NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Becoming Your True Self

Discovering who you are can be a lifelong process, especially since everyone changes over time.  In prior articles, I wrote about the false self from Donald Winnicott's perspective and about living a meaningful life (see my articles: Understanding Your False Self - Part 1,  Understanding Your False Self - Part 2, A Search For a Meaningful LifeA Happy Life vs A Meaningful Life and Becoming the Person You Want to Be).  In this article, I'm focusing on how to become your true self.

Becoming Your True Self

There is so much pressure these days to conform to social norms that you might not feel comfortable with, and by conforming to these social norms, you can develop a false or inauthentic self.

What is the True Self?
Donald Winnicott, a British psychoanalyst, identified the true self as being spontaneous, creative and alive (see my article: Recapturing Your Sense of Aliveness).

Developing a true self is a journey and that you develop over time.  There's no such thing as having "arrived" at developing a true self because, as I mentioned before, it can be a lifelong process.

By discovering who you are and living authentically and consistently with your values, you will have more of a sense of well-being.

There's no one way to achieve authenticity (see my article: Living Authentically - Aligned With Your Values), but here are some suggestions that might be helpful to you:

Suggestions For Developing Your True Self
  • Talk to Loved Ones Who Are Also Developing a More Authentic Self: When you talk to others who are also trying to live more authentically, you develop insights into your own struggles.  You can also feel supported and cared about by people who are going through a similar stage.
  • Read Inspirational Literature About Authenticity: By reading stories about people who have learned to develop a true self or who have struggled with issues around authenticity, you can feel inspired in your own journey.  This includes both fiction and nonfiction (see my article: Reading Literature and the Positive Effects on the Brain).
  • Ask Yourself: What is My Purpose in Life?  This is another area that changes over time as you change.  Asking yourself what your purpose in life is helps you to live in a purposeful way rather than just drifting from one day to the next.  When you live your life with intention, your goals will most likely fall into place because you have an overarching purpose and all major decisions will be made to serve that purpose (see my article: Starting the Day With an Intention).
It's not easy to know if you're living as your true self.  It takes time and effort to think about what's important to you and how you will achieve authenticity.  

Even after you identify your core values, you might feel conflicted and ambivalent about your values.

You might be afraid of disappointing people in your life who might have a different vision for you.  It takes courage to stand up for what feels true and right for you.

How Psychotherapy Can Help You Discover Your True Self
We all have certain unconscious blind spots and it's usually very challenging to discover your authentic self on your own.  

Usually, people come up against the same blocks over and over again and they only get so far on their own.  

A skilled psychotherapist can help you to overcome the obstacles, both conscious and unconscious, that are getting in the way of becoming your true self (see my article: How to Choose a Psychotherapist).

While we're all human and none of us can always be our true self, when you live aligned with your values and what's most important to you, you will feel more fulfilled in your life.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individuals and couples.

I have helped many clients to live more authentically.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.