How to Distinguish Between Your True Self and Your False Self

Woman in elevator looking at her reflection with words: emotions and thoughts, are they even yours?

A practical guide to finding your authentic identity and living from your core essence

Do you know who you really are? Or are you living from a false self that you have created to fit in, please others, or avoid pain?

The false self is the persona that we adopt to cope with the challenges of life. It is shaped by our conditioning, beliefs, expectations, and fears. It is not our true nature, but a mask that we wear to protect ourselves.

The true self, on the other hand, is our essence, our soul, our core. It is the part of us that is eternal, unchanging, and unique. It is the source of our joy, creativity, and wisdom. It is our authentic identity.

Discovering and aligning with your true self can bring you many benefits, such as:

  • Greater clarity and purpose in life
  • More freedom and happiness
  • Deeper connection and intimacy with others
  • Higher self-esteem and confidence
  • Enhanced creativity and expression
  • Increased peace and harmony

But how can you find your true self and differentiate it from your false self? Here are some steps that can help you:

Observe Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Sensations

The first step is to become more aware of your inner experiences. What are you thinking, feeling, and sensing in any given moment? How do these experiences affect your behavior and choices?

To do this, you need to practice mindfulness and self-awareness. Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to the present moment with openness and curiosity. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your own thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

You can practice mindfulness and self-awareness by:

  • Meditating regularly
  • Journaling your thoughts and feelings
  • Doing body scans or breathwork
  • Practicing yoga or other mindful movements
  • Taking breaks throughout the day to check in with yourself

The key is to observe your inner experiences without judging them or trying to change them. Just notice them as they are. Be curious about them. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What am I thinking right now?
  • What am I feeling right now?
  • What am I sensing in my body right now?
  • How do these experiences affect my mood, energy, and actions?
  • Where do these experiences come from?

Trace Your Inner Experiences to Their Sources

The next step is to find out where your thoughts, feelings, and sensations come from. Are they coming from your true self or your false self?

To do this, you need to use inquiry and reflection. Inquiry is the process of asking yourself questions to explore your inner experiences more deeply. Reflection is the process of examining your inner experiences more objectively.

You can use inquiry and reflection by:

  • Asking yourself open-ended questions that start with “why”, “how”, or “what”
  • Challenging your assumptions and beliefs
  • Looking for patterns and themes in your inner experiences
  • Seeking feedback from others who know you well
  • Reading books or articles that inspire you or challenge you

The goal is to trace your inner experiences to their sources. Are they coming from within you or from outside of you? Are they coming from your essence or from your conditioning? Are they coming from your joy or from your fear?

Some examples of questions that can help you trace your inner experiences are:

  • Why do I think this way?
  • How does this thought serve me or limit me?
  • What does this feeling tell me about myself or my situation?
  • How does this feeling relate to my values or goals?
  • What does this sensation indicate about my needs or desires?
  • How does this sensation affect my well-being or performance?
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