It seems a minority of people feel genuinely at home in their skin, know who they are and how to go after what they want, and live as their authentic selves. Why is this?

Let’s look at where things go off track for the others. We have a perplexing set-up as human beings: We come into our lives to be individualized expressions of our unique selves AND are completely dependent on others to meet our basic needs, for a period of time; and hopefully they meet more than just the basics. After a certain age, we still need others to fulfill the various aspects of our lives.

As we grow up, we find we have certain likes and dislikes and certain feelings, all or some of which are either supported or discouraged by others, who are initially our caregivers; then others are included as our circle of others expands. It’s either implicit or explicit that if we want acceptance from particular family members or the family unit (and beyond that unit, i.e., schools, places of religious worship, work environments, etc.), we are to demonstrate certain behaviors, even if it means suppressing what we genuinely feel and who we genuinely are at times. Sometimes, even the exploration of who we really are is discouraged. A minority are encouraged to explore who they really are and to create a way to have a fulfilling life according to who they know themselves to be.

Because we realized that social environments function better if we seek to collaborate and tolerate each other within a range of what we call acceptable behaviors, we aim at ways to accomplish this and adjust these relationships on an ongoing basis. But a conflict exists: We feel driven to explore and express ourselves as unique individuals and also driven by our need to conform (within an acceptable range) to standards of behaviors.

The point to be made here is that just as any structure has a foundation arranged a certain way, no matter how the interior and exterior walls are painted or decorated later, so do you have a personality blueprint that is your foundation, no matter what else you decorate that with or how many times you change, adjust, modify, or try to force the outward bits—what you show others about who you are.

Aspects of who you are, which you may have believed or that others may have told you are foibles, flaws, or character failures can show up as part of your blueprint, meaning they are part of you and your life for a reason, for a purpose; and no pep-talk is ever going to change the fact of it, though you may be able to modify these aspects so they work in your favor. Knowing and accepting this, can act as a form of permission for you to be you.

It is enormously frustrating to know something about yourself and either believe it’s wrong to be that way or that there’s something wrong with you. I’m not referring to serious psychiatric matters that do need attention, but rather the issues many deal with on a daily basis that cause self-doubt (and self-disapproval) to be so rampant. We do this to ourselves, and we do this to others.

• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) is going to happen if your blueprint is one of low energy and others are insisting that you have to be high energy or higher than you naturally are.
• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) is going to happen if you are more like the tortoise than the hare about making big decisions and one or more “hares” are saying there must be something wrong with you.
• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) is going to happen if what you really believe would be a fulfilling career and life for you is being touted as too small by bold, adventurous types or too risky by those who need safe plateaus.
• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) is going to happen when you feel and behave one way when you’re with others and it’s never or seldom how you behave on your own, and you believe something is wrong with you for being this way.
• Self-doubt (and self-disapproval) happens when you feel or know yourself to be one way but have been convinced by yourself or others that you HAVE to (should) feel or be another way; and this avoidance or denial of your authentic self rubs like sandpaper against your soul’s desired expression.

From the moment we’re born, there are a number of people telling us what we should think, feel, say, do, believe, and be like. And it continues long after childhood. It’s far too seldom that anyone asks, “What do you really feel (think, believe, have to say, want to do)?” Is it any wonder so many people are confused and even afraid to explore who they are, despite craving this?

A good place to start is to ask your self what YOU think and feel. You don’t have to necessarily act on it right off; just agree to be honest with yourself about anything you feel in conflict with about who you know yourself to be. It’s pretty darn difficult to aim at a fulfilling, successful life when you don’t have a clue what that means for your authentic nature, and are afraid to explore this.

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

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Shift self-sabotaging behaviors & discover your authentic self through Your Personality Blueprint with Joyce Shafer (, You Are More! Empowerment Coach, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say & other books/ebooks. Articles & Extras in her free weekly newsletter; more about Your Personality Blueprint profiles & coaching; get How to Have What You REALLY Want free when you subscribe at