Do you ever feel inauthentic, like you wear a mask over what you believe you know, or fear, about who you really are? The trinity can help you follow the path to your authentic-self destination.

I read Flip the S.W.I.T.C.H. (How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset) by PJ McClure, The Mindset Maven, which he gives away on his website. I don’t want to spoil your experience of reading PJ’s brilliant book by recounting his content, nor is this a review. But, he did get me thinking about what I consider the trinity of self-realization and authenticity: Attitude, Mindset, and Personal Truth.


Our attitude reflects what we feel, unless we pretend otherwise. We display and use outward factors to demonstrate attitude: facial expressions, body language, comments and specific words, and perhaps actions. An attitude adjustment isn’t just about the outward expression of it; that doesn’t approach what’s underneath it.

A problem arises when anyone attempts to adjust or improve attitude simply by behaving “better” because the improved behaviors may have nothing to do with how they really feel. We can fake a positive attitude or a neutral one to cover negativity, but the result feels inauthentic because the layer underneath that doesn’t support the surface. An attitude that’s consistent—meaning presents itself more often than not—shows others and us what’s at our foundation. To know the foundation, we have to look deeper.


Now I will include something from PJ’s book, but I promise it won’t spoil your read. PJ listed the dictionary definition of mindset as a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. When I read that, I circled the word “fixed” in my mind, which was backed up soon by PJ stating mindset is definitely not fixed. His definition is that mindset is the programmable subconscious framework, which filters input so the conscious mind can respond.

He stated that mindset is made up of the six Elements of Personal Choice and added one more element that features in each of the other six and in the bigger picture of your life that all seven form the foundation for. Your mindset is, ultimately, what you tell yourself about these elements. Your mindset absolutely affects your attitude and your outcomes. Whenever you struggle with success in any area of life, adjusting your attitude won’t create long-lasting, effective shifts; adjusting your mindset will. But sometimes even mindset needs a little something else.

Personal Truth

Your personal truth is revealed through finding your head-and-heart alignment about anything and everything in your life that asks for your attention in a particular, even profound way. It’s where you use critical thinking to go deeper into dynamics and motivations rather than stay on the surface of thoughts, words, and actions—of others and your own.

Personal truth is where no conflict between head and heart exists about a particular matter; it’s where integrity lives. It’s where you look at values—what’s most important to you, as well as look for any unspoken or unidentified “rules of engagement” you’ve attached to your values. These rules usually appear as something like, “Validation is important to me. In order to feel validated, I need…” This one is worth working deeply enough to reveal whether your fulfillment needs are realistic or unrealistic. If a need has unrealistic rules attached, life—or certain areas of it—may feel severely emotionally painful for you.

The Trinity in Action

Your personal truth supports your mindset, and mindset results in your dominant attitude. Many people linger in the realm of attitude and seldom venture into the other two realms. If you don’t explore your mindset, you may live in a state of attitude fueled by emotions, and may even feel nothing ever gets resolved—and, indeed, little might. You may live the frustrating life of a reactor, or one immobilized, instead of a responder much of time. PJ’s book, worthy of more than one read, explains mindset and more, if exploring your own feels right for you at this time.

Personal truth is the realm where you must shed the influence of others to look at who you are at your core. Mindset is where you look at what you believe and why. Attitude is how you display who you are and what you believe—or what you pretend to believe, or what you think you believe. Without connection to your authentic mindset based on personal truths, you risk living your life based on what you were taught and absorbed from others; this includes negative and positive beliefs. You may have noticed you sometimes have a contrast with both types of beliefs. There’s a reason.

Each of us experiences a negative attitude from time to time—it’s called being human. Stuff happens that doesn’t feel good and happens faster than we can even give a thought to mindset. But when a negative attitude rules, there’s a faulty mindset at work, which is good news because mindset can be explored and improved. And when mindset needs exploration and support, personal truth gets included in the mix.

The trinity of self-realization and authenticity is how we set up our lives to feel good or bad as the main theme of our existence. As much as we might like it to be based on external factors, it isn’t. It’s internal, and our internal trinity influences our external experiences and how we experience externals.

If you’re not used to looking within with much depth and with a genuine desire to “know thyself,” it can feel daunting, even tiring, to do so. But, if you put some level of exploration and discovery into practice each week, you not only get to the heart of matters, but to the true you. You realize who you really are without seeing yourself through the filters of others’ beliefs and opinions; and you begin to feel and be authentically you.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

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Author's Bio: 

Joyce Shafer is a life empowerment coach who provides real solutions that lead to conscious decisions & productive action through coaching and her online course, Action Sets You Free. She is an author and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to life for personal development and self-realization. Receive a free PDF of How to Have What You REALLY Want when you subscribe at