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As someone who has spent a lot of time exploring what it means to live authentically, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to figure out who you truly are. It’s a journey that requires self-reflection, honesty, and a willingness to let go of the masks we wear to fit in with society’s expectations.
As someone with ADHD, and as an ADHD Coach, I know first hand how hard this process can be when you’ve spent most of your life trying to fit into a neurotypical box. This is why it’s so important to take this process seriously and never stop uncovering who you really are. Because it’s only when you know who you are, that you can embrace that uniqueness and make choices that align with, and support you.
In this post, I want to share some of the tools and prompts that have helped me explore my own true self, and hopefully, they can help you too.
How Do You Know You’re Not Your True Self?
The first step in discovering your true self is to identify where you might be wearing a mask. Think about the way you show up in the world right now – what gives you pause to question whether or not this is who you really are?
Something is triggering this wonder, and that is a great place to start exploring. Identify where in your life you are not showing up as your true and genuine self. Is it at home with your family, in your social group, or maybe it’s happening at school or work?
For example, when I was in the corporate world, I was never showing up as my true self. I was always filtering my actions through what I thought the company would expect of me as a “good employee”.
This impacted how I showed up at work, and also how I showed up in the world outside of work. Once I started to realize that, it became clear to me why I felt so burnt out all the time.
It wasn’t that my job or the company sucked – it’s that I wasn’t being who I was, and I was putting all of this cognitive energy into spinning up a version of myself that I thought they needed me to be.
Why Do We Wear Masks?
As humans, we all share a fear that if people knew who you really were, warts and all, they wouldn’t love you. That is part of the human condition of not feeling worthy enough, and we all experience it. But with a little awareness, you can poke at that belief and see that it’s actually not the case – it’s just a story you’re telling yourself.
Tools for Exploring Your True Self
Via Character Strengths Assessment
One of the tools I have found most helpful in exploring my true self is the VIA Character Strengths Assessment. This assessment comes from positive psychology research that has looked across human culture to understand the top 24 human characteristics that are strengths that all human beings have, but we have them in different orders. The top five being our top signature strengths. When you know what your top signature strengths are, it’s a good indication of when you are showing up and using those strengths. You are not only being your most true and genuine self, but you’re also being your best self.
Needs and Values
Knowing your needs and values is also powerful in terms of showing up as your true self. When you know what your needs are, you can work to get them met, and that puts you in a position of power. The more powerful you feel in your own right, the more courage you have to show up as you truly are. Your values are an indication of what’s most important to you, and obviously, you want to make sure that you are showing up as your true and genuine self when you are being present for the things that you value most in life.
Notion For ADHDers on a Journey
One thing that many ofo my clients have found helpful, is a Notion Template I created to not only help you align to your true self through the tools mentioned above, but also plan your life and goals according to it.
This is my best selling product as it’s designed for those of us who tend to forget our priorities and preferences. Check out the Vision to Action Notion Template Here.
The Journey To Your True Self Never Ends
Discovering your true self is a journey, not a destination – mostly because we evolve as we experience life. It’s a process that requires ongoing self-reflection, honesty, and a willingness to let go of the masks we wear to fit in with society’s expectations. But the rewards of living authentically are worth the effort. When you show up as your true self, you not only feel more fulfilled and content, but you also inspire others to do the same.
So take the time to explore your true self, identify where you might be wearing a mask, and work to let go of those masks. It’s a journey that requires courage, but I promise you – it’s worth it.