We live in a world where it's becoming harder every day to find your authentic self, express yourself freely, and simply be who you truly are.
This happens because society is imposing so many conditions on us – it seems like we live in a world of fraud.
It seems as if someone has already decided what it means to be successful or happy, and we all have to stick by their definition rather than be free to create our own.
Our lives have a fixed trajectory – we go to school at a certain age, graduate at another age, and then we have to get a job, earn money, get married, and start a family – everything as soon as possible.
If you want to achieve something else or if you're someone who doesn't fit “inside the box,” you can be criticized or even rejected by family and friends.
In a world where even our parents love us conditionally – for example, they are loving and affectionate only when you achieve good grades, it is very hard to find your authentic self because you have learned from a very young age that you need to “tick some boxes” to be loved and accepted.
Our authentic self may differ from what society expects us to be, which is alright!
In reality, for a person to be happy, they need to be able to express themselves authentically to make the choices they truly want, not the ones they feel they need to make.
Thus, let's look together at what it means to be your authentic self, what are the consequences of not doing that, and how to unlock your authentic self.
Authentic Self Meaning
We hear people talking about authenticity almost everywhere nowadays, but what does it really mean to be your true, authentic self?
I would say that being authentic means being true to yourself in all situations and making choices that align with what you truly desire.
Finding your authentic self requires developing self-awareness, self-understanding, and honesty in your relationship with yourself.
Being authentic has psychological and spiritual implications as well.
From a psychological point of view, being authentic means being free of constraints and limitations and allowing yourself to be different.
From a spiritual point of view, being your authentic self means being aligned to your Higher Self and on the right spiritual path for you.
Sometimes when people are not authentic, they lose their path and connection to the Source, which leads to depression.
They start wandering on all the wrong life paths wondering why they are not happy.
Living in a society that imposes so many conditions makes it very easy to lose your path and contact with your authentic self.
If you're reading this article right now, chances are that you may have felt a bit lost recently.
I invite you to read below the main ways to unlock your true authentic self and embark on that self-healing and self-discovery journey that will bring you back to the right track.
21 Techniques To Find Your Authentic Self
#1. Identify the “masks.”
When you were a kid, your parents told you many things about what you should or should not do.
They may have told you things such as “boys don't cry” or “girls should never talk back.”
They had your best interest in mind, believing that this would help you become a happy and healthy individual.
Little did they know that they were pushing you toward creating your first “masks.”
On top of that, you started going to school and learned even more about how sometimes it is not beneficial to show your true feelings and intentions, as you will be judged.
A mask can look like being happy all the time, strong all the time, or extremely hard working at the expense of your well-being.
A mask is any belief about the self or behavior that makes us seem different from how we really are or behave differently than how we would want to behave if we were honest.
If you want to find your authentic self, the first step is to examine your childhood and see what masks you created to survive.
Then, start taking them off one by one and allow yourself to be you.
#2. Examine the relationship between your authentic and your adaptive self
You may not have known this, but all the masks you have put on throughout life have formed your adaptive self.
The adaptive self is the self – the image you created about yourself to respond to what was required of you, to survive, and to be accepted by others.
In contrast, your authentic self is who you were or who you could have been before you were given all those rules about how “you should be.”
After examining what masks you put on and why, see how they shaped who you are today – how they shaped your adaptive self.
Then, examine how your authentic self would actually like to be and the relationship between the two.
#3. Follow your heart
As it is built today, society is meant to give us a “map” – designed by someone else- to show us “our path.”
Usually, maps created by someone else will take you in a different direction than the direction your heart wants to go.
Maybe not always, but most of the time. Thus, one important technique to find your authentic self is to follow your heart in all situations – while taking your brain with you.
#4. Re-assess your values
When you develop your adaptive self and start operating from that place, usually, you drift away from your real, authentic values.
For example, suppose you grew up in a poor family. In that case, you may have developed an adaptive self that is all about making money and that chooses very steady pathways and jobs that are simply money-oriented, but you don't really like them.
This way, you can neglect your creative side and forget that creative expression was once an important value for you.
This can cause a lot of unhappiness and even depression in the future because instead of making money out of what you really love, you choose to follow your adaptive self and change your personal values.
This is just an example of how we can compromise our real values.
If you wish to reconnect to your authentic self, the first step is to remember your its'
#5. Be open to change and growth
One way to find your authentic self is to be open to techniques for change and growth.
If you invest time into exploring ways to grow both as a person and spiritually, the Universe will bring your way those methods that you need to find your true, authentic self again.
#6. Assess your relationship with your parents
Parents play a pivotal role in a child's psychological development. The same-sex parent will influence how you see yourself as a man/woman and how you view masculinity/ femininity.
The opposite sex parent will shape how you perceive the opposite sex in general and the criteria by which you choose potential life partners.
Those who had rather healthy relationships with their parents during their childhood are lucky, whereas those who did not may have developed many masks in response to how their parents treated them.
Try to see what you internalized about yourself, potential life partners, and masculinity/femininity from your parents, and see how that shaped your adaptive self.
Then try to see what your authentic self feels about this whole set of beliefs and what are its true beliefs.
#7. Acknowledge your limiting beliefs
Most of us develop limiting beliefs during childhood that hold us back in crucial moments.
For example, we may have internalized the idea that “money is hard to make,” “life is difficult,” and “love is dangerous because you always get your heart broken.”
