Be True to Yourself: 3 Powerful Tips by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Be True to Yourself: 3 Powerful Tips by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Dr. Shefali Tsabary on stage at Mindvalley's A-Fest 2022 in Jordan speaking about how to be true to yourself
Summary:

What’s the best way to be true to yourself? Why does this matter? Here’s what you need to know about the value of being your most authentic self.

Women, rise up. It’s the time to radically awaken and be true to yourself, authentically and positively.

Because we’re in the era of empowerment, you may be thinking, “Yes, finally, a crusade for women!” Hate to break it to you, sister, but women’s empowerment is not a new phenomenon. Really, it’s not.

Think about it. There have been countless female uprisings throughout history — Roe v. Wade for the right to abortion; Billie Jean King in the ultimate tennis match, The Battle of the Sexes; Malala Yousafzai’s fight for girls’ education; the bra-burning protest; the #MeToo movement…

And so many more. Different drives fighting for different agendas, but all in the name of being true to yourself.

Now, this modern “be true to yourself” empowerment is no ordinary women’s movement. No, this is a calling

Or what Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist and trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest, calls your radical awakening.

Before you start painting picket signs, find bras to set on fire, or hashtag all of your social media posts, just pause and take a moment to look within. And because we’re in the era of empowerment, now is the perfect time for the awakened woman. 

Now is the time for you.

What Does It Mean to Be True to Yourself?

Living your truth with integrity, honesty, sincerity, gratitude, and unwavering self-love — that’s the essence of being true to yourself. It’s the authentic you that’s completely honest with what you feel, value, and desire.

Unfortunately, many of us weren’t taught how. Instead, we were exposed to social conditioning — rules, behaviors, and ideologies dictated to us by society about education, employment, culture, family, spirituality, etc.

Finish school, be an engineer (or doctor, lawyer, etc.), get married, have children…it’s the life path that’s long been instilled in our psyches. It might work for some people, but is the true path for you?

It’s like what Dr. Shefali said at Mindvalley’s 2022 A-Fest in Jordan, “Are you really authentically you, or have you been all this while simply a mere puppet of your parents’ fantasies?

The construct of authenticity has three components, according to psychologist Alex Wood and his peers in their research paper published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology:

  1. Self-alienation: lacking a sense of identity
  2. Accepting external influence: changing your behavior to fit in or act in a way that others think you should
  3. Authentic living: behaving in ways consistent with your beliefs and values

Their research found the third, authentic living, to be “strongly related to self-esteem and aspects of both subjective and psychological well-being” and negatively correlated with the first two. Therefore, being authentic is essential to your well-being. 

So when you learn how to be true to yourself, it radically awakens you. It helps bring a sense of positivity, health, strength, peace, and happiness.

Why is it important to be true to yourself?

When you consciously decide to be yourself, you follow your heart and are drawn to places, situations, and conversations that help empower you. And, as research suggests, when you’re living your life with authenticity, you are happier. 

Here are a few studies that look into additional the effects of being true to yourself:

  • Increases feelings of positivity. The same research by Alex Wood and his peers found greater happiness, more positive emotions, and higher self-esteem in those who measured high on authentic living than those who didn’t. 
  • Stronger relationships. Alex et al.’s research also found that authentic people reported having better connections with others.
  • Greater mental health. Another study found that authenticity is linked with higher levels of self-esteem, leading to greater mental health and well-being.
  • Increases feelings of self-worth. An older (but still relevant) study found authenticity plays a role in promoting mental health, especially in young adults. Children are being taught that self-indulgent pleasures, like material wealth and beauty, will help them feel good. The researchers suggest teaching them, instead, that self-worth and a sense of meaning are the virtues necessary for happiness.

Being true to yourself requires being introspective, sincere, open-minded, and non-judgmental. As Dr. Shefali says, “The quest for wholeness can never begin on the external level. It is always an inside job.” 

Woman with arms raised in the air and looking towards the horizon, trying to find how to be true to yourself

Signs You’re Disconnected From Your True Self

It’s natural to want to be liked and fit in. But there’s a line to draw when you start finding yourself being and behaving as a person you’re not completely comfortable with. 

Here are some signs you’re not being true to yourself:

  • Constantly worry about what people think. The fear of other people’s opinions (or FOPO as it’s more commonly known) forces you to play it safe, surrender your viewpoint, and not take risks. Simply, it can stand in the way of your potential.
  • Afraid to ask for what you want. When you’re living up to other people’s standards, you tend to go with what others want instead of what you want. And asking for it means you may get rejected, resulting in feeling not good enough.
  • Can’t make or take forever to make a decision. Asking for advice is normal and healthy, but when you do it all the time, that’s quite the opposite. Additionally, you might find yourself taking a long time to make a decision. You’re likely weighing someone else’s opinion over your own.
  • Feel resentful. People aren’t mind readers. So when you wear a mask and aren’t communicating who you truly are, chances are, people won’t get an accurate read of your personality. That can lead you to feel misunderstood and you may just end up resenting a person or situation. 
  • Bored, sad, or just exhausted. When you’re constantly putting on a show for others, you may find yourself needing to “escape” social situations. It can be draining, leading you to feel bored, sad, or tired.

Clearly, none of these disconnects are healthy or okay. The great thing is, you don’t have to suppress your true nature or ignore your deepest desires to be loved and accepted.

