You Want to be Yourself, But Do You Know Who You Are? Find Out, Starting Today

Written by Linda Hewett
You want to be yourself.You want to stop pretending to be who you’re not.


You want to be honest with everyone you meet. You want to be … you.


But there’s one big problem – Do You Honestly Know Who You Are?


Blog readers are at an advantage. When I visit a new blog, one of the first things I do is read the “About Me” page. This is where the blogger tells you all about himself, so you know who you’re connecting with. You discover his qualifications, his skills, his hopes and aims for his blog. You learn about his family perhaps, his successes and failures, all there on your screen. All out in the open. Warts and all.

you_want_to_be_yourselfBut it’s not like that for you, is it! You don’t have an “About” page. When people meet you, they can only form an opinion about you from the outside, the first impression, and as we all know, first impressions can be so wrong. They only show the ‘shell’ of the person, not what’s going on inside.

Here’s How To Discover The Real You, Starting Today

1. Look in the mirror.

  • What do you see?
  • What can you tell about you, from the expression on your face?
  • Do you like what you see? If not, why not?
  • What do you want to change about who you see? Is that possible or are you simply being unrealistic?

What you see in that mirror is what everyone else sees. But is that the real you?

2. Answer these 10 questions, honestly.

Don’t pause to think too hard, just say whatever you feel is right for you. I suggest you write down your responses as you go along.
  1. What do you love?
  2. What do you hate?
  3. What do you wish for? Take a look at Steve’s ‘Make A Wish’ page and add yours, before you forget.
  4. What would you do with 24 hours if this was your last day ever?
  5. What is your burning ambition?
  6. What is your dread?
  7. What are you hiding?
  8. What are you afraid of?
  9. What are you most proud of?
  10. What would ‘make your day’ today?

Now you’re starting to get to know ‘you’!

3. Come out from your hiding pace.

We all hide from ‘stuff ‘ about ourselves that we don’t want to admit to. We’re in denial.

Are you hiding from –

  • your feelings
  • your emotions
  • your disappointments
  • your anger
  • your hopes
  • your dissatisfaction
  • your happiness/sadness
  • your unfulfilled dreams
  • your failures

It’s time to come out from hiding. It’s time to start to accept who you truly are and enjoy it without embarrassment.

Your real ‘you’ must –

  • Start to say ‘yes’ when you want to, even when it’s a bit scary.
  • Start to say ‘no’ when you want to, if you feel taken for granted.
  • Choose how you spend some of your time, even if it’s only 10 minutes to yourself.
  • Choose to be ‘unavailable’ if you’re doing something you enjoy. Let the message go to voice mail. If it’s urgent, they’ll call again. You could even, (shock horror), leave your phone at home… sometimes…
  • Let out that ‘imprisoned child’ within. Giggle more, go skating/sledging/exploring with a child or even with an adult friend! Enjoy ‘doing childlike’ things. Who says you have to ‘grow up’!
  • Stop hiding your anger. I don’t mean have a raging row, but start to show how you truly feel. Tell people when you disagree, when you’re not happy with their behavior.
  • Don’t agree in order to be popular. You end up feeling resentful, knowing you’re not being true to the real you. You’ll earn respect that way and perhaps people won’t try to take advantage of you so often.
  • Stop ‘putting up’ with unacceptable behavior. Learn to be assertive rather than simply going with the flow.
  • Understand that’s it’s OK to be selfish. You need to meet your own needs before you can meet the needs of others. There’s no need to run round in ever decreasing circles, at everyone’s beck and call. Your needs are equally valid. True!
There’s a lot more to being you than you realized, right? Believe me when I say that you’ll feel freer, lighter, smilier and more relaxed once you stop hiding and start being ‘you’.How about you?
  1. Do you feel as if you’re hiding away in your shell, like a snail?
  2. What do you stop doing simply because you want to please people?
  3. Which aspect of the ‘real you’ will you work on first?


Some Amazing Comments


About the author

Linda Hewett

Linda is passionate about writing. She is a trained Life Coach, with a special interest in confidence issues. Her life experience and eight years of Confidence Coaching enable her to empathize with her readers’ problems. She helps them solve their issues in a practical and down-to-earth way that works.

The aim of her blog is to build a supportive, interactive community of readers, encouraging them to share opinions and help one another.


  • Hi Linda
    I really like this article ,
    I think that even if you don’t know everything about yourself it is sometimes great to be pleasantly surprised by just how brilliant, strong, and/or unique you are.
    thank you so much for sharing this tips with us

    • Thanks Rachid,
      It’s a surprise when we find out things about ourselves we didn’t realise we knew!
      Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  • Purposes of life.
    As per Quote by Helen Keller: Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.
    I always seek some new things to achieve in life, Excitement, happiness, and contribution back to society. :)

    • Hello JJ,
      Helen Keller was a wise lady.
      ‘Dare’ is a key word for me this year, I dared to ask Steve to consider me for a guest post… I need to dare more often!
      Thanks for joining in today.

  • Hi lovely to read this. Self awareness is the first step in personal growth. To accept oneself without judgement is the platform to transformation. To know the authentic self and not the self we have constructed to protect ourselves against rejection and criticism. Becoming yourself is a gift to yourself and the world.
    karen recently posted. Is your critical voice untrained and out of tune.

  • Hi lovely to read this. Self awareness is the first step in personal growth. To accept oneself without judgement is the platform to transformation. To know the authentic self and not the self we have constructed to protect ourselves against rejection and criticism. Becoming yourself is a gift to yourself and the world.

    • Hello Karen,

      It’s the ‘without judgement’ bit that’s tricky. Our inner voice comes up with all the ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ that make us feel guilty for doing what we choose to do.
      Thanks for joining the conversation!

  • I enjoyed reading your article Linda and it reminded me of an exercise we did when I was training to be a hypnotherapist. Your partner would sit opposite you and you would hold a piece of paper in front of your face to separate the left side of your face from the right – your partner would then tell you what she thought you were thinking. It was fascinating, as each side of your face actually shows a different emotion – try it! An inspiring book called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie explains our dependency on ‘people pleasing’ and after reading I felt a lot freer and able to be more ‘selfish’ – after years of taking care of everyone around me it feels liberating to put myself first.

    • Thanks Joan,
      I’ll try that out tomorrow!I’ll also take a look at the book- I’ll put it on my Book List. Giving myself permission to be ‘selfish’ has made a difference to how I feel.

  • Each time you pretend to be someone you’re not, you give away your power. After awhile, you begin to feel like a victim. It’s better to know who you are and what you stand for than to try to be all things to all people. I should know – I grew up with this mindset. :/

    It’s hard to break this habit because it’s safer that way. Once you do break this nasty habit, you begin to respect yourself and I believe self-respect is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

    Thanks Linda!

    Melissa Curran

    • Self-respect… we all need that but it’s not always easy to achieve, is it?

      Trying to please everyone never works, we end up becoming a doormat. Not a god place to be.

      Thanks for joining in, Melissa.

  • Hi Linda, I am so with you on this!

    We often feel like we have to hide behind what other people think. But the reality is, if we want to gain any sense of fulfilment and purpose in our lives we have to come out and be who we really are. The tips you give so that we can discover ourselves are really good and allows us to ask important questions. Thanks for such great advice!

    • Thanks, Diana,
      Now all I need to do is… follow my own advice! Simple to write, not so simple to put into action. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • It happened so without realisizing I did similar excercise few years ago… as a result I understood that there are many things that I would like to change.
    I am no longer 9-6 career chasere, I have more ”me” time, I found my passion and what is more important – I certainly know who I am :)
    Nice reminder post – thanx!

  • The one thing I want to change about me that can realistically be changed is I want to stop tolerating bad behavior. Children doing this is bad enough, but adults should be better than that.

    • Badly behaved children are a pain. But of course it’s the parents’ fault for not taking responsibility.
      Badly behaved adults? I have a zero tolerance for that too, especially if it’s bullying, rudeness,selfishness (in the true sense) or downright bad manners. hard to fix, hard to endure.

  • These two words were inscribed on the oracle-shrine of Apollo at Delphi, “Know thyself” – just as it was true way back when, it’s just as true now. And we might add and then BE yourself.

    Great post Linda and Steven.

