Stop Looking for Your Authentic Self

Stop Looking for Your Authentic Self

When people think about happiness and wellbeing, self-help and self-development, in one way or other they probably think about “finding yourself”.

But what does it really mean to “find yourself”?

Who are you? and why do you need to be found? Do you really only have “one” self?

These are intriguing and important questions and if this is something in which you’re interested or something you’ve pondered then read on …

via Psychology Today by David Hanscom


  • Our actions today are determined by what has been programmed into us from birth.
  • There is no mysterious “authentic self” that needs to be discovered.
  • The ideal of an “authentic self” is unattainable and creates further frustration in the form of your self-critical voice.
  • With awareness and curiosity, all the information you need to know about who you are is available today.

The only authentic self that exists is the one that is present today—right this very second. Your actions and reactions right now reflect your entire lifetime of programming. Much of our programming is less than ideal but it is what exists. The search for your “authentic self” is futile, consumes a lot of mental energy, and detracts from your capacity to create the reality you desire.


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A definition of “authentic self”

There are 225 million hits on Google for the term, “authentic self.” Here is the Google definition.

Your authentic self is who you really are deep down. The part of you that doesn’t care what others think. Authenticity happens when your words, actions, and behaviors consistently match your core identity.

The problem arises with the term, “core identity.” Whatever it is for you consists of a “story” you have created about your place in life. We develop our own internal voice about who we are and have standards of how we should be and act. Then it becomes frustrating when we can’t live up to them. We may be more likely to engage in destructive behaviors even though we know better, and the cycle continues.

What if your core life programming was that of abuse and chaos without much modelling of strong values? What if you have little idea of what good behavior and healthy relationships look like? You did not ask for dysfunctional input; the nature of it may also block your capacity to step back and look at it in a way that allows change. Does this beginning make you a bad person? No. But trying to live up to an ideal of an authentic self would be daunting, frustrating, and almost impossible…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE