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33 Secrets to Be True to Yourself & 15 Signs You Need to Unfake Your Life

It’s easy to allow people to tell us who we should be. What’s the point of pretending to be someone you’re not? Instead, learn how to be true to yourself.

how to be Be True to Yourself

Though it’s easy to talk about how to be true to yourself, it can actually be a challenging decision to make and follow through. There are often so many influences around us that it’s hard to focus on what you want and believe.

The whole thing takes courage, but honestly, it’s so much easier being yourself than it is pretending to be someone else. But since you’re here, you know that it’s time to make a change and live life the way you want to live it. [Read: How to set aside fear and live your life]

What does it mean to be true to yourself and why is it important?

Being true to yourself means standing tall with your opinions and thoughts, defending them, and not letting yourself slide into an opinion because it’s popular or accepted.

It means owning who you are and not being ashamed of it, in fact, it means celebrating it! Of course, being true to yourself also means knowing your values and sticking to them at all times.

When you learn how to be true to yourself, you’ll realize how good it feels. It’s difficult to be something you’re not. It’s not surprising, because when you’re simply comfortable with your inner self, everything is effortless.

Not caring about what other people think of you isn’t easy, but when you know yourself, the rest becomes unimportant. [Read: Sense of self – 36 signs, tips, and steps to raise it and feel great]

Signs you’re being true to yourself

If you’re someone who is already pretty comfortable with yourself and you’re always true to what and who you are, well done. But how can you be sure that’s what you’re really doing?

Here are some signs you’re already being true to yourself.

1. You’re honest with yourself about what you think, feel, want, and need.

2. You freely share your thoughts and feelings. [Read: How to talk about your feelings in a. relationship and grow closer]

3. You honor your needs and say no to requests that conflict with them.

4. Some people like you, some don’t, and you’re okay with that.

5. You surround yourself with people who respect and support you just as you are.

6. You focus more on your own values than what society deems acceptable.

7. You listen to your intuition and trust that you know what’s best for you. [Read: Gut instinct – what it is, how it works, and 30 tips to follow and listen to your gut]

8. You do what feels right for you, even if it means risking disapproval from the people around you.

9. You allow yourself to change your mind if you recognize you made a choice that wasn’t right for you.

10. You allow yourself to evolve and let go of what you’ve outgrown.

Warning signs you’re not staying true to yourself

The truth is that most people aren’t totally true to themselves. Outside influences make it so hard, but if you can recognize the signs you have some work to do, that’s a starting point.

If you can nod along to several of these, you’re not being true to yourself. [Read: 25 self-discovery questions to bring you closer to learning who you are]

1. You follow the path of instant gratification.

2. You follow someone else’s script.

3. You have a fear of change.

4. You always try to please others, but people pleasing can never lead to staying true to yourself.

5. You attach your self-worth to the opinion of others. [Read: Low self-worth – steps to see yourself in a better light]

How to be true to yourself

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already at breaking point. You’re tired of listening to what everyone else wants you to do, say, or be. You’ve followed the ideas and opinions of others for years, even when you didn’t agree with them.

Of course, this is connected to your self-esteem and fear. We all struggle with these issues, so you’re not the only one.

Maybe you talk about people acting genuinely, but, let’s get real, you’re not being authentic and genuine either. So, you feed this vicious cycle of fakeness. You’re getting tired of it, aren’t you?

Why waste your time being untrue to yourself when you can learn how to be true to yourself? [Read: 20 ways to handle a low self-esteem day when nothing goes your way]

1. Stop being a sheep

Here’s the thing, most of us avoid being true to ourselves because we want to be liked. We’re scared that our opinions are going to drive others away and being disliked isn’t a nice feeling, we all know that. So instead, we turn into a people-pleaser.

If you want to be true to yourself, stop being a sheep and trying to please people. Learn to love and please yourself and others will follow. [Read: Do you have the signs of a people pleaser?]

2. Start saying “no”

It’s hard to say “no” to people we care about and to set healthy boundaries. Naturally, we say “yes” to people because we don’t want to disappoint them.

However, self-sacrificing doesn’t make you a hero, it just means you put your needs behind others. That’s not self-love.

This doesn’t mean you need to say “no” with anger or bitterness, just say “no” respectfully and firmly. [Read: A guide to learning how to say no and stop always pleasing people]

3. Pay attention to yourself

It’s so easy to get caught up in other people’s dreams, goals, and agendas. But this is your life, it’s not meant to be used for making sure other people achieve their dreams. Sit down with yourself and explore your dreams, goals, and agenda.

What are the things you want to accomplish in your life? Set realistic and small goals to help you achieve your own dreams.

4. Remove toxic people from your life

Ah yes, the toxic ones. These are the ones that you always help, but they never support your goals or are indifferent to them. If you want to stay true to yourself, remove the people who judge you.

