How to Discover Your Authentic Self

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The Authentic Self is the real you. Yes, it’s hard to distinguish the Authentic Self from the masks and costumes we’ve worn for years and with which we’ve begun to identify. These masks and costumes or roles are developed from specific patterns of thought, belief and action that were created to help us survive our upbringing. The Authentic Self is buried pretty deeply under these roles. But we can begin to access it by taking the following steps.

Look Inside

  • Challenge yourself to look inside. Too often we do not know what we are feeling or why, or even what we want from life. Begin by noticing feelings and desires, and write them down throughout the day. At the end of a week, go back over your notes. Chances are, you will see a pattern emerging.

  • Next, evaluate your beliefs. You can get in touch with your beliefs by listening to your self-talk, which quite often becomes a self-hypnotizing mantra, such as: "If you want something done right, do it yourself!" "No one cares about me!" "I've got to fix this!" "I'm guilty if I don't do what you want me to do." These mantras are often the trigger for patterned behaviors that make up a role.

  • Name your role. You can have fun with this step. Naming it as Superhero, Runaway, Victim, Scapegoat, Party Dude, just to name a few, gives you an image with which to work. The sky is the limit. List all the roles that you so often play in life.

  • Take note of how you feel about these roles. Notice, for example, if you are feeling resentment a good deal of the time. If so, you may be receiving a message from your Authentic Self to begin to do things that yield energy and joy instead of resentment. Perhaps you feel maxed out, overburdened or just tired. Your Authentic Self could be telling you to begin to let go of some of the responsibility you’ve taken on. As you practice you will begin to make the distinctions between the feelings that arise from the Authentic Self and those that arise in response to mantras from the role.

  • Follow up on your insights. Once you know that you are receiving a message from the Authentic Self, honor it by taking direct action. You may meet with some resistance from people who expect you to act like you’ve always acted. Don't let that steer you off course. Respond to your own authenticity. If you find yourself changing drastically, you can let people know. Don't be ashamed. You are your authentic own person. The truth is you came here to fulfill you, completely, utterly. You can’t do that if you are trying to be something else.

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