3 Powerful Tips to Help You Be True to Yourself

You do you.” “Be yourself.” Or as the original “be true to yourself” quote states: “To thine own self be true.” 

We’re all very familiar with these lines and it’s wonderful advice. But, at the same time, we’re not supported in how to do so.

So here are three ways on how to be true to yourself with insights from Dr. Shefali on The Mindvalley Podcast.

#1: Break the generational cycle

Many of us are stuck in a cycle of pain. No, not a menstruation one, but one of emotional pain.

Each one of us has an inheritance of emotional pain from our parents. And we have no choice, no matter how smart we are and how beautiful we are, we have inherited emotional legacies of shame, fear, and unworthiness.

— Dr. Shefali Tsabary, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest

What is this emotional pain she’s referring to? The one that culture has taught us is acceptable.

In the Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest, Dr. Shefali explains that parents are taught to raise their children in a particular way for a particular future to fit into a particular society. But the societal mold we’re expected to fit into shows up in our daily life as fear of:

  • Not belonging,
  • Not being loveable,
  • Failure, and
  • Conflict.

And we live in these fears because we feel unworthy. More than likely, it stems from the emotional trauma of being raised to be a particular way other than what we were born to be.

We end up carrying these unconscious traumas into adulthood, instilling it into the next generation. They, in turn, will probably instill it in the generation after that, who will bring it on to the generation after that…and round and round goes the merry-go-round.

These are the legacies that contribute to the greatest toxicity in life. And it’s not a legacy you want to continue.

#2: Let go of your ego

If you ask me what is the greatest toxicity in our world today, I would not tell you it is terrorism or global warming. Those are symptoms. The real cause is the unconscious, unexamined belief systems that lie insidiously, sleeping monsters in our minds.

— Dr. Shefali Tsabary, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest

Oof, how many of you felt that?

Many of us are told how to be — how to be a girl, how to be a boy, how to act, how to belong, how to believe, how to exist, and so on. From birth, we create layers upon layers of protection so that we can constantly receive the love, approval, and worth that we feel we deserve. We become so immune to the societal mold of who we should be that we don’t realize we’re asleep in the Matrix.

We march on to adulthood thinking this is just who we are. We’re unconsciously plugged into the head jack and walking about the Matrix as the pleaser, the super achiever, and what have you. And the suppression of our authentic self causes us to suffer emotionally, mentally, and physically.

When we forsake our inner authenticity for the crumbs of love and worth, we’re actually declaring the greatest act of war against ourselves,” says Dr. Shefali. 

So for goodness sake, wake up! You’re no longer in the Matrix. Ego death is a necessity. And it’s time to radically awaken.

Although you imagined that your life would be a linear path to a golden destination, sadly, life isn’t about that at all,” Dr. Shefali adds. Instead, it’s about a death and a rebirth — the death of your old self and rebirth into your own, new, whole, authentic self.

#3: Let yourself fall apart

As J. K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, says, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

So congratulations, friend, for hitting rock bottom.

Unfortunately, many of us feel like “rock bottom” is a place where depression, anxiety, and despair hide in the shadows, waiting to pounce on the next victim. And depression, according to the World Health Organization, is “not only the most common women’s mental health problem, but may be more persistent in women than men.” (Side note by WHO: more research is needed.)

However, it’s not the end of you. On the contrary, it’s your soul forcing you to acknowledge that change — a “bejeweled portal for transformation,” as Dr. Shefali calls it — is imminent whether you’re ready for it or not. 

Things have to fall apart. They must fall apart. Because what is falling apart is the shell, is the mask, is the inauthentic self, is the false self of your ego.

— Dr. Shefali Tsabary, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest

Ahhh! — that’s the angelic sound of the choir singing to a crescendo as you rise from the ashes of your unconscious legacies and awaken into your newly-discovered authentic self.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary on stage at Mindvalley's A-Fest 2022 in Jordan speaking about how to be true to yourself
Dr. Shefali Tsabary, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest, on stage at Mindvalley’s A-Fest 2022 in Jordan

The Time of the Awakened You

Understandably, a transformation of any kind can be scary, painful, and unpredictable. Because once you’ve unplugged yourself from the Matrix, you wake up in an abyss.

There’s no grand walk of fame down a rose-covered carpet to a group of people cheering you on as you step into your radical awakening. No, it’s a blank canvas waiting for you to paint your masterpiece.

That said, although you have to fight Goliath by yourself, other women are marching on the same battlefield fighting their own demons. People like Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, and Jessica Alba. So, you’re not alone, sister.

Should you need a shoulder to lean on, look no further than in Mindvalley where each Quest has its own tribe. 

  • If you’re going down a soul-affirming journey, find others who are doing the same in Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani’s Live By Your Own Rules Quest.
  • Or if you’re designing your life to be the ultimate masterpiece, link up with the members in Jon and Missy Butcher’s Lifebook Quest.

And with the free Mindvalley account, you can access samples of each best-selling course without dropping a dime.

Transformation means taking the time to deeply understand yourself. It’s natural to hit breaking points as you unpeel the layers upon layers of unconscious legacies set upon you.

But with this, you’ve been given the freedom to learn and explore who you truly are. You’ve been given the opportunity to break away from the cycle of emotional pain and shine like a supernova. And you’ve been given the gift to fully embrace your authentic self with love and kindness and without judgment.

And now, you can begin to awaken to the phenomenal woman you were born to be.


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Written by
Tatiana Azman - Mindvalley Writer