Monday Musings: Being Genuine About Your Authentic Self

by Sheri @ Purposeful Habits

This post may contain referral links, which means I may receive a small credit, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions remain my own.

1996 – Are You Living As Your Authentic Self Or Fictional Self?

Are you in touch with your authentic self? I recently started a series called Monday Musings. The musings are reflections on my life, where I have been, and where I am going – or at least hoping to! I have learned a lot about the difference between my fictional self and my authentic self. Have you?

In 1996, I was 13 years old, when I learned about the struggles (not mine) of fitting in. You know what middle school is like. Going through puberty, dealing with hormonal changes,  cliques and bullying.

You gain responsibilities, find new friends and develop coping skills.  It is a time of many transitions.

Easy for some, harder for others. I was lucky. I had a whole bunch of friends, was involved in sports, music, and dance. You could say I was one of  the “cool kids”.  Yet, I always found myself looking out for the underdog.

There were so many times I tried to include the loners in our clique. It did not work.  

It was hard to balance both which brings me to my topic for today.

Authentic Self versus Fictional Self

authetic self versus fictional self

Being who you are and living your truth, or living a lifestyle according to what your environment dictates. We all have several versions of ourselves.

Who we are when we are with friends, family or colleagues. There are certain things we feel we can do or say, what is “appropriate” when among various people.

Over the years I have struggled with conforming to what is deemed “the right way” and living my own truth.

Have you ever felt as though you needed to be someone you are not just to fit in?


'Why fit in when you were born to stand out?' - Dr. SeussClick To Tweet

What Is Your Authentic Self?


The authentic self is you – the real you. It is you when you are alone.

When nobody is watching. Listening. Or judging. Your core.

Think of this as a fruit. A fruit with many layers.

You have to peel off many layers to get to the core, the seed.

The external layers of ourselves are defined by the characteristics and labels given to us by society.

Mostly defined by race, religion, social standard, occupation….the list goes on.

  What Is Your Fictional Self?


Your fictional self is essentially the complete opposite of your authentic self.

It is the way others define you. It is not your authentic self or your core, but rather what is seen on the outside.  A doctor, a mother, a soldier, a poor man.

What others see as your social situation and function in life. That is your fictional self.


  Bring Out Your Authentic Self

Knowing and sticking to your values will help you find and define your authentic self.

authentic self freedom

    Do any of these obstacles stop you from getting the most out of life? You will notice the following:
  • your values change and deepen as you understand yourself better
  • you are different to the person society has asked you to be
  • you are in tune with your authentic self
  • you are able to live your truth
  • your inner voice within you will become stronger and clearer
  • it is easier to make decisions

Unfortunately, this could mean disconnecting from relationships, situations, or circumstances that violate your truth.

Sure we need to be open, flexible and able to compromise in relationships.

Listening to the thoughts and opinions of others, having an open mind in order to learn new things or gain different perspectives are great and positive character traits to have.

If you are required to compromise your being, let it go.


'Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.“ - ­Wayne DyerClick To Tweet

  The Benefits Of Becoming Your Authentic Self

    • Feeling and being happier
    • Doing things on your own terms
    • Realising your potential
    • Feeling fulfilled
    • Truthful to yourself and others
    • Having a sense of purpose
    • Doing what you love
    • Freedom

Align your self-image with your public image, so you don’t have to change who you are when you are around different people. Stop trying to fit in.

You are unique, so walk your own path. Here are three simple and interesting tests to try. 

Being real and living your authentic self will make you feel more complete.

“It is not the names they call you that are important, but what you answer to” Click To Tweet


Be true to yourself and do the things you always wanted to do. Discover what that is and live it!

Your authentic self will shine through if you let it.

Want to read this later or share with friends? Pin this post.

Do you struggle between your authentic self and fictional self?

Have you accepted yourself for who you are? Has it been easy? Hard?

Please share your thoughts, experiences and advice with me in the comments section below.



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jenny at dapperhouse August 17, 2017 - 22:23

As I approach turning 50 in a few years, I more and more want to take time to find my authentic self. I have spent so many years in helping roles that I don’t really know who I am. This article is an inspiration to me.

Angela Milnes August 7, 2017 - 18:02

This is a great read and one which I needed. I used to be fictional but and working on being as authentic as i can be.

Via Bella August 7, 2017 - 01:13

Find yourself is not the easiest thing to but one of the most vital. I am still doing this and so I found this post so touching and real. Thank you! Btw, you are such a beauty love!

Sauumye Chauhan August 7, 2017 - 00:14

This is so true. I often find myself at crossroads as to who I really am. Your article is very well written

Nyxloves August 4, 2017 - 16:37

This is so true! I feel everyone has two faces…one which is for the World and one only for close people. But what is important is that we should be true to ourselves…understanding yourself helps in building self compassion which is extremely important. Great post!

Catvills August 4, 2017 - 09:01

I think I am right smack between my authentic and my fictional self. I switch roles several times in the day sometimes I do not know which kind of self would surface at any given moment. I hope in the next few years, I can make the authentic self be the dominant persona.

alisonrost August 4, 2017 - 06:23

For the longest time I suffered from the Disease to Please. I was living a fictional self and trying to make everyone happy. Around the time I turned 40, I stopped and started living my authentic self. While I felt better and generally happier, I was sad to lose a few friends and relatives who didn’t understand. x

helerinablogs August 3, 2017 - 23:39

This was such a thought provoking read. I’d never thought of myself as having two selfs but it is so true! I’ll definitely be thinking about how I’m projecting myself and whether it is being true to my true self or not.

arra odeza (@acodeza) August 3, 2017 - 11:45

I am living with my in-laws and it’s hard for me to be on my authentic self because I need to “fit in” but whenever I go on vacation in my hometown (my parent’s home) I can be my true self. I can say and do whatever I want

Middle Eats August 3, 2017 - 08:20

I love this, so thought provoking and inspirational, just what I need as I wrap up a fairly rubbish week, food for thought in the next week.

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The Trophy WifeStyle March 27, 2017 - 09:36

Just love this!!! I think when we’re all younger we definitely deal with this a lot more! The older I get the more real I am 100% of the time

sveeteskapes March 24, 2017 - 19:55

Such a beautiful post, Sheri! I think most of us have bene there and done that as we were growing up – trying to be someone we are not! But thankfully most of us have matured enough to understand that there is beauty in being unique and being us. Such a beautiful post, Sheri!

xx, Kusum

J Shan Trice March 24, 2017 - 16:54

Great explanations of authenticity, I am glad to to find that I am living my authentic self. Great blog!

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life March 25, 2017 - 09:56

Thank you so much J! Glad you stopped by. xoxox S.

Nichole Shirell March 24, 2017 - 13:44

I loved this and created a board special board this. I love the differences you explain. And honestly, I think most do not know who we are . We are just getting by. Excellent.

Khushboo March 24, 2017 - 06:28

Sometimes I feel I live two lives. One for the world, one for myself. It takes a lot of courage to be your authentic self all the time.

toastycritic March 24, 2017 - 01:27

This is a great post. I think it’s hard to find the authentic self sometimes because you have created so many different versions of you that it’s hard to know the real you. I do agree that peace comes when you find it.

businesstravelerswife March 23, 2017 - 14:49

These are a lot of things to think about. I would very much like to answer straight away that I am my authentic self but I know that it’s not the truth. It’s difficult, but I am moving towards that. 🙂

Olubukonla March 23, 2017 - 13:15

Living an authentic life is not always easy as society also has an opinion on how they think one should be. We just need to be happy in who we are or want to be. Also, having an open mind is a really good trait to have. Good read

thetravelpockets November 20, 2016 - 20:06

I don’t think I’m truly 100% my authentic real self, but a lot better than I was in middle school and high school. Those days were tough!!

Shirley November 19, 2016 - 09:54

Wonderful post. I feel like trying to adjust the authentic self with fictional self. Be unique. Thank you for sharing.

fatima November 18, 2016 - 20:00

I think I am living in my authentic self. This was indeed a great evening read.

Marce mndza September 5, 2016 - 13:47

This so truth. Believe in your self. Be like you want to be and be unique

Keith Haney September 4, 2016 - 20:37

Great post. It is hard to let people in to see the real you. Many of us are afraid that our vulnerability will leave us open to getting hurt.

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life September 8, 2016 - 16:42

I agree with you Keith. I have been that way almost all my life. I am only recently exiting my shell and becoming vulnerable and showing a different side of myself.

Leticia September 4, 2016 - 18:10

I love the layout of this, really good to read with short sentences, I feel it’s important to be yourself and know who you are in order to be happier in yourself and reflect every now and again 🙂 no matter your age authentic self sounds important

Pam September 4, 2016 - 16:18

Love this! It’s definitely important (and not always easy) to be authentic. I’ve found when I’m authentic, I’m also happiest because I’m being me and not someone else.

katrinajeancarter September 4, 2016 - 11:35

Thank you for this. Like you, I had it pretty good growing up so I never really understood what it was like to “try” to fit in. However, life humbled me when I moved to a different country. I was faced with culture shock and truly felt like an outsider among people who badically grew up together in this small town. I was 16 and it took me 3 years to dinally accept that wasn’t for me. On my 19th beirtjday I had an epiphany and decided from then on, I will be dedicating myself to being the best version of me–the one who lives with zero regrets. I re-invented myself to who I want to be, followed my heart, and started giving 100 % in everything I do. I’ve certainly felt all the benefits you spoke of in this post. I’m 24 now and there’s still so much to learn and grow from but one thing I’m sure is I’m being me. ❤ thanks for this encouragement!

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life September 8, 2016 - 16:45

Hi Katrina! So glad you had you r “a ha” moment early on in life. I am working on bettering myself everyday and not letting other people dictate my life and happiness. I now know that it is up to me. <3 xoxox

veethee dixit September 4, 2016 - 05:58

This is one of the most inspirational posts I have ever read! It is so hard to find genuine people in today’s world. It is truly an eye opener for people who have been living a fake life till now! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life September 8, 2016 - 16:45

I am so thankful for your kind words Veethee! I am glad to be able to inspire you! Have a wonderful day, Sheri

annalisanuttall September 4, 2016 - 05:55

An awesome topic for a blog post. It take a lot for yourself to be authentic. xx

TheGracefulMist September 4, 2016 - 03:56

We live in a world where labels and titles are significant. Despite this, we must remain genuine to ourselves because no matter what we do, we can`t really fool our selves. This had been a thought-provoking post. Thank you for the heartfelt reminders about the value of authenticity.

With Love, Grace

kathy kenny ngo September 2, 2016 - 23:01

What a wonderful post. The perspective of personality. I agree with you. Thank you for this blog.

Laveena Sengar August 31, 2016 - 07:45

Beautifully put together. Very interesting post. It takes a lot of self discovery to bring your authentic self.

Rachel Mouton August 27, 2016 - 22:49

I kind of go back and forth between my authentic self and my self that I show to the world. This is a constant battle.

The Mad Mommy August 27, 2016 - 11:41

This is a wonderful post. I have been becoming more in touch with my authentic self as I have aged and it feels wonderful!

Heather August 27, 2016 - 08:28

Oh goodness! 1996 I was going into my sophomore year in high school – I had some amazing challenges that year that really shaped who I am today. Finding and showing your authentic self is so important!

Toni Williams August 26, 2016 - 15:31

This is probably one of the biggest lessons I share with my teenagers. It took me a long time to be comfortable with living an authentic life and I am determined to see that they do the same!

Nicole Herose Cochingco - Escat August 26, 2016 - 07:34

I am so glad I found myself, although it is a hard. This is a great post, worth to share!

