Don’t be bound by the opinions and expectations of others.
Don’t be bound by the opinions and expectations of others. Photo Thinkstock

Be true to yourself, but who are we, really?

WHAT does it mean to "just be you"? While we may know the importance of "being you", or in other words, true to who you really are, authentic and consistent, it's often easier said than done.

There may be many reasons why you're not, including that you don't know, you've forgotten or you're fearful of revealing your true self dreading the judgment, confrontation or disapproval that may result. And I believe it's the last two that are more likely.

It's true that some people don't really know themselves very well, humans are richly complex and multi-dimensional beings after all and there is a lot that lies undiscovered. Yet there are clues there if we look for them - clues from our life through all its stages from when we first arrived to wherever we are now.

We all get distracted and go off on a detour at times before we get back on our path and we evolve and adapt over time. Yet our essence, who we truly are, remains within to be rediscovered when we're ready. Like a hidden jewel.

Even though we all come into the world perfect and unique, life events and influences start to shape us immediately. We come to believe that we have to change to be loved or accepted and that can lead us to thinking that who we are is not enough. So we continue defining our self for example through our role, profession, looks or qualification and others may assess us on our gender, age, skin colour, race, culture, education or religion, but, as you know, we are so much more than that.

It's no surprise then that we tend to lose sight of who we really are, buried under our own or others' opinions of us or fearful of being true to our self because others may not love or accept us. The trouble is that when we are not being who we are, we are being who we are not and that's tiring and stressful and leads to separation, internal conflict and isolation from our self and others.

If you're ready to explore and rediscover your true self, I have an exercise that can get you started which you can access at

And if you're not ready, what's stopping you?

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: