When you haven’t taken the time to explore the meaning behind your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, it’s inevitable you will feel lost and will want to find the real you.
Since it’s in understanding the meaning behind your very own personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences, which is what supports you in finding the real you and which I want to talk about in more detail in my post below.
Not knowing who you are, results in confusion and uncertainty.
In particular, around what action to take and what action not to take, what you want and what you don’t want, what’s right and what’s wrong.
As a result, leaving you feeling exhausted, down, and fed up with no clue on how to make life better as you don’t know, which way to turn.
Any of that sound familiar?
If so, in this post, my goal is to support you in understanding what it means to find the real you and why it is you’re struggling to know your true self.
As well as, how working with a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist will support you.
Therefore, getting you more results than anything else you’ll ever try.
So, let’s dive in.
Find the real you: What does it mean to find yourself?
To find yourself really means to know thyself (as Socrates said) like the back of your hand.
In other words, it means to understand what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling, and above all, what it is about a particular situation that is making you think and/or feel the way it is.
So that you are also able to understand how these thoughts and feelings are translating into your behaviors and reactions on a day-to-day basis.
And therefore are affecting your relationships and the discovery and attainment of your goals and desires.
Find the real you: The benefit of working to find yourself
In working to find yourself through understanding the meaning behind your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, therefore, you begin to better notice when a reoccurring thought and/or feeling is arising.
So you can choose how to handle that thought and feeling in order to make a different choice as to what action and reaction you are going to have towards a situation you are experiencing.
Since it’s in the action and reaction choices you are making, which have become so second nature and automatic to you because of what your thinking and feeling, which is giving you and not giving you what you want in life.
Example of what it means to find yourself
A good way to think about this, I think, is as a chessboard game.
In the sense that with enough analysis and consideration, you’re able to tell what move (i.e. action or reaction), you’re going to make towards a situation in your life, before you even make it based on what you’re thinking and feeling and on your past experiences.
And, as you would in a chessboard game, with every new situation, which arises in your life, tentatively deciding, either to go ahead with the action or reaction you’ve always taken or not, so you can take a different path, action, or reaction.
Why you don’t know the real you?
What we’re thinking and feeling, however, goes beyond our conscious awareness. Therefore, falling into our subconscious awareness.
Giving us no access to the ‘WHY’ behind what we’re thinking and feeling towards the situations we are experiencing. Sure our conscious mind likes to ‘THINK’ it knows the answer and is likely to place an interpretation of what that WHY is.
However, that WHY is likely to be wrong since our subconscious mind is always operating on fear, therefore, is always seeking to move us away from the truth of who we are.
And we have very limited knowledge and understanding of what makes up our thoughts and feelings towards the situations we’re facing and have faced within our lives.
All we see are the actions and reactions we’re making based on the interpretations we’ve placed on the events taking place in our lives, and the impact these are and are not having on us and others.
Therefore, wrongly reinforcing and reaffirming the identity we’ve given ourselves.
The contents of your subconscious awareness
Our subconscious awareness spans from as far back as 6 months prior to our birth, all the way up to today.
Therefore, it is no wonder we do not consciously know what’s lying behind our thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions.
And includes both beliefs we inherited from our parents, our society, and culture.
As well as, beliefs we formed on our own, as a result of the observations and interpretations we were (and are) making on the events, which took place (and are taking place) in our lives.
In addition, it includes all past experiences and memories from the time we were born, whether good or bad, and whether we can recall them or not, as it stores them as feelings within our bodies, which in turn, turn into thoughts.
And it’s these, which create our thoughts and feelings in the present.
What is the secret of finding the real you? Working with a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist
A Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist, as a result, has studied the human psyche in-depth and has done their own work on themselves, with their own therapist, that they know more than you and I do about the consequences of the experiences we’ve had and the thoughts and feelings these experiences likely evoke within us both today and at the time of experiencing them.
Leading us to the actions and reactions we engage in on a daily basis and the outcomes we’re getting within our lives.
Therefore, the first way they’ll support you in finding the real you is by supporting you in making peace with yourself.
1) Making peace with yourself
Your beliefs and who you identify with as a result of your past experiences and memories, however, aren’t who you really are.
Since if you had the choice (and you do) to believe something else, for instance, something other than ‘I’m not good enough’, or ‘I’m not interesting’, would you still choose to believe you’re not good enough?
No, you wouldn’t. And that’s how you know that the real you isn’t the one who identifies as ‘not being good enough’ or ‘not interesting’ since if it was, you wouldn’t want to make a different choice to the one you’re making. You would be happy with your choice of what to believe about yourself.
