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Defining Your Authentic Self

Are you living a life that is more in tune with your ´authentic´ self (who you were created to be) or your ´fictional´ self (who the world has told you to be)?

You probably weren´t even aware that these versions of your ´self´ existed! Dr. Phil explains the difference between the ´authentic´ and ´fictional´ self:

Authentic Self

When you´re asked, ´Who are you?´ what is your answer? ´I´m a mom.´ ´I´m a doctor.´ ´I live in Ohio.´ Often the answer is not who you are, but what you do, what your social station is, or how you see your function in life. You can´t answer who you are, because you don´t know.

There is a whole other level of existence that is the real, true, genuine substance of who you are. It´s what Dr. Phil defines as the ´authentic´ self.

The ´authentic´ self is the you that can be found at your absolute core. It is the part of you not defined by your job, function or role. It is the composite of all your skills, talents and wisdom. It is all of the things that are uniquely yours and need expression, rather than what you believe you are supposed to be and do.

Fictional Self

When you´re not living faithfully to your authentic self, you find yourself feeling incomplete, as if there is a hole in your soul. You may have found that it´s easier to fill the roles your family and friends expect of you, rather than becoming who you really want to be. Living this way drains you of the critical life energy you need to pursue the things you truly value.

When you live a life that has you ignoring your true gifts and talents while performing assigned or inherited roles instead, you are living as your ´fictional´ self.

The ´fictional´ self sends you false information about who you are and what you should be doing with your life. It blocks the information you need in order to maintain the connection with your authentic identity. Relying on information from the fictional self means you´re putting your trust in a broken compass.

Are You Ready?

Find out if you are ready to find your authentic self and begin to live by design. Respond to these questions honestly and thoroughly. There are no right or wrong answers; rather, these questions are designed to get you thinking about your authentic self. After you´ve completed this exercise, save your answers. They´ll be helpful as you continue the Self Matters process.

1. Did you at one time listen carefully to your innermost voice? Describe this moment. When was it and what was the circumstance? Do you suspect that somehow, somewhere along the way, you have lost contact with it?

2. Is your behavioral life, your public persona, at odds with the values, beliefs, desires, passions and visions that define your authentic self? If so, how?

3. Do you know, today, in vivid detail, who the authentic you is? Or are you living a compromised existence?

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