Moose Studio August 26, 2016 - 01:24

Love this post. I’ve never thought of it that way. I am going to retweet a lot of what you said 🙂 However, I’ve always been confident with who I am. Im weird, for sure, but I embrace it, because there is no other me on the planet. I believe each person is unique and should be proud of that!

Elizabeth O. August 26, 2016 - 00:58

It took me some time to learn this lesson. It’s important to be true to who you are, because that will make way for happiness instead of the pressure of fitting in. This also teaches you about acceptance and honesty.

Amanda Love August 26, 2016 - 00:56

We have different personalities and it all depends on who our company is but then again, you don’t want to end up pretending to be someone else. Maybe this is why I don’t like the idea of being in too many circles. You tend to lose yourself more that way.

Rachel Catherine August 25, 2016 - 22:07

Figuring out who you are is tough. It’s wonderful when you do but I feel like the second you do you start to change again.

Kids Are A Trip August 25, 2016 - 21:56

Great post. It can be hard to be your authentic post with some people. I know who I am and usually say what I mean (unless I worry about offending someone or getting into a conversation I don’t want to have). My girlfriend calls me a “truth teller”. Some people don’t like that, but I 100% accept who I am and I surround myself with people that accept me.

CourtneyLynne August 25, 2016 - 20:21

What a great post! Really gets you thinking! I’m all about my real self these days. It’s har to get to that point but one day it just clicks and you no longer care what others think.

Debra August 25, 2016 - 15:37

I feel like I have several selves that I rotated through depending on the people we are with. I think my husband is the one that I am most authentic with.

Irene Thayer August 25, 2016 - 13:41

THis is so inspiring! I love the post:)

Wendy Black Polisi August 25, 2016 - 12:58

This is such a great and well written post. It can be so hard to figure out who you really are but when you do it is an amazing thing. Thanks so much for sharing.

Carol Cassara August 25, 2016 - 11:06

It takes people years to find out who they are. When you’re a kid in middle school you often struggle with your identity and you do what you can to fit in and survive. But when you’re grown up, it’s a whole different story. The less true you are to yourself, the harder it is to deal with life.

Elizabeth O. August 25, 2016 - 11:03

There’s nothing better than accepting who you really are. It’s a lesson we all learn the hard way. Being true to yourself is so much better than trying to fit in, you’ll be happier and there will be less pressure for you.

Roxanne August 25, 2016 - 10:42

As I grow older, and now that I am a busy mom, I don’t have time to cover myself in layers as much. What you see is what you get because I am usually so involved with this moment I don’t have time to retrieve those layers. 😉 I kinda like it! 😉

Karlyn Flores August 25, 2016 - 10:34

What a great topic, Sometimes it takes long before you knew the real you. I hate people who’s always say negative behind my back

Aeriane August 25, 2016 - 09:52

It is interesting try to find out who you really are! Thank you for this interesting post!

Kimberly August 25, 2016 - 09:46

I feel like my husband is the only one who knows my authentic self. A lot of people assume they know me and my personality based upon my blog. They assume I’m naturally outgoing!

Rebecca Bryant August 25, 2016 - 09:43

What an inspiring post and just what i needed to hear today. thank you for touching my heart adn soul today.

skyemclain August 25, 2016 - 07:54

Playing the comparison game is so dangerous!! It is really important to figure out who you are and what your real WHYs are so that you can always stay the course you were meant to take! I love this post!

rosepetalsinthesea August 25, 2016 - 01:07

There are so many people that hide their true self behind facades. That’s why it is always refreshing to come across people who embrace their uniqueness and not afraid to show it. 🙂 – HilLesha

Cynthia @craftoflaughter August 24, 2016 - 22:11

I think the authentic self needs to continue to grow and change as time passes. Having a fictional self or pretending to be be someone Im not is not something I can bring myself to do

Carolyn August 24, 2016 - 21:54

This is an awesome topic. I can think about it for hours. I definitely think getting older helps you to become your more authentic self too. I find the older I get the more I am happier with myself and not worried about what others think.

