Finding your true self, or your authentic self, is the most important thing that you can do for authentic living, for your self-development, and for you to achieve real happiness, inner success, and wellbeing. Finding your true self is your biggest life solution. It is the master key that will unlock your full potential and purpose in all areas of your life, and guide the setting of your true life goals. For this reason, I am making sure that I write this post for you before I post on any further topics. I want you to get this key so that you will get how it unlocks everything else I write about.
What is the true self?
What is the true self? It is the real you—your true nature and identity that is found at the deepest core of your being. It is more fundamental to who you are than your roles or the identities that you create, adopt, or have assigned to you by other people. It is the you that exists behind all of these, and even behind the psychological construct of your personality or ego.
Your true self is the source of your greatest passion, creative power, talents, wisdom, and love, and is experienced when you are most yourself. It can be found in the space between your thoughts. So busy and distracted are our minds with thoughts—some 50,000 per day—that we are often unconscious of our true self, and normally may only glimpse it at the time of a major life crisis, when we are facing our own mortality, or when we have a peak experience in which life is experienced with sudden ego-transcending intensity.
Finding your true self, as your ultimate identity, enables you to develop and direct your personality (your interface with the world) so that you can be more yourself and live your full potential and true life purpose. By connecting you with your most fundamental state of being, which transcends the narrow identity of your ego-self, your true self also enables you to experience being more at one with life itself, and thus being more connected with others and the planet. Finding your true self is therefore essential for any meaningful self-development, as well as for authentic living in general.
4 ways of finding your true self
- Meditation. Still your mind and place your attention on the space between your thoughts, becoming aware of the centre of your awareness that is beyond thought or feeling. This is where your true self can be experienced.
- Mindfulness. Be mindful or conscious of your daily living experience, without being distracted by thoughts and emotions that can take you into a daydream or into unproductive states of mind. Your true self is then more able to emerge so that you can respond authentically to your daily experience.
- Visualisation. Still your mind and visualise yourself walking along a path to the centre of your mind, or climbing to the peak of a mountain that represents your highest perspective. Visualise your true self waiting there for you, personified as a wise teacher who is ready to guide you.
- Journal writing. After stilling your mind, write down, on a piece of paper or in a journal, words or sentences that might express the qualities of your true self. Avoid writing down the qualities that other people want you to have, or the qualities you have adopted through inauthentic living. What you have written down will bring you closer to finding your true self.
Staying present to your true self
Due to the demands of others, the stress of life events, or your own reactivity to unprocessed emotional triggers, you may not stay present in your true self, and as a result may drift back into your reactive ego. If this is the case, practise mindfulness states as described above, and consider if your boundaries need strengthening in a healthy way so that other people do not overwhelm you with their demands and behaviour. As you continue to practise connecting with your true self, you will gradually get better at staying present in it. There are techniques to release the negative patterns that can take you out of your true self, but these will be addressed in a future post. Finding your true self is key to finding your true life purpose.
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