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4 Steps to Finding Your Authentic Self

Do you feel like you have to put on a facade or a mask when you’re around others? Many people struggle with this, feeling like they don’t know who they are or how to be their authentic selves.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of wearing a mask. We do it to protect ourselves from criticism, rejection, or even just discomfort.

Or maybe we even do it to make others more comfortable, in fear that presenting authentically will burden them. But over time, we forget how to remove the mask and start caring for ourselves.

As a result, we start to feel anxious, inauthentic, and unfulfilled.

I’m Caroline King, a therapist at Silver River Counseling, and in this article, I’ll share with you 4 steps to take off that mask and start finding your authentic self.

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Understand What’s Happening Now


The first step is to understand what’s happening now. Take some time to reflect on your current strengths and struggles.

What are some things you’re good at? What are some things that challenge you?

By understanding our current abilities, we can identify areas where we excel and areas that require improvement.

For example, strengths may include:

  • Effective communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity

Struggles could be:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Trusting others
  • Boundary-setting

By acknowledging both our strengths and struggles, we can create goals and take action towards personal growth and development.

Understand Learned Beliefs


The second step to finding your authentic self is to understand where and when you learned your beliefs about yourself, others, and the world around you.

For example, if you grew up in a household where vulnerability was not encouraged, you may have developed a belief that expressing your emotions is a weakness. This belief may have followed you into adulthood and impacted how you interact with others.

By recognizing the origins of these beliefs, you can begin to challenge and reframe them, ultimately leading to a more authentic expression of yourself.

Figure Out Which Values Resonate


Now that you understand where you are and where your beliefs come from, you can start figuring out what beliefs and values resonate with you and which ones no longer make sense.

For example, if you were raised in a culture or environment that values conformity above all else, you may have internalized the belief that it’s more important to fit in than to express your true self.

However, as you reflect on your experiences and values, you may come to realize that authenticity and individuality are actually more important to you. By recognizing and challenging these deeply ingrained beliefs, you can begin to let go of what no longer serves you and embrace a more authentic version of yourself.

Identify New Possiblities


The fourth step to removing that mask and finding your authentic self is to identify and live out new possibilities.

An example of identifying and living out new possibilities to find your authentic self might be trying a new hobby or activity that you’ve always been interested in but never had the confidence to pursue, or setting boundaries with a friend or family member who consistently disregards your feelings.

It could also mean speaking up for yourself in a work or social setting where you feel like you’ve been holding back your true thoughts and opinions. By taking action to live out these new possibilities, you can begin to break free from old patterns and step into a more authentic version of yourself.

If you’re struggling with feeling like you’re wearing a mask, know that you’re not alone. If you need additional support, schedule an appointment with us today and take the first steps toward finding and living your authentic self.