However, you cannot get to a place of choice in what you believe until you explore what you’re currently thinking and feeling and get rid of all the thoughts and feelings, which are holding you back.
Therefore, supporting you in making peace with yourself and your past.
Putting your experiences into context
The way a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist, therefore, does this is by supporting you in putting your experiences into context.
In other words, by supporting you in understanding your experiences (both present and past). As it’s in the understanding of these that you will begin to find the real you and will be able to get rid of the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, holding you back.
How can I find happiness in myself?
And it’s in this, how you can find happiness within yourself, as you will begin to feel more confident with yourself and your thoughts, feelings, actions, reactions, and decisions as you get a 360-degree view of yourself.
2) Learning to listen to your emotions, thoughts and feelings
Your emotions, thoughts, and feelings combined tell you a lot about who you really are, what you want, and what you need.
However, in order for you to be able to acknowledge what your emotions, thoughts, and feelings are telling you about yourself, you first need to learn how to stop and question your emotions, thoughts, and feelings. A skill, which I’m sure you’ll agree you didn’t learn at school.
And which I talk more about how to do in my post 3 Tools to Grow outside Therapy sessions.
Therefore, the second way working with a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist will support you.
Becoming comfortable with acknowledging your emotions, thoughts and feelings
This is important since, at the minute, you might be letting your emotions and feelings dictate your actions, reactions, and decisions because you feel uncomfortable with them.
Therefore, are engaging in actions, reactions, and decisions, which do not align with the truth of who you are and therefore, make you feel bad about yourself and your life.
As a result, moving you further and further away from who the real you is.
Taking control of your emotions, thoughts, and feelings to find the real you
A Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist, therefore, will support you in taking control of your emotions, thoughts and feelings, so you can make decisions, which do align with the truth of who you are, by reminding you over and over again of the importance of being embodied.
In other words, really experiencing and feeling your emotions in your body as they arise, in the moment, and providing you with these four tools to overcome past regrets. As it’s in these moments where you can challenge difficult emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
In addition, they’ll provide you with advice and guidance on what other ways to think about the situations taking place within your life so you can take actions, and reactions, which do ensure you follow the truth of who you really are.
You might not always succeed in implementing what is suggested to you the first time around, but if you try, try and try again eventually you will begin to get it. And it will become easier.
Learn more: 3 Tools to Grow outside Therapy sessions
3) Distinguish between the true and false self to find the real you
If you do really want to find the real you, you need to first realize you’re currently likely sitting in a false self.
A self you’ve chosen to believe is you based on the beliefs of your parents and society’s norms and culture, as well as, your own beliefs surrounding your past experiences.
Therefore, is not you.
What is the false self?
The false self is the ego.
The ego is one, which focuses mainly on the negatives and all it does not have in one’s life.
It likes to:
- Criticize and judge
- Compare itself to others, in order to reaffirm what it’s already believing about itself; and
- Compete with others since it’s often in fear and scarcity mode (i.e. there’s not enough to go around, I’m not good enough, there’s something wrong with me).
The result of being identified with a false self?
The false self, therefore, is consistently unhappy with life since it cannot see beyond itself.
And lacks understanding, therefore, losing patience with others much more quickly.
As a result, getting angry at others more easily too.
What is your true self?
Your true self, on the other hand, is the self, which is kind, caring, loving, understanding, patient, supportive, grateful, and appreciative with all that it has and the people around you.
The real you is happy for the most part and doesn’t need other people to make it feel fulfilled and satisfied as it’s already fulfilled and satisfied on its own.
This isn’t to say you’ll not need anyone else, or you’ll not need connection with others.
Of course, you will. You are a social being, you cannot remove yourself from the need for connection.
However, your happiness isn’t tied to what is and what isn’t going on outside of you. Instead, it’s tied to what you’re thinking, feeling, and believing on the inside and how you manage your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
Questions to consider to find the real you
Before continuing with the fourth way a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist will support you to find the real you, I want you to consider the following questions:
Is who you are when you’re with your immediate family, exactly the person you are with people who aren’t your immediate family?
In other words, are your words and actions consistent with how you think, feel, behave and react when you’re with your immediate family, as well as, when with others outside your immediate family?
If the answer is no, I want you to ask yourself:
What is it about being with family members, which allows you to think, feel, behave and react differently to the way you do when with people who are not part of your family?
As it’s these reasons, which I’m going to go into more detail next, which are also stopping you from being the real you.
4) Find the inner you by removing the duality of your personality
If you resonate with the above and your thoughts, feelings, actions, and behaviors are not consistent with who you are when you’re with your immediate family and when not, you have likely created a dual personality.
