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How to be the true you: uncovering your authentic self.

There’s a lot of talk these days about being your authentic self. Some of it feels genuine and empowering. Some of it feels contrived and imposed – an idealized image on social media, one that requires a “yoga” body, a sunset beach or a staged Zen pose.


But our authentic self can’t be packaged, commodified or branded. It cannot be bought or imposed. It is not one-dimensional, exclusively joyful or standard across humans.

Our true self lives inside us and only needs to be allowed. Living as our authentic self allows us to live an authentic life.


Who is my authentic self?

Your authentic self is you. The you that you are under all of it.


It doesn’t need to be created, only allowed.


It cannot be found outside you, only inside.


To be truly you requires only one thing: YOU.

Your authentic self is a living, expansive, undulating energy. It’s what grows wild in you. It’s your native species, your ancestral land, your instinctual self. It is your darkness and your light, your known and your unknown.


No one can tell you who your true self is. (And if they try, run fast and far.)


Like your authentic body your true self is your natural you. It’s what you love, what you crave, what you know. It’s your gifts, your desires, your passion, your emotions. Your authentic self is your core, your soul-force, your original magic.


So many of us have spent our lives shoving ourselves into things that don’t fit - shoes, pants, dreams, pursuits, jobs, schedules, roles - that we are out of practice asking ourselves what we truly want.


But your authentic self knows. You have this wisdom inside you. This inner guide, this deep truth, this solid root of self – this is your authentic self. Ask and then listen.


Invitation: You know you are connected to your true self when you get a “body hit,” a sense of calm, of rightness in your body. You might also feel expansive, inspired or slightly emotional. If it feels forced, restrictive or oppressive, it is conditioning.

Why pursue our authentic self?

Living as my real self allows me to become a container to hold the bigness of life. When I am hiding, shape-shifting or ashamed, the good things having nothing to stick to and just slide off me.


I feel unworthy of them; I don’t believe they are for me. And so I can’t be nourished by them.


We simply cannot thrive when we believe in our own unworthiness.

We can spend years searching for the thing that will make us feel alive and fulfilled, not realizing we are the treasure we seek. We are the gem.


Even if we think we are not. Even if we don’t know how to find it. Even if we believe it’s true for others but not for us.

Invitation: Our brilliant wholeness is true for every single one of us. It cannot be broken, compromised or destroyed. It is waiting within.

authentic self quote: You are already magic.

How do I uncover my authentic self?

This pursuit isn’t meant to be one more thing to do. (Or worse, another thing to feel like you’re failing at.)


There is no get-authentic-quick scheme, no shortcut, no uniform formula. It’s a process of uncovering, of allowing. It’s a process that is yours, unique to you. Only you know the best way to navigate.


You are your own expert, your own guru. Trust yourself.


The work is in letting ourselves BE, as we are. And it’s the hardest work of all. Because our conditioning tells us all sorts of lies – that we must earn approval, that we are not enough as we are, that listening to our own truth is self-indulgent and selfish, that we cannot trust ourselves.


We slowly peel away the layers of not-self (doubt, limitation, shame) and nurture what awakens. It starts with permission. And we are the only ones who can give it ourselves.


The only permission we need, and the only one that will ever truly matter, is our own.


Take the leap to believe you are worth finding.


We begin where we begin. No expression of your true self is too big or too small. If it’s yours, it right. Celebrate every bit of it.


It’s invaluable to have the support of people who see, celebrate and champion the true me. I have relied on their support to bolster my belief in who I am and my right to live as myself. Seeing myself through their eyes has helped heal my own unworthiness. I also look to role models – other women who dare to live true. Some I know in real life, some are famous, some are fictional. They all give me permission and show me the way.


Invitation: Imagine the world needs what you have, that you were put here to bring this exact expression of self. If this were true, how differently would you feel about yourself and your gifts?

What are the risks of reclaiming my true self?


Many of us experience intense fear about being our authentic selves – fear of rejection, disapproval, humiliation, not belonging or the revelation of some unwanted, hidden part of ourselves.


I wish I could say people will throw you a party and have a parade in your honor.


But the truth is, change is often disruptive and scary for people. They might push back. Owning our true selves may mean changing relationship dynamics, setting boundaries or speaking up where we used to be silent.


Yet standing in true selves despite pushback IS the work.


It seems unfair. Isn’t risking authenticity hard enough?  


But consider the advice when growing plant seedlings. It’s suggested to “brush” them or use a fan to gently move them. This helps strengthen the fragile stems in preparation for outdoor weather.


Imagine our strength when we learn to be ourselves despite disapproval or outright criticism. We are preparing ourselves for life “outdoors.”


Because our true self isn’t the self we are when we’re conforming to other’s expectations. Our true self is who we are regardless of anyone’s opinion or feedback. Even our parents, spouses, kids, best friends, bosses or religion.


If anyone asks you to be less of yourself, it is always about them. It is their fear. Don’t carry it.

The more we belong to ourselves, the more we can experience belonging with others. Being our authentic self is how we create real relationships, ones that support and enrich us. It's how we live authentically.


Invitation: If disengaging from external opinion or approval feels impossible, ask yourself why. What is external approval giving me? And, more importantly, what is it taking from me?

Owning our authenticity


We don’t decide to be our authentic selves and wake up tomorrow fully embodied. We awaken over time. And we can practice authenticity now by granting ourselves grace.


As we make space, our true self will emerge. Treat it like a delicate spring shoot, like a baby taking their first steps, like a baby bird learning to fly. Be reverent. Be nurturing. Encourage and celebrate.


Or maybe just give a small nod and say, “Hey there.”

You deserve to be you, to know your own brilliance. You deserve to call yourself home.

authentic self quote: "You are the only you. That is your superpower."


There is no one else in the world that is you. You are the only one with your exact heart, mind, history and perspective. You are breathtakingly unique.


There is a golden circle with your name on it. It is yours, only yours. No one else can stand there. Step in. It’s your time to shine.

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