Again, our parents had the best intentions when they were saying those things, such as the intention to protect us, but they didn't realize their method was harmful.
I mentioned in a previous article how my dad always said, “money is difficult to make,” and that made me choose the worst jobs possible, believing there was no other way to make money until I started my personal development journey and decided to change that.
If you want to unlock your authentic self, assess those limiting beliefs and replace them with positive, empowering ones.
#8. Re-parent, your inner child
Inner child work has become increasingly popular – and for a good reason.
Many people were born into dysfunctional families that internalized many limiting beliefs and harmful behaviors.
Meditations and techniques for re-parenting your inner child using healthy principles will help you discover and express your true authentic self and be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself.
#9. Invest in therapy
I hear a lot of people saying they don't go to therapy because it's too expensive. Yet, the same people spend their money on alcohol and a lot of stuff they don't truly need.
Therapy and personal development can help you achieve everything I've just mentioned if you're willing to make your healing a priority and invest time and money in it.
#10. Face your fears
An important step in finding your authentic self is identifying your fears and seeing how they have shaped your adaptive self.
Just like in the previous example – fear of poverty makes you choose a job you don't really want to do.
Your authentic self is hiding underneath all your fears and insecurities, and the only way to bring it to the surface is to “dig it up” from underneath all that.
#11. Release the toxic patterns
Through going to therapy and personal development and looking at the limiting beliefs you internalized during childhood, you should aim to release your toxic patterns of interaction.
We all have these patterns, and the good news is that they can be unlearned and replaced with healthy relational patterns.
#12. Develop your intuition
I mentioned in the beginning that being your authentic self involves (from a spiritual point of view) being on the right path.
The Divine has endowed us with a compass that always points towards the right path – our intuition. All we have to do it to listen to it.
#13. Examine discrepancies between your beliefs and behaviors
A Buddhist proverb says, “Happiness is when what you feel, think, say, and do are in harmony.”
However, when we let out adaptive self decide for us, we may end up doing or saying something that is against what we think and feel.
Thus, we need to analyze the discrepancies and see where they really come from and which limiting belief is causing them.
#14. Have patience with yourself
To get to the point where you find your authentic self, it's crucial that you have patience and don't judge yourself if that doesn't happen in a few days or months.
Understand that after years of living in a certain way, you need time to unlearn those patterns, which is absolutely fine.
Learn also to enjoy the journey and not just focus on the result.
#15. Develop self-love
After years of rejection and suppression, your authentic self will need some time to resurface.
Self-love will make you find it faster, allowing you to be yourself and not be afraid of mistakes anymore.
Sometimes, we suppress our authentic selves for fear of doing something wrong.
Therefore, more self-love and acceptance will help you find your authentic self.
#16. Accept and embrace your past
The past can be a controversial topic for many of us. We've made mistakes and hurt people – yes, we all have a messy past period of our life that is hard to remember.
An amazing quote that depicts the past really well is in the Disney Movie “The Lion King,” when Rafiki tells Simba: “Yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can run from it, or you can learn from it”.
A messy past can be an enormous source of wisdom if you're willing to learn from it.
Learning from your past means also accepting that you cannot change it, but you can create a better future.
#17. Give yourself compassion
Compassion and self-love usually go hand in hand. When you love yourself, you are more compassionate and kind to yourself.
You don't blame yourself for everything anymore, but rather leave space for mistakes, which will unlock your authentic self.
#18. Explore the world with curiosity
Your authentic self loves exploring, discovering, learning, playing, and loving without measure.
That's how human beings are built, which can be seen when they are still children.
But if you were told you need to be in a certain way, such as – “serious,” or you carry too many emotional burdens, you will not be able to do that freely.
One way to get closer to your authentic self is to rediscover your thirst for the life you had before your personality was changed by all the suffering and restraints.
#19. Adopt radical honesty with yourself and others
Being honest is not always easy, but telling the truth even when it may upset other people is a great way to unlock your authentic self.
This is because your authentic self became repressed at times when you couldn't speak your truth, so if you want to unlock it, you must do the opposite now.
#20. Create your life consciously
The adaptable self can sometimes take you further from what you would really want, as the adaptable self just adapts to situations.
Letting your adaptable self in charge can lead you to victim mode.
The opposite of living in the victim mode is to start being a conscious, powerful creator of every second of your life.
❤️ Related Reading: The Vision Board Checklist for Manifesting your Dream Life
#21. Find your life purpose
Your authentic self is all about self-expression! A life of purpose is a life of self-expression, where you can be yourself fully and live a life of joy.
Finding your life purpose will allow you to live from the heart, do what you love for a living, and create the life of your dreams.
When you are living the life of your dreams and fulfilling your purpose, you can definitely find your authentic self.
❤️ See Also: How To Understand Your Life Purpose As An Old Soul?
Did you enjoy this article on how to find your authentic self in a world of fraud?
We would love to read your opinion in the comment section below and to get to know the story of how you unlocked your own authentic self and how that journey was for you!
Alexandra, the head author at Subconscious Servant is a Psychologist, Reiki Therapist, and writer. She loves writing about any topic from Applied Psychology, Metaphysical and Spiritual healing, hoping that people on a spiritual, self-discovery journey will find guidance and light through her articles. If you want to read more about Alexandra, visit her full author bio here.