Therefore, needing to show one face when you’re with your family and another when you’re engaging with other people. And it’s this, which is leading to your unhappiness with life and who you are.
Since you think, feel, and believe you’re not able to be your authentic self in all areas of your life so you need to pretend to be someone you’re not.
Putting your defenses down will help you discover the inner you
Engaging in the therapy process, therefore, will allow you to become consistent in your thinking, feeling, behaving, and reacting when around family and when not around family so you can discover the inner you.
As the more, you engage in the process and the more open, honest, and vulnerable you become with your therapist, the more you’ll learn how to put your defenses down both with your family and other people so there isn’t this duality of people taking place.
And you can relax and show the real and authentic you without fear or worry of criticism or judgment from either your family or those outside your family. Therefore, making you feel better about yourself and giving you a better chance of connecting with others.
5) How to find out who you are? Block out the noise
In a world where everyone around you, from your friends to your family to the media is offering their opinion on:
- How you should and shouldn’t be
- What you should and shouldn’t do
- What’s good and what isn’t good
- What’s right and what’s wrong
Unless you have developed a strong core self of knowing who you are and who you are not, feeling confident in both of those, therefore, learning how to block out the noise, you’ll get lost in the midst of it.
Therefore, therapy is an opportunity to find the real you without all the noise from external sources as you get to focus solely on what you’re thinking, feeling, and believing without any input from unreliable sources.
Learn more: 4 reasons why self-help books don’t work for you
Talk things out loud
Talking things out loud with your therapist (i.e. what you’re thinking, feeling believing, and realizing) will also support you in finding the real you as it’s through the conversations we have with others we learn a lot about ourselves.
For instance, was there ever a time in your life where you didn’t understand something or you felt confused by something, but then when you talked it out with someone you came to some kind of realization, which enabled you to move forward?
If so, that’s exactly what working with a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist is like.
Learn more: Don’t know what to talk about in therapy
The benefits of blocking out the noise and talking things out loud to find the inner you
This is beneficial since not all of your conversations with others are going to be productive. In fact, some of the conversations you have with others, likely influence you in a negative way, but because you’ve spent so much time around certain people you’ve become oblivious to them.
Therefore, through working with a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist you’ll also get to sift through the noise of the negative influences in your life.
So you no longer succumb to acting, reacting, and making decisions based on the opinions of others, but on who you really are at your core.
5) Discover the inner you by removing your labels
With the number of labels banded around in this day and age, from narcissism to toxicity to whatever else.
It’s easy to begin to label yourself as these too when you begin to notice certain behaviors within you, which align with these labels.
Therefore, feeling stuck in your way of being. However, this is far from the truth since you are categorically able to change your way of being from one of mainly negative to positive.
In particular, through the tools to overcome past regrets I mentioned earlier.
What’s wrong with labels? They don’t allow you to be the best version of you
Labels themselves are the ones that are at fault and are not helpful to anyone, least of all you because above all, you are a person.
And, whilst labels are easy to place on ourselves and others, once we’ve identified with them, they can become difficult to be removed as we categorically believe they are true about us, and nothing or no-one can convince us otherwise.
Example of the influence of negative labels
A good example of this is one I heard from Les Brown’s (motivational speaker) experience, in which, he labeled himself as the ‘dumb twin in school’ because the students in his class called him that.
To which his teacher said, someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
And that’s the role of working with a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist too, in being able to help you to see you are not the labels you and others have placed on you.
Learn more: How to find your worth and why it matters
Identifying your difference
A therapist supports you to do this by not exchanging any labels with you at any point during your sessions.
First and foremost, you are viewed as a person, an individual, alone. And as a result, you’re thoughts, feelings, and experiences are given the respect they deserve.
Therefore, they do not see you as a label, part of a family structure, a role of mother, daughter, worker, although of course, they do acknowledge these are part of your experiences and they cannot be removed from you.
They also realize these factors are independent of you as a person, and what you alone want, need, and desire for you and your life.
The benefit of identifying your difference to discover who you are
The benefit of this is you too will begin to see yourself as a person independent of the labels placed on you, including that of the family you were born into, the culture you are from, the gender you are, etc.
So you can further be free from the restrictions placed in your mind around your inability to be your authentic self in all areas of your life.
So there you have it.
To find the real you, you must make peace with your past, learn to listen to your emotions, thoughts, and feelings, in the moment, distinguish between the true and false self, let go of your dual personality, block out external sources, and remove the labels.
All of which, you will learn to do with the support of a Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist so you can feel happier, confident, and more of your authentic self at all times.
Now over to you…
In the comments section below, let me know what you’ve tried to find the real you and whether it worked, and if not, why not.
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