How To Figure Out Who You Really Are and Why it Matters.

Has anyone ever told you to ‘just be yourself?  It’s a piece of advice that sounds so simple and yet, in practice, can be very difficult. It naturally leads to the question, ‘if I’m to be myself, then who am I?’ and as most of us are multi-faceted creatures, this can be a notoriously tricky question to answer. Most people behave in slightly different ways with different social groups. You might say things to your friends that we wouldn’t dream of saying at work, or in front of your family, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but which one of those ‘personalities’ is the real you? The social psychologist John Turner said, “self-identity consists of at least two layers: a personal and a social identity. Our perception of ourselves and what others see can vary a lot.”

And with this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that many people admit to feeling like they don’t really know themselves.

And yet, experts agree that having an insight into your own character can help you feel happier.

Being authentic, or ‘true to yourself’ is essential to your wellbeing. It’s difficult to feel good about yourself if you are constantly having to keep up appearances or pretend to be something you’re not. And yet, that’s exactly the circumstances that many of us find ourselves in.

Authentic people are better at tuning into their gut feelings. Because they know themselves, they have a deeper insight into their emotions. They are willing to take responsibility for their actions, good or bad, and are more likely to learn from their mistakes as well as their successes.

People who are constantly trying to please others tend to make poor choices and have difficulty understanding their own emotions or their true reasons for making decisions. When they feel unhappy and confused, they tend to blame everyone except themselves.

Finding time to explore who you really are and what that means to you and the people around you is hard. I have some top tips you can use to make a start here:

More Time, Your Health

How to be who you really are

Peer pressure, or pressure from family, can lead us into lifestyle choices that we might not have picked for ourselves, and which subsequently become difficult to escape from.

It’s easy to see how this happens. You might start by studying a subject at university that your parents encouraged you to do because they thought it would lead to good prospects for you. Many people unwittingly head off in the wrong direction in life because of choices such as these. Studying something you’re not truly interested in, taking a job that your heart isn’t in and then suddenly finding yourself in a life which makes you feel thoroughly miserable.

And similarly, we often hang our identity on our career, so if our work doesn’t feel right for us, we might feel as though we are walking through life in someone else’s shoes.  

You may feel as though people are making assumptions about you that are entirely wrong due to your line of work.

Saying, “I’m a teacher/lawyer/estate agent etc.” will never feel comfortable if, deep down inside you wish you could say, “I’m a pianist, a chef, a chorister, or a campanologist!” (A bell ringer in case you wondered!)

Truly happy people feel as though their lives are in alignment. Their work, relationships and hobbies all tie in with their values and beliefs.

Mahatma Gandhi summed up the idea of alignment by saying, “Happiness is when, what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” 

If you find that aspects of your life are not in harmony with your values, you may be wondering how to get yourself back on track.

Here are a few tips that might help.


  1. Think about your values and beliefs.
  2. Are your activities in alignment with these?
  3. Think about what you loved to do when you were young.
  4. What prevents you from doing more of that (or something similar) now?
  5. If you could ‘be’ anyone or anything, who or what would you be?
  6. What’s holding you back from becoming that person?
  7. If you only had yourself to please, how would you spend your spare time?
The answers to these questions might help you understand what has been stopping you from truly ‘being yourself’.

Steve Jobs hit on the importance of being yourself in his now-famous Stanford commencement speech…

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

As he rightly points out, listening to your intuition is key to discovering your unique identity. And remember that identity isn’t fixed. You can begin to change who you are by making different decisions every day. We are the sum of our habits, and we can literally transform our personalities through the small choices we make throughout each day.


I permit you to be the person who you really are

The more we live in accordance with our values, the closer our view of ourselves will be to the view that others have of us. It’s much easier to feel relaxed about ourselves if we know that we can be honest about who we truly are and be able to speak our truth and feel accepted by the people around us.

When we are being true to ourselves, we can express ourselves more confidently. We’re drawn to people who are authentic, and our intuition often tells us when people are genuinely being themselves.

Practising meditation can also help you to get to know yourself better. Sitting in silence will help you tune into your intuition. It’s important to be honest with yourself and try to think about the things that make you uncomfortable, as well as those that make you feel good.

Most of all, get used to listening to your inner voice. Deep down inside, you know much more about yourself than you recognise at surface level. Stay curious and none judgemental and you will get to know yourself at a much deeper level, which will lead to a happier and more tranquil way of life.

That’s Bye for now! Stay safe and be the very best you can be.

Sue 😊

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