Do you know who you are? Do you know what your dreams and aspirations are? Are you content with yourself? If the answer to these questions is “no” or “I don’t know” then welcome to the board. I am on the same journey as you and learned a few tools that are helpful for me and will probably help you as well answer the question of “How to be True to Yourself?”. Let’s do this together.
Being true to yourself is, unfortunately, not something that comes naturally to everyone. It’s something that gets blocked somewhere between your childhood and the now moment. It means that you are disconnected from yourself. And that you are running on autopilot.
To put it more structured, not being true to yourself means:
– not knowing what you want from this life;
– pleasing others;
– changing your behavior/opinions depending on your environment;
– not caring about your own needs;
– not having opinions or not being able to express them clearly;
– leaving your dreams and goals as the last thing on the “list”;
– not feeling connected to your body;
– feeling disconnected from most people around you.
How did you lose touch with your authentic self?
I just want to let you know that it is not your fault for getting here. You might have got here because of some kind of trauma, because you had little time for yourself, or because of your anxiety that keeps you away from connecting to yourself.
But here’s the inspiring part: while you can’t change the past, you have the power to shape your future and become the person you aspire to be. Your future holds endless possibilities. By nurturing your true self, you can create a life that feels genuine and fulfilling, both in mind and spirit. And I will give you some tools to do so.
How do you know if you are being true to yourself?
If you read the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, you know that all you need to do is just listen to your own heart and that is when you know that you are being true to yourself. In other words, don’t listen to your fear, anxiety, neighbor, friend, mom, or any pattern of thoughts.
To put it another way, your true self is within you and when you feel truly aligned with your body, mind, and soul, that is when you will know that you are being fully authentic. On the other hand, if you feel confusion within yourself, judgment, and resistance, then you are probably not connected to yourself.
I have found that being your true self is not a goal but rather a journey. You will always need to go back to yourself, look within, and just be with yourself because it is so easy to get caught up in the rut of everyday life.
Ways that will help to become true to yourself
Before doing any further, I would like to say that being true to yourself is a long process that requires commitment and curiosity. Do not get frustrated after the first try, and do not stop working towards becoming your true self after you had some success. As I said, you will always need to implement some of these tools in your day-to-day life in order to feel the benefits over time.
1. Sit in silence
We always try to find the answer outside of us: in podcasts, books, from friends and family. We always distract ourselves with social media when we feel bored, and we run from one task to another.
But what if the answer is in your own mind and body? You are wise. But you just don’t know that because you don’t allow yourself to think in silence.
Sometimes, we could read books all of our lives and still don’t get to the truth. Because the truth can be found only inside each of us. Each of us has his own truth that needs to be discovered. And it’s right here, under our noses but we look so far for it.
For some people, meditation might be useful here. For others, a walk in nature, a date with himself/herself, or a day for doing nothing can be great and useful. Do what works for you but try to just be.
2. Take deep belly breaths
Most of the time, when we are not true to ourselves, we breathe very shallow and fast. This disconnects us from our true selves even more.
Our body and mind are very connected. Therefore, reconnecting to your body also means connecting to your mind and regaining authenticity within.
Research also shows that taking deep belly breaths can help you truly relax and connect to your body. What I like to do is to fully breathe into my belly for 4 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds. You can do 6 second inhale and 8 seconds exhale. Just make sure that your exhale is longer than the inhale.
What I like about this technique is that it is very accessible and quick. I can do it wherever I am, it won’t look weird. Just 3 deep belly breaths can help you reconnect to your true self.
3. Take time to define your values
I’ve come to realize that sometimes I am not true to myself simply because I don’t know what I want. Or, better said, my heart knows what I want but I can’t put it into words.
And while sometimes it is ok to just accept what your heart says without needing more, it is sometimes necessary to take a pen and a notebook, sit down, think, and write. Write what is it that you would like in a specific area of your life.
For me, it is about defining my career goals. I find it hard to answer the question of: what is your plan for the future? I usually just answer something that would sound reasonable: like continuing the profession that I have studied in college. But in reality, I know that I don’t enjoy it. So I would just think about what is it what I want to achieve in my career. And I write it down.
