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How to Be True to Yourself

Keys to Living Your Life the Way You Want

I’ve been reading a lot about how I can be true to myself and live the life I want. Along those lines, I want to share different thoughts about how to do so with the hope it will my readers thrive in life.

Sarah Browne writes that,

“We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.”

This is true. Many of us want to be true to ourselves but are afraid that others will react negatively towards us and, in extreme cases, cancel us from social media because of offensive comments.

I’ve blogged many times about the cancel culture including the harms and benefits and cancel culture in the workplace. The existence of such a standard in society is scary because it cuts off free speech and closes the door to civility and a reasoned debate when differences in opinions exist.

Michael Freeley writes, to be yourself is to be true to your feelings and beliefs and provides advice how to do so:

  • Being true to yourself starts with knowing who you are and accepting yourself; knowing your strengths, passions, limitations, and purpose in life and then living that way all the time. You come to know yourself only by living life. Finding what works for you. What defines you and makes you whole.
  • Being true to yourself is a personal choice for truth; making choices about how you want to live. You have the total power to live your life any way you want and to be faithful and factual to the truth about you.
  • Being true to yourself means you don’t worry about pleasing other people; living by someone else’s standards or rules. You don’t care what people think of you. You live as your natural self. Without compromise. No one can tell you how to be true to yourself except you.
  • Being true to yourself is this simple — either you live in integrity or you live out of integrity. That’s it. In or out. Moment to moment. No other choices. No other way to live other than being true to who you are. You choose one course of action. One way to be.” True

I agree with Freeley and would add to be true to yourself means to identify and act on core ethical values including honesty, respect, kindness, empathy, and responsibility for one’s actions.

Marissa Hankasson proposes ten ways to be your genuine self as follows:

  1. Be honest with yourself about what you think, feel, want, and need.
  2. Freely share your thoughts and feelings.
  3. Honor your needs and say no to say no to requests that conflict with them.
  4. Accept that some people like you, others do not, and you’re okay with it. In other words, don’t be a people pleaser.
  5. Surround yourself with people who respect and support you just as you are.
  6. Focus more on your core values than what society deems acceptable.
  7. Listen to your intuition and trust you know what’s best for yourself.
  8. Do what feels right for you, even if it means risking approval from those around you.
  9. Allow yourself to change your mind if you recognize you made a choice that was not right for you.
  10. Allow yourself to evolve and let go of what you have outgrown.

I’ve struggled all my life with finding the right formula to be myself. When I first started to blog, I would avoid certain hot button issues for fear I would be canceled. Now that I am more established, I fear this less and respect more the need to be honest with my readers and accept the consequences that my words might have.

I hope you can find your own formula to be yourself.

Posted by Dr. Steven Mintz, The Ethics Sage, on June 29, 2021. You can sign up for his newsletter and learn more about his activities at: Follow him on Facebook at: and on Twitter at: