How to find your true self

An ultimate guide to finding your true self in this world

Have you ever met someone and thought, “That person knows exactly who they are”? They’re confident, decisive and passionate. They have an unstoppable belief in themselves and their vision for the world. They have not only connected with their authentic selves, they have fully embraced them.

You can also experience this sense of fulfillment – but first you must learn how to find yourself.

Are you thinking, “Finding myself seems like a lot of work”? It is. Creating a life that is fulfilling, purposeful and passionate is no accident. It takes work. And it starts with unlocking the secrets to how to find your true self. Then you can design a life that is in line with your personal destiny.

Learn how to find your true self at Date with Destiny event

Click Here

1. Reflect on your story

All of our actions and decisions reflect the story we tell ourselves – the beliefs we’ve formed beginning in childhood, when we wanted to earn the love of our caretakers. The events and experiences of our lives since then, as well as our knowledge about the world, influence our story into adulthood.

If you’re interested in finding yourself, reflection is the first step. Use a journal to record how you became the person you are today. Begin a meditation practice to quiet your mind and dig deeper into who you really are. Releasing your emotions has a cathartic effect that will start you on your journey toward understanding how to find yourself.

2. Determine your values

Don’t make the mistake of believing your past is your story. As Tony tells us, “Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.” While it’s helpful to reflect on your past in order to discover how you’ve formed the beliefs you have today, learning how to find yourself is about growth and forward movement.

No matter what happened in your past, it’s up to you to determine your values. Our values are our guiding light in the world, yet so many of us don’t know our own values. We have an idea in our head of who we “should” be – but this idea of ourselves comes from limiting beliefs that are formed as a result of others’ opinions, not our own. You can change your values. You can be whatever you desire, as long as you believe in yourself.

3. Silence your negative self-talk

As you reflect on your story and begin to determine your values, you’ll naturally tune in to your self-talk. Perhaps you’ve noticed it before – but have you ever questioned it? Is your self-talk positive or negative, empowering or disempowering? Does it encourage you to get out of your comfort zone or keep you living in fear?  

If you’re saying to yourself, “How can I possibly focus on finding myself?” then it’s time to silence your inner critic. Examine your thoughts as if you are your own best friend – you’d probably never let your friends talk to themselves that way. Once you recognize damaging thoughts, replace them with empowering ones that push you toward your goals instead of holding you back.

4. Discover your strengths

When you go through life living up to others’ expectations and allowing negative self-talk to bring you down, it’s impossible to know how to find your true self. When you begin the journey to finding yourself, discovering your strengths can be the most exciting part.

To start the process, think back on the last time you felt like you were in your element. Were you writing, singing, playing a sport, connecting with someone on a deep level, fixing things around the house or volunteering? This feeling of happiness and purpose is a sign of your strengths. Once you’ve identified your strengths, you can leverage them – along with your values – to create an extraordinary life.

5. Recognize what doesn’t serve you

Still thinking, “Finding myself seems impossible”? If you’re still struggling to find yourself, you need to reveal who you are as an individual. To do that, you need to free yourself from patterns and relationships that don’t serve you.

The human brain craves patterns because they conserve energy. When we fall into patterns, the brain doesn’t have to make decisions about certain actions and behaviors. Patterns can be extremely damaging, but once you recognize them, you can build better habits that serve you.

Even more difficult than changing your habits is recognizing the relationships that don’t serve you. But you must let them go. Instead, surround yourself with people who allow you to be your best self, with no inhibitions. People who encourage you to aim higher, achieve more and reach your peak state. Anything less, and you will always wonder how to find yourself – and never find out.

Ready to discover how to find yourself?

To find yourself, you need to look deep within. At Date With Destiny, you’ll uncover what drives you and learn how to use it to create a fulfilling life.

Sign up today

Want to achieve real results NOW? Fill in the form below to schedule your FREE 30-minute session with your Tony Robbins Results Coaching Strategist.

By entering your information on the Tony Robbins website, you agree that we may collect and use your personal information for marketing, and for other purposes, as set forth in our Privacy Policy, which we encourage you to review.

This website uses cookies to personalize your experience and target advertising.. By continuing to use our website, you accept the terms of our updated policies

6 Steps to Discover Your True Self

To discover your true self is the most important skill you can possess. When you know who you are, you know what you need to do instead of looking for permission from others. It allows you to bypass tons of frustration caused by putting time into the wrong things. Yes, life is supposed to be full of trial and error, but this lets you find the best areas for you to experiment with. Once you know yourself, you will become more confident, you will understand your purpose, and you will begin making a bigger impact on the world.

