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How to Recognize your True Self

recognize true selfYou probably already believe it’s wise to ‘just be yourself’, but how do you know when you are?

It’s not like your brain has a true/false sensor that beeps when you’re being untrue, right?

And in one sense, there’s no possible way for you to not be yourself. You’re just you; the good, bad, and the phony. And so it is with me.

Still, we should all learn to recognize that special space inside where we’re closest to our healthiest beliefs about who we are and what’s really important. This is what we’ll review in this post.

First, what is NOT present when we experience the true self?

When I am close to my genuine self, there is an obvious absence of:

• Self-criticism. My inner critic is not active. I am not being hard on myself at all.

• Busy thoughts. No to-do lists running through my mind. No reruns of past conversations. No exciting, opportunistic thoughts, either.

• Attachment to others. I am not resentful, blaming, or harboring agendas toward other people. I may be aware of others, but I am not negatively attached to them. Boundaries seem to be in place.

• Negative emotions. No anger, fear, jealousy, etc…

All the above, in my view, serve as obstacles to experiencing the deeper nature of the true self. A productive first step toward the true self, then, would be to learn to access an inner place where none of the above are active.  If this is hard for you, then you should watch this free video on how to calm your negative inner voice.

What’s it like to experience your true self?

Here’s what it’s like for me. When the following is happening, I am there.

• I am calm.

• My attention is internal, not on the outside world.

• I am aware of my feelings. These feelings aren’t always positive, but when they are painful, they aren’t disturbing. Somehow I am calm in the face of my pain.

• When I think, my inner voice is calm and quiet, like a whisper. Sometimes I ask myself questions. Should I take advantage of this or that opportunity? The answer is not always yes, but when it is no, the tone is not critical. My true inner voice can be firm, but is never mean.

We can’t reduce the true self into a checklist, but if I had to, then my checklist would be: calm, internal, aware of feelings, with a whispering inner voice that is wise and firm.

I suggest you develop your own checklist that describes what it’s like when you experience your true self. We all need to recognize this important aspect of our experience and live in this space as often as possible.

One of the huge benefits of living in touch with your true self:

Enhanced intuition. In fact, this post today was inspired by Barrie Davenport’s article entitled: 21 Ways to Develop your Intuition. Intuition and the true self work hand-in-hand. When you’re doing such activities as Barrie mentions, with the intention of expanding your intuition, your true self will also grow.

How to Recognize your True Self

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2016). How to Recognize your True Self. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Apr 2016
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