    Love Elle

    • Thanks, Elle. I shall be thinking about those two words all week – makes me shiver to realise how ancient wisdom never dates. ‘They’ say ‘there’s nothing new under the sun…’

  • Hi Linda,

    Carl Rogers writes that the purpose in life is to become the person you truly are. This is an incredibly profound statement, as it recognizes the fact that all of us live behind a shell. The construction of this shell starts even before we exit the womb, and continues to build through our life’s experiences. The shell ultimately becomes so strong that even we don’t really know who we are, only who we are “supposed to be.”

    The good news is we can ultimately regain knowledge of ourselves, and embark on the journey of becoming who we truly are if we: 1. recognize the reality that we do not know who we are; and 2. make a decision to find out who we are and live accordingly.

    You do a great job of outlining a plan to begin that journey. It starts with asking some tough questions of ourselves, listening to the answers that come from within (even if they are hurtful), deeply exploring our core values, and acting on the things we find out through such self-reflection.

    Oh, and recognizing that we are not static beings. We are dynamic and complex. We change as we grow, and understanding ourselves is a moving target and a life long journey. So patience is a must!

    Thanks for such a great post!

    • Hello Chris,

      I like your idea that becoming who we truly are is a ‘moving target’. The ‘you’ that people meet at work may have different apparent qualities from the ‘you’ that goes on holiday.

      It takes hard work to discover ourselves and when we think we’ve done that, ooops! we seem to change.

      • Hi Linda,

        Absolutely. Not only are we constantly evolving as individuals, we also have multiple presentations of who we are based on what environment we are in at any given time. I think the trick to personal growth and evolution is to accept that it is a journey with no end.

        • Constantly evolving, true.

          I’ve just watched Professor Winston’s TV documentary, ‘Child of Our Time’ which follows the lives of children born at the millennium. A fascinating chance to see them travel on the ever moving pathway of growth and development, evolving into who they are today, and who they’ll be in all the tomorrows.

  • Being able to say Yes when I want to and No when I don’t want to is something that took me a long time to learn. I hid for so long behind alcohol and it was only through the recovery process I was able to uncover the real me. Very hard to do, but worth it!
    Great post. Thank you!

    • Hello Carolyn,

      I agree, it can be tricky. We say ‘yes’ in order to be liked, popular and included but our instincts usually warn us when we do that. Still hard to achieve though.

  • Best line in this is:

    “Understand that’s it’s OK to be selfish”

    That is so true and I wish more people would get it. Meditation, time out and exercise are not selfish acts as many of my clients seem to feel. They are acts of self compassion and help make you a better person.

    Nice post Linda!

    • Hello Tim,
      Thanks for that. I read somewhere that you must see to your own needs before you can see to others’ needs. I believe that’s true. I guess ‘selfish’ has various degrees and getting the right balance can be tricky.

      But, hey! I’ll pop over and take a look at your post before I attend to the needs of my cat!!!

      • Tim and Linda,

        Self-care is so important. You cannot help others if you cannot help yourself, or if you are not in condition to help others. This is one of the first things I learned as a Rescue Diver, and it is equally valid as a helping professional… and as a parent, husband, friend…


        • Oh my goodness, Chris! A rescue diver! I can’t even begin to imagine what that must involve…

          About meeting our own needs first, I have to say there are times when I feel unable to help my readers, I need a rest to think things through properly. I’ve learnt that it’s not laziness, simply needing to pause for a while.

  • Hello Trevor,

    You’re right, it’s not an easy process and it can be hard to accept the ‘bad’ bits. I’m very aware that I can be selfish, for example, and have to work at dealing with it. And that’s just the start of my list of improvements!

    It certain;y takes confidence to face ourselves but, when we do we’re stronger for it.

    Thanks for this today.

  • Everything you wrote here is so true. Before we can ever be ourselves we must first get to know ourselves. You’d think that’d be the easy part, but it’s not. It requires acceptance. It means facing truth.

    Cold hard truth.

    No one wants to look at their ugly side. Most just pretend it isn’t there.

    Well it is.

    And ignoring it isn’t going to make it any less there. Only when we face our demons will we begin to see positive change in our lives. Not only will we get to know ourselves, we can then make ourselves better. Make ourselves into the person we want to be.

    And through becoming that person, we gain a sense of our own power. That’s when we’ll find that being true to ourselves comes naturally. Because we’ll have earned self-respect and confidence.

    Thanks for the excellent article Linda.


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