So how can you know who you are and what you ought to do in life? Here are the six steps you need to take in order to know your true self:


Be quiet.

You cannot and will not be able to discover yourself until you take the time to be still. Many people don’t know themselves because any sort of silence scares them; it’s too uncomfortable to be alone with every flaw staring back at them. But it isn’t until you get alone, evaluate yourself and are completely truthful with yourself that you will actually be able to see every facet of your life—the good and the bad. Be quiet and discover your true self.

2. Realize who you truly are, not who you want to be.

I know you already have a set idea of who you desperately want to be, but it might not be who you were designed to be. When you know who you are, you will finally see where you and your specific gifts fit into the bigger picture.

And although there are many points along your journey to help you discover yourself, the best way to begin is to take a personality test and the StrengthsFinder test. (If it’s been five or more years since you’ve completed either of these, take them again. ) No, these self-evaluations aren’t perfect, but they do pinpoint your top areas of strengths, so you can focus on the change you were meant to bring into the world.

3. Find what you are good at (and not good at).

This might be the most difficult step in discovering who you truly are, but it’s a necessary one. Sure, it takes trial and error to find what you’re good at, and no, I don’t want you to give up before you’ve had more than enough attempts, but knowing when to quit is a gift that everyone needs to learn.

Quit when you’ve put in ample time and your efforts aren’t giving back. What is ample time? Only you can decide that. But when you quit correctly, it isn’t giving up, it’s making room for something better. When your actions do nothing but drain you—rather than produce more passion and increase your drive to do more—that’s a good sign it is time to focus elsewhere. Your strengths will show you who you are.

4. Find what you are passionate about.

Following passion of any kind is a good thing, and you need to pay attention when it comes because it shows an area of life that you need to pay more attention to. If we’re talking about following your passion in work, it’s a good thing. And if we’re talking about having more passion for life, it’s a good thing. Focus more on passion; understand yourself in better ways, and you’ll make a bigger impact. Passion produces effort and continuous effort produces results, which produces a deeper discovery of your true self.

5. Ask for feedback.

If you don’t know yourself, hearing what others have to say about you is a helpful practice. Ask them two simple questions: “What strengths do you think I need to develop further?” and “What weaknesses do you think I need to work on?” Of course, their opinion isn’t going to be perfect, but their feedback will probably indicate a few areas you should at least take a second look at. This step is especially important for those who are stuck in finding themselves. Sometimes those closest to us can see something we might not be able to see in ourselves.

6. Assess your relationships.

A large aspect of discovering yourself can be found in your relationships. When you realize you’ll never truly know anyone else until you discover yourself, the importance of knowing yourself becomes even more apparent. This truth especially rings true for business leaders, because if you don’t know the people on your team, then you will be lost as a leader. But this rule also applies to any relationship in your life. Almost as much as you need to know yourself, other people also need to know who you are. People need you—the real you.

Use your reflections to fight your biggest fears, because when you understand who you are, your purpose will finally become bigger than your fears. When you realize who you are, you will spend less time spinning your wheels. Focusing on your strengths gives you the needed traction to make a bigger and better difference in the world. When you know yourself, you will find more peace, and you will find success quicker than ever before.

Now go take action and find your true self, starting today.

Photo by @the_brookedavis/Twenty20

Adam Smith


Adam Smith is the author of the book, The Bravest You. He is an entrepreneur, consultant, and speaker. You can find out more about Adam at 

Find the real you | PSYCHOLOGIES


Know Yourself

Key Ideas

  • Personality is multi-layered: since childhood, we acquire different “layers” of ourselves that overlap each other.
  • Everyone is delusional about their own account, because our true "I" is hidden from us by the veil of the unconscious.
  • "I" appears when we feel resonance with ourselves, not trying to control our words and actions.

The unconscious, the contradictory nature of our personality, the complex process of building our "I" do not allow us to form an objective idea of ​​ourselves. In answering the question "Who am I?", we are inevitably deceived. Why is this happening?

Others in us

From birth, our “I” develops in interaction with parents: in order to feel care, love, support, we strive to meet their expectations, and also absorb character traits, adult behavior patterns. The reactions of parents to our desires, feelings, actions become a mirror, looking into which we learn to understand what we want and what we don’t want, what is possible and what is not, and ultimately we have an idea of ​​ourselves.