Writing down really helps to get it out of your head and kind of solidify the goal/ that you want to achieve.
I encourage you to do the same in the area of life where you feel lost. It is not a 20-minute process. It requires time, energy, and sometimes frustration. But that’s ok, it’s part of the process.
4. Be silly
We used to be silly when we were children. But something switches along the way and we lose that playfulness that we once had. But weren’t we our truest selves when we were children? Yes, we were.
So, let’s become silly again. It doesn’t have to be in front of everyone. Just play some music for yourself and just start dancing like nobody is watching (because nobody does). Or go out with a friend and play a game of whom is the silliest. For instance, you could make a competition about who has the weirdest moves when dancing. Just have fun and let creativity flow all around you.
It can also be singing, drawing, or just talking about silly stuff. Don’t be serious all the time. Be playful a little.
5. Work on a personal project
Getting into a state of flow is very beneficial when you want to get closer to your inner self. What are you passionate about? Is it drawing, yoga, sewing, lego, cooking, or puzzles? Is it something else?
For me, it is writing (although maybe I am not that good at it). I find it so rewarding to write what I have learned from experience, books, and podcasts. This is my project, you are now part of it, thank you for that.
Now back to you. Did you ever experience a flow state? It’s when you lose the notion of time and when your thoughts are very quiet. You are focused and all in.
If you don’t know what it is, just experiment. It can be something as simple as cooking. Or it can be more complex such as modeling ceramics or writing a fiction book. Be curious in the process and let all the emotions just appear within. And then, say hi to your true self.
Yoga is an ancient practice that helps reunite the body and the mind. It is an easier way to connect to yourself than meditation because you control your mind through movements instead of controlling your mind with your mind.
This practice can help you release the blockages that stop you from becoming your true self. It can also help you embrace yourself just as you are. There are many more benefits of yoga that you will discover yourself if you try it out.
Don’t forget to embrace all that comes when you practice yoga. Oftentimes, all the blockages get stuck in our bodies, and with yoga, you can release them. So it’s essential to accept any feelings, emotions, or thoughts that might arise in order to get to harmony and balance within.
7. Accept yourself
I’ve noticed that sometimes, I am not being true to myself simply because I am resisting it.
Certainly, it’s not uncommon for people to find themselves in situations where they’re not being true to themselves due to resistance. This resistance can stem from a variety of sources, such as societal expectations, fear of judgment, or personal insecurities. When you resist being true to yourself, you might be suppressing your genuine thoughts, feelings, desires, and values in order to conform to what you think others want or expect from you.
This internal conflict between authenticity and conformity can lead to feelings of discomfort, anxiety, and even a sense of emptiness. Over time, living inauthentically can take a toll on your overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Embracing your true self requires self-awareness, self-acceptance, and the courage to stand up against the pressures to conform.
Being yourself can be hard when you feel like you have to act a certain way. Here’s how you can be more real: think about what matters to you, don’t let fear stop you, accept who you are, and tell people what you really think. Start with small changes and have supportive friends. Stay focused on the present and be open to growing and changing. Being yourself might be tough, but it makes you feel better about yourself and your life.
To sum it all up, the journey towards embracing your true self is an ongoing adventure that requires your dedication. By putting into practice the hands-on techniques we’ve explored, you’re taking genuine strides toward living a life that feels uniquely yours. Dive into self-reflection, cast off the expectations of others, set those boundaries, communicate your truth openly, and make choices that truly resonate with your heart.
Remember, this journey is about more than perfection; it’s about connecting with both your strengths and vulnerabilities. In a world that often pushes us to conform, your commitment to being genuine paves the way for personal growth and more meaningful relationships.
As you navigate this transformative path, your self-esteem will flourish, and your life will align more closely with what you truly value. So, with confidence, step forward onto this road of self-discovery – your authentic self is eagerly waiting to embrace you and guide you towards a more fulfilling life.