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More often than not, we mold ourselves into what we believe others wish us to be. And with the rise of social media, this tendency is more prevalent than ever.

With that being said, constantly striving to be something you are not can get tiring. With so many different trends and influencers on social media, it has become more common to see more of the same than it is to see originality. And honestly, that gets old. Do you ever wonder where your true self fits into everything, and who exactly your true self is?

If you are wondering that- you aren’t alone. And if you are wondering how to discover who your true self is, there are several steps you can take to start being your most authentic self now.

1. Listen to your gut.

Within each of us is an intuitive guide. This intuitive guide or voice is what drives us to make the right moves when we don’t know what else to do, and this guide is our true voice. Learn to listen to it.

2. Surround yourself with a tribe of the right people.

Find people that you can be yourself around, and surround yourself with them. Finding the right people and staying connected to them is everything in this journey called life.

3. Think back to before you were influenced.

Before social media, and before you started caring what people thought about you- who were you? Tune into the person you were before you started trying to be anything other than yourself, and truly embrace them.

4. Pay attention to your soul calling.

Each of us has a purpose, a path, and a soul calling in life. Much like our intuitive voice, we are born with a persona and a calling within. What does your soul calling sound like?

5. What makes you feel most like ‘you?’

Think of an activity or an interest you have that when you are doing it, you feel most aligned with your true self. Do more of that, and I promise you will start feeling more aligned with your authentic self.

6. Stop people-pleasing.

It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of people-pleasing. We want people that we love and like to be happy, and in turn, we often overlook our own needs to make them happy. While it’s okay to sacrifice sometimes for someone else, you can’t get so wrapped up in everyone else’s happiness that you forget your own.

7. Stop trying so hard.

There is an old zen saying that goes something along the lines of “let it go. Surrender and let go.” While it sounds simple, it isn’t. Think about all the times you fight yourself to try to be something you are not. Being yourself lies in letting go of trying and surrendering to what is.

8. Understand you don’t have to always feel happy.

It’s okay to not be happy. Emotions vary, and you don’t owe a happy face to anyone. Part of being authentic is allowing yourself to express all of your emotions, even the unpleasant ones.

9. Learn the value of saying no.

It’s tempting to say yes to everything everyone asks of you, but it’s best not to. Sometimes, you have to say no, and reserve time and space for your peace and that’s okay.

10. Understand that perfection is impossible.

Nobody is perfect. You could spend your whole life trying to fit this role or this persona of perfection, and I promise it will be wasted. Be your authentic self and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

11. Remove your mask.

Each of us puts on a mask for the public, and while sometimes that is okay, at other times it can take over and replace our true self. Ask yourself, am I being authentic, or is this a mask I have put up to be more acceptable? If it’s the latter, it’s time to let go of your mask.

12. Mark your accomplishments.

Don’t forget to embrace your accomplishments and be proud of yourself for what you have done. Even the smallest of steps along the way are worth celebrating, and with each accomplishment, you make, set new goals to accomplish.