Paradoxically, "I" turns out to be the sum of "other than me." To have one's own "I" means to absorb all the polyphony of others. We speak for ourselves, but in fact, our father, mother and many other people who influenced us speak through our lips.

We include in the image of our "I" those qualities that our parents are ready or want to see in us, and later other people who are significant for us: educators, teachers, friends. And our description of ourselves - for example, "I'm an introvert, calm, shy, capable, sincere" - this is our "I", perceived through the prism of their reactions.

The “other” within us

We strive to get rid of desires, feelings, fantasies that do not fit into this image we have created. The unconscious is the “other” within ourselves, the place where we push thoughts and feelings that confuse us and cause anxiety. And this forbidden zone defines our true essence no less than what we declare about ourselves.

Thus, as a result of too authoritarian upbringing - when parents demand unquestioning obedience from the child and forbid him to be, say, dissatisfied - we get used to repressing any aggressive impulse or desire.

What is unacceptable to consciousness does not disappear without a trace - in a different guise it appears in dreams or missteps

As a result, the perception of oneself will be distorted: a person may seem to himself soft and peaceful, alien to aggression or cruelty. However, his natural aggressiveness does not disappear, but gradually manifests itself - in condemning others or in avoiding situations where you need to be persistent or stand up for yourself.

What is unacceptable to consciousness does not disappear without a trace - in a different guise it appears in dreams, missteps, or in a vague feeling that we have lost some important part of ourselves or never found it.

The dissonance of the soul

"I" seems to us to be integral and homogeneous, although this is absolutely not the case. The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan compared the “I” to a multi-layered onion, each layer of which represents only one facet of our self-image and all of them are in conflict with each other.

For example, a situation familiar to many: we are looking for a job. Perhaps we are offered a position that is less interesting and less paid than the previous one. Some part of us would like to agree, "You need to make a living, don't miss this opportunity." While the other protests: "With your education and experience, you deserve so much more."

This is how a few individuals living in each of us, who rarely agree with each other, make themselves felt. And if we still manage, despite everything, to feel like a whole person, it is only because the various sides of our "I" agree not to say everything at the same time.

Three parts of personality

Trying to understand a person, Sigmund Freud created a theory of personality in which it is understood as the interaction of three structures: "I" (Ego), "Super-I" (Super-ego) and "It" (Id) .

"It" contains unconscious drives and impulses and is guided by the "pleasure principle". But an unconscious craving for pleasure would lead a person to death. Therefore, according to Freud, the child develops an Ego - a conscious principle that operates on the basis of the "reality principle". The ego acts as an intermediary between the aspirations of the id, reality, and the demands of society. The third structure, the super-ego, embodies the moral prohibitions and moral norms learned by everyone since childhood, which allow us to live in society and interact with other people.

Meeting with "I"

For the followers of Freud, our real, unfamiliar "I" involuntarily peeps through at the moment when we forget and cease to control ourselves. At such moments, we make mistakes, blurt out, forget someone's names or dream - this is how our unconscious manifests itself.

But there is another view of that deep integrity that covers all contradictions, which can be called our true "I". This experience is familiar to everyone: parents, friends, colleagues expect certain behavior from us, but something resists in us, an inner voice quietly but insistently says what we really need to do.

“It is as if in the middle of our “I” a certain depth is revealed, from which feelings, intuition, images, words rise towards us,” writes the existential analyst Alfried Lenglet. - If we want to turn to this most authentic in us, to our essence, we should “let ourselves be” and, opening ourselves inside ourselves, ask: “Do I feel that this is right for me?” And pay attention to your intuitive feeling, which at the same time begins to sound like an answer to this question.

This is the voice of our true "I", which must be heard and which can be trusted.

"We are the heirs of our past"

Those who think that a person makes himself are mistaken. According to the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, everyone's personality comes from our collective past. Rejecting the dominance of the omnipotent ego, Finkielkraut warns us against excessive pride.

Psychologies: What is the foundation of our personality?

Alain Finkielkraut: The most destructive illusion of our time is the desire for spontaneity: "I am who I am, and my personality needs self-expression in order to develop." It is enough to open social networks to make sure: everyone is spontaneous, and everyone says the same thing, because spontaneity borders on banality.