You don’t have time to deal with them. If anything, they only bring distractions. Surround yourself with people who love the person you are. [Read: How to start a new life and move on from the toxicity for good]

5. Get emotional

If you’re not true to yourself, you don’t connect with yourself on an emotional level. You constantly push down your real feelings in order to appear a certain way, but it’s all a lie.

It’s time to get real with yourself. Bring the hidden emotions to the surface. Whatever you’re feeling deep down, bring it out. It’s time.

6. Take responsibility for your life

No one forced you to put yourself in last place. It was caused by low self-esteem. But now it’s time to acknowledge it and work on it. No one else is going to help you if you’re not willing to help yourself.

So, take responsibility for your life and own it. The past is in the past, now you only have the future ahead of you. [Read: What it means to be your own hero and take control of your life]

7. You are who you are

You can try to be whoever you want to be but at the end of the day, it’s all trash. If you want to be true to yourself, you’re going to have to accept who you are. If not, you can never find happiness because you’re fake.

So, get over the fact that you’re not your favorite celebrity and live your own life.

8. Remember your mortality

Eventually, one day, your life will be over. Remember that. Knowing that your life will end at some point, how can you not chase your dreams and be true to yourself?

Truly live the life you want by being you. [Read: How to live a good life you’ll love and cherish]

9. Know your strengths

You may think that you need to be someone else because you’re not strong enough, but you are. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but we tend to focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths.

Look at what your strengths are and focus on them. [Read: How to build self-esteem and love your life in easy steps]

10. You’re going to make mistakes

Here’s the thing, you’re going to mess up along the way. There will be moments where you’re going to second guess if this is a good idea, but listen, this is just a small bump in the road.

Do you think being genuine and honest is easy? Hell no! People can’t stand that because most of them aren’t able to be genuine and honest themselves.

11. Take it easy on yourself

This isn’t something short-term, this is going to be a process that will last years and years. Changing your self-esteem is a long-term project that you constantly battle with. In the end, it’s worth the fight.

But in the meantime, don’t be hard on yourself. You’re going to have ups and downs. It’s just a part of life. [Read: Achieving self-acceptance – little steps for one big change]

12. What makes you not be yourself? 

Do you know what makes you not be yourself? Is it groups of people? People you don’t know? You need to find the triggers which make you uncomfortable.

Once you know what it is, then you can work on examining exactly what components make you uncomfortable.

You need to pick apart everything and really narrow down what it is exactly that makes you not be yourself. What’s blocking you? [Read: 15 things everyone should know about living a happy life]

13. Do you really know who you are?

But really? If you cannot be yourself and you experience issues relaxing, it could just be that you actually don’t know who you are. 

This means you need to take time and try things out that you may not have thought were for you. Exploring yourself is the only way you get to know yourself. So, get out there and test the waters. [Read: Who are you? How to fine-tune your internal compass]

14. Don’t focus on other’s opinions of you

This is what we all do, but it’s not worth it. Let’s say that you went out in a new outfit and for a couple of minutes, you are worried about what people think of it. 

Then, it hits you—you feel good in it, you feel sexy, so why should you care? And that was the end of it.

If you stay in a negative mindset, you would probably sit in the corner the entire night, scared to stand up. This mental torture we inflict on ourselves has nothing to do with other people. It’s all in our heads. [Read: 41 signs and steps to stop caring what people think and start living your life]

15. You’re not doing this to impress others

You cannot try to impress others if you want to be yourself. It’s not going to work, but really, it’s not. People read through that like rice paper.

You need to understand you’re not on this earth to impress people. You need to not care about impressing other people. In fact, you shouldn’t.

You might unknowingly grab the power position based on your ability to be yourself. [Read: How to be comfortable in your own skin – 20 ways to love being you]

16. Try to be in the moment

Many times, people get stuck in their heads, thinking about how they look, what they should say, or what they should do. But it doesn’t matter.

You end up losing what’s going on in the moment and missing out on that experience by thinking too much about others and their opinions.

Instead, be completely involved in the moment. It helps you not only relax but become more self-aware of what’s going on around you. Are these people really being negative towards you or is it all in your head? [Read: Emotionally stable – how to find your zone of perfect calmness]

17. Be aware of negative thoughts

You may not even notice the negative thoughts that run through your mind. But, it’s time you paid attention and became more aware of what’s going on in your head. Be aware of how you think.

If you notice that you usually only think negative thoughts when you’re in a group of people, it’s time to switch those thoughts up. 

Now, this may not be so easy but if the people you spend time with contribute to these negative thoughts, remove yourself from them in order to start bringing in positivity. [Read: How to stop having negative thoughts that drag you down]

18. Think about how it was when you were a child

When you were a child, you were free. Children are the essence of self-love and being natural. 

Go back into your memory and think about what you were like when you were a child because that’s who you are. If you’re no longer that person, you need to see what made you change.

19. Follow your gut instinct

In some cases, you may not be able to act yourself for a good reason. Your intuition may tell you not to trust the situation or the person you’re talking to. 

