstream train doesn’t mean it leads to the land of milk and honey.
The chances are that the destination for that mainstream train is a place far from removed from your own heart.
On the train, you might have to hide behind your cloak to make sure you are not thrown off in the middle of anywhere.
Learn how to see what is real and true in your life and learn to identify the lies that are all around you.
Jim Carrey might have a point when he speaks about putting yourself aside to pretend to be someone else for a few months.
If we can do that, then who are we? And if we put ourselves away for several years, what happens to us?
In the end, you need to be true to yourself and stop hiding behind a wall of pretense because society tells you what you should think and who you should be.
Stop letting other peoples’ opinions weigh more than your well-being. You are your own worst enemy and best ally, and it is up to you to decide which path you will take.
Only you can be 100% you, and the people around you want to know the real you, not someone you pretend to be. That is how you become your authentic self.
The Passion Struck podcast is helping men and women unlock their true potential and become passion struck every day. Listen to the Passion Struck Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts online.
Are you suffering from the hustle culture grind and is it causing you to feel miserable? Read my article on how to break free.
Make a choice, work hard, and step into your sharp edges.
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