But a person is first and foremost an heir. Today, everyone dreams of freeing themselves from the burden of historical heritage and living with their own mind. But our entire civilization is based on the idea that only through culture does man gain access to himself.

But what about the school - doesn't it guarantee the transfer of knowledge from past generations to the future?

This is how it used to be. But today in school children are given the word before they acquire the language. This is how school breeds illiteracy, because we can become ourselves only when we have learned - thanks to others - to freely use a language that we did not invent. Our personality is formed on the basis of this dependence on our predecessors, our duty to them.

How does culture help you find yourself?

Take, for example, reading. Why do we read? To have some fun? Maybe. To relax? Probably. To get information? No. Reading is connecting with that reality inside or outside of us, which would otherwise elude us and which helps us to create ourselves and develop.

I can say that my idea of ​​love was formed equally on the basis of personal experience and under the influence of books that helped me to comprehend what I experienced. Reading presupposes a kind of humility, and there must be this humility in the personality, this inner agreement with what cannot be formed outside of relationships with other people.

Doesn't democracy give everyone access to culture?

No, democracy has formed professionals in various fields, but their cause does not feed their lives. Meanwhile, we must always ask ourselves: who am I? what is special about me? what do others have in common? And it is impossible to think about this without referring to the minds of the past, because only relying on what has already been said, we can find our exact words.

As the German philosopher and historian of science Ernst Cassirer said: “Whenever I am ready to forget myself in order to dissolve in another and surrender completely to him, my personality takes on a new, deeper meaning.”

Text: Olga Pekelis, Elena Ratner Photo credit: Getty Images

New on the site

Mentally strong: 4 steps to get rid of negative thoughts - try it for yourself

Is it time to worry? Checklist for assessing the emotional state

Breaking deadlines and depression: what perfectionism leads to

“I am raising my daughter and working, forgetting about myself. Where to get strength?

Genius is you: a guide for those who are looking for a new calling

Psychological defenses: why we need them

“I'm tired of swings in relationships, but I'm not ready to leave”

“I fell in love with a married boss. How to control feelings at work?

Three ways to know yourself better

One of the main obstacles to self-knowledge is constant employment. We run, something distracts us, we try to do several things at the same time. It is difficult to tune in to self-knowledge. And you need to tune in a quiet environment, listening to thoughts and emotions, the body that speaks the language of physical sensations.

We drown out our sensitivity. Most lose touch with themselves. Being distracted by correspondence on your smartphone at lunch, you stop feeling the taste of food. As a result, you miss signals that let you know how you feel and help you figure out why.

Why is it important to understand yourself?

When we know ourselves well, it is easier for us to achieve success. This is logical - if we set goals that match our skills, interests and values, we are much more likely to achieve them.

Understanding ourselves, we become kinder to ourselves - if you understand why you acted one way or another, then you see that you did everything you could do in this situation, and it is easier for you to forgive yourself for mistakes.

Knowing how you feel makes it easier for you to meet your emotional needs. You better understand what you need from others.

To truly live, you need to accept yourself as you are. Understand what is important to you and muster up the courage to be yourself, not what others want you to be. Here are some tips.

Listen to yourself

How do your thoughts make you feel? Without judging or judging, pay attention to what emotions they evoke. This process will help you realize a lot - what affects your mood, how you feel about yourself and others.

If your own thoughts make you angry or helpless, a psychotherapist can help you understand what is hidden in the depths of your psyche.

Ask yourself the right questions

We often ask questions like “What are you doing? What do you need?". Instead, ask, “What is important to you? What are you worried about? This will help you better understand your interests and the meaning of your life.

If we are not interested in what we do, life turns into a burdensome duty, loses its meaning. On the contrary, if we do what is important, then we feel a surge of energy and gain meaning. Make a list of what is important to you and consider how these values ​​are present in everyday life.

Pay attention to what bothers you in the behavior of others

We can learn a lot by paying attention to what we don't like about others. Carl Jung suggested using the term Shadow - those parts of our personality that we do not want to know about. He pointed out that we often see things in others that we don't want to see in ourselves. If we start to understand why some people annoy us so much, we can get in touch with these hidden parts of our personality - namely, they help us grow and develop.

As an illustration, psychologist Lisa Marciano gives a real-life example: “My former colleague was a very attractive woman and understood this very well. She loved to flirt and be the center of attention. It annoyed me. When I noticed this, I wondered why these qualities aroused such strong emotions in me.

Learn more