Many of our greatest thinkers wrote about the importance of understanding ourselves and living authentically.
But living authentically isn’t as easy as it seems. Starting in childhood, we’re told to cover up our feelings – little boys are told to stop crying and little girls are told to be quiet. Well-intentioned parents sometimes try to mold us into who they want us to be, rather than who we really are. Some of us become people-pleasers and some become stoic and cut off from our feelings and inner experiences.
If you feel like you’re pretending to be someone you’re not or you’re not sure who you are, these quotes will help inspire authentic living and greater self-understanding.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
“To find yourself, think for yourself.” – Socrates
“To thine own self be true.” – Shakespeare
“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” — Mother Theresa
“No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” –Carl Jung
“Everything will line up perfectly when knowing and living the truth becomes more important than looking good.” — Alan Cohen
“I learned to be with myself rather than avoiding myself with limiting habits; I started to be aware of my feelings more, rather than numb them.” — Judith Wright
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” — May Sarton
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” — Brené Brown
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” — Brené Brown
“Be yourself — not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other people’s needs.” — Kristen Hannah
And my personal favorite….
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings
©2017 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.