If you don’t feel like you can open up to someone or feel the need to act a different way, that’s your body telling you this person isn’t good for you. Listen to your instinct. [Read: What are you passionate about? How to find and own your desires]

20. Accept you who are

If you want to be yourself, you need to know this and remember it – You are who you are. You may not like things about yourself, but the fact of the matter is, that’s who you are. So, acknowledge what and who you are before anything.

Once you do this, any criticism from your friends and family will be obsolete. Why? Because you’re aware and you don’t care. [Read: Achieving self-acceptance – the little steps for one big change]

21. Make goals for yourself

Make small and large goals for yourself. Small goals could be that you join a class you always wanted to take like boxing. You step outside of your comfort zone and do things that are new but passionate for you.

Your larger goals could be to write a book by next year or get a new job in a totally different field. These goals must be based on what you truly want and not what your friends think you should do. [Read: What should I do with my life?]

22. Surround yourself with people who share similar interests

Have you ever thought that maybe you can’t relax around your friends because you actually don’t have anything in common with them and that you’ve been faking this whole time? 

Trust us, faking something takes more energy than just being yourself. You have to play up a whole different person.

Try to surround yourself with people who share the same interests as you. When you do, you’ll notice yourself automatically relax and enjoy their company. You connect with them on an intimate level which is what you need in life. [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]

23. Be vulnerable

When you are completely yourself, you will be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is scary for a lot of people because it’s risky and opens you up to rejection. But the only way to be authentic is to share yourself with other people. It could come with a lot of rewards too.

24. Express yourself

Don’t hold back on what you’re thinking or feeling. When you do that, you are suppressing yourself and who you really are. 

Now, you should also have a bit of a filter so that you don’t say things that will hurt other people. But you should still be able to express yourself.

25. Examine your values and beliefs

Part of learning how to be yourself is knowing what your beliefs and values are. This could include anything from your religious/spiritual beliefs to your political leanings. When you know where you stand on all of these important world views, then you can be authentic a lot more easily.

26. Stick to your principles

Once you have figured out your values and beliefs, then you need to stick to them. Don’t allow other people to lead you astray. 

You should stick to your core values because in your heart you know it’s the right thing to do for you. That’s a huge part of knowing how to be yourself. [Read: How to be yourself – 26 steps to unfake your life & love being you]

27. Know your boundaries

When you are being yourself, you know your boundaries. For example, you know how far you want to take the romance on a first date. 

If you don’t want to go past a first kiss, then don’t. Even if your date pushes you, then you need to stand firm in your boundaries so no one walks all over you. [Read: How to set personal boundaries and guide others to respect it]

28. Know your limitations

We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. And sometimes we can push ourselves too far. So, you have to know when you have had enough. 

Maybe you’ve been working too hard and you’re sleep-deprived. That’s one of your limitations. You need sleep! Don’t ever feel bad by knowing when to say “enough is enough.”

29. Forgive yourself

No one is perfect and we all do things that we wish we hadn’t done in the past. But as the famous Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” You did the best you knew how to do at the time. So, you have to forgive yourself and move on. And just do better in the future.

30. Learn from your mistakes

Once you have forgiven yourself for your mistakes, then you need to examine what they were and what you can learn from them. 

See your “failures” as learning opportunities – because that’s what they really are. If you didn’t make any mistakes, then you wouldn’t know how to do it right the next time. [Read: Common mistakes that women make in relationships]

31. Stop being a perfectionist

There is no such thing as perfection. You need to tell yourself that over and over again until you finally understand it. So, if you’re a perfectionist, you are constantly chasing an illusion. 

What is perfect to you is not perfect to another person. What is perfect for you today may not be good enough for you tomorrow.

When you spend so much time trying to be “perfect,” you are not being yourself. So, give yourself a break and just do your best. [Read: How to love yourself – the 23 best ways to find self-love and happiness]

32. Don’t compare yourself to others

It’s so easy to compare our lives to other people’s. But there’s always going to be someone who is prettier, richer, funnier, or younger. 

When you compare yourself, it will only make you feel bad because you usually compare yourself to people you think are “better” than you. But there is no one “better.” If you have to compare, look at the people who are less fortunate than you and feel grateful for what you have.

33. Be honest

Honesty is vital if you want to know how to be yourself. And we mean being honest not just with other people, but with yourself too. 

Ironically, a lot of people are really good at lying to themselves. But if you want to be authentically you, then you have to take your blinders off and see and speak the truth. [Read: How to be comfortable with yourself – a guide to not giving a f*ck]

It’s going to be okay

When things get tough or you’re scared to make a change, remember that you’ve already hit the point in your life where you’re tired of being someone else and following others.

So, you made it past one giant obstacle. Being aware of the issue is a huge step, and you’ve hurdled over it. From here on out, it’ll be a challenge, but nothing you can’t accomplish.

It’s going to be okay.

[Read: Self-concept – how we create and develop it to control our happiness]

When you’re not being true to yourself, you limit yourself from what you can truly achieve. It’s time to start learning how to be true to yourself and reinvent your life again.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...