Mandy Carter (@TheMandyCarter) August 24, 2016 - 21:40

I really had a life situation that made me evaluate myself and what I want out of my life. This was such a freeing moment to focus on my true wants versus the ones I had been trained to want.

Terri Ramsey Beavers August 24, 2016 - 17:19

I think I’m living as living and portraying myself as my authentic self on my blog. I’m pretty straight forward and wouldn’t know how to be any other way. What a great post.

William Sweeney August 24, 2016 - 16:48

What a great post!! It is so important to know who you are and understand who you are, makes the world much easier to survive.

Amy Jones August 24, 2016 - 14:54

I can’t imagine how it would feel like having to live a lie (for example LQBTQ+ youth.) Some of their stories are truly heartbreaking and I can only wish our society had different and more inclusive values

Taylor Mobley August 24, 2016 - 14:22

I feel like my authentic self and my fictional self are the same person. I am transparent. I don’t see the point of hiding who you are and pretending to be something you aren’t. I am always my authentic self and people don’t see me as anything but that.

taylermorrell August 24, 2016 - 14:07

I love this post! It is so important to develop our authentic self–we will truly be happy when we do.

Melanie Smith August 24, 2016 - 13:18

This is so true! Sometimes is hard to find our authentic self. But when you find it, you feel so great.

GlamKaren August 24, 2016 - 12:54

I love the authentic self and ways to get there. I think that we “hide” behind other selves to protect parts of ourselves, but if we can find peaceful ways to get there let’s do it!

onceuponadollhouse August 24, 2016 - 11:17

What a wonderful perspective. LIVE AUTHENTIC. We love your point of view and are grateful you feel compelled to share with others.

polly674 August 22, 2016 - 16:14

After a certain age I feel like trying to adjust the authentic self with fictional self. It pays back much more than keeping them separate!

Thuymi Do August 22, 2016 - 13:46

Great post. I would say for most of the people around the world, it is a journey to find your authentic self. For some others, they are so transparent that your authentic self is already very known by the outside world.

lex August 22, 2016 - 13:06

I hve being the authentic version of me and will always be. The freedom that comes with being original says it all for me. Dont know about others, but this is me. Authentic leX.

Liana August 22, 2016 - 12:39

It’s so true. We often don’t deal with our both sides, because we don’t want to be judge by others. We’re afraid of their opinions so we just show off our fictional self, whereas our real one is so much better than expected! I’d say that I personally took a long time to understand this and due to HS retrospection, I know what it means when you’re looking for yourself and you don’t know if you can show it to your friends. It’s hard and it takes time!

Blair Villanueva August 22, 2016 - 05:10

It is a challenge to find your authentic self. That is why it is good we open-doors to new experiences and then evaluate ourselves if these new experiences are for us. Being part of supportive team (especially family) really helps.

Alina Popescu August 21, 2016 - 05:39

I think the attempt to find our authentic self is an ongoing task. We evolve in time, our values, preferences, and circumstances change and we have to adapt to the new us. From simple things, like a changing taste in how we do certain things, to more complicated things, like our values changing.

As for the fictional self, that’s a bit of us portraying what the world wants to see. Or just adapting to different people and different circumstances.

I’d say that as long as we try to be in sync with our current true self, we have a better chance of being happy and feeling accomplished. But again, constant struggle, and of all the things in the world, knowing yourself is sometimes the most difficult.

Verushka Ramasami (@Verushka143) August 20, 2016 - 02:50

Beautiful post.It takes a lot if self discovery to find the real you. But this journey comes with time. Along my journey I have had many lessons and blessings which have moulded me.
Have shared the post on Twitter.

Indrani August 20, 2016 - 09:21

I feel it is a continuous struggle to have the actual self prevail over fictional self. Once that battle is won the journey and interactions becomes easier and genuine. Purely my thoughts… 🙂

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