10 ways to stop faking your personality and unlock your authentic self

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“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

– Oscar Wilde

In the age of social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on your number of engagements.

Have you been checking your posts frequently, trying to see how many people liked them? Do you just have this urge to impress everyone with who you are? But you’re not being true to yourself, aren’t you?

With the rise of influencers, it has been common for us to tweak our personalities for the sake of likes. We have successfully made this the norm and it can be damaging for us.

Or maybe you have this constant need to be liked by everyone. When someone doesn’t like your personality, do you beat yourself up about it?

This article will detail how to stop faking your personality for others so you can be your true self.

1) Listen to your inner voice

Your gut is telling you to be yourself but you won’t hear it out. You have to learn to listen to your inner voice. Because most of the time, it’s right.

When you’re conflicted, frustrated and you can’t seem to know what your inner voice is saying, meditate. Meditation helps you ease your mind.

Because most of the time, we’re too busy trying to be someone else for other people. We get wrapped up, listening to how others want us to be that we don’t listen to what we want. When you keep doing this, you silence yourself.

In order to stop faking your personality, you have to learn to listen to your wants and needs. And through meditation, you get to connect the dots in your life. You get to take a few steps back and see who you actually want to be. And then maybe you’ll stop trying to be someone else.

To be who you truly are, you need to listen to yourself.

And meditation is a good way to learn how to silence your urge to fake your personality. It can help you release these thoughts and open yourself to being you.

2) Surround yourself with the right people

As you get on with your life, you realize that not all your friends are truly your friends. Some of these so-called friends just bring you down sometimes.

This is why you have to surround yourself with people that make you feel comfortable about being in your own skin. Don’t hang around people that are ashamed to be around you when you aren’t yourself.

In Mean Girls, Cady tried to be someone she’s not. She altered her personality just so she can be friends with The Plastics. All they did was try to gaslight her into feeling like her personality wasn’t cool and acceptable.

If all someone does is make you uncomfortable in your own skin, it’s time to get a new circle of friends. You don’t want to be around people who make you feel small and worthless.

Your friends should embrace you for who you are. They should love how you snort when you laugh sometimes, or how you can be loud when you’re passionate or that you can be a bit Type A when you’re pressured.

When you surround yourself with the right people, you get to grow as a person. You learn how to be more open.

Real friends won’t just highlight your mistakes but rather they will give constructive criticism, motivate you in the process and even help you.

The right people will push you to become the best version of yourself while embracing your imperfections.

3) Stop trying to please everyone you know

Impressing everyone you meet isn’t a life-or-death situation. Even though you feel like it’s necessary, you don’t have to be friends with everyone. That’s just how things are. Some people want to be friends with you, some don’t.

Faking your personality all the time is draining. And it doesn’t help you in the long run. You can’t keep looking for other people’s approval of you. What matters is that you approve of yourself.

There is no growth when you’re just pretending to be someone else. You have to know your roots and be authentic.

Remember that time you couldn’t tell your friend about something wrong they did? Even when you know it in your heart that they should’ve done things differently, you tolerated their actions to avoid getting into an argument with them.

Sometimes you have to give some tough love to your friend. Like if you found out they’re cheating on someone, you have to call them out. It’s difficult to open the topic but some things have to be said.

You have to stand your ground and defend your values. You can’t let go of your beliefs just because you’re afraid to lose the friendship.

Or when you find something funny your friend doesn’t, it doesn’t mean you have to just stop liking your favorite stand-up comedian. You don’t have to have the same likes and dislikes as someone in order to be friends with them.

You have to stop this cycle of trying to please everyone because all it does is prevent you from being yourself.

4) Understand that you don’t always have to be happy

Stop holding your emotions in. If you got upset about something someone said to you, tell them. Your feelings are valid and no one can tell you otherwise.

Don’t let other people dictate how you should feel. If someone offended you, you’re not obligated to make them feel comfortable.

These negative emotions that you’re feeling are normal. A lot of people tend to repress it because of past trauma.

But by hiding these feelings, you’re not being your true self. You can’t always be happy. Anger, frustration, and disappointment are all perfectly normal emotions. You don’t have to call yourself out for feeling them.

Repressing your emotions can actually lead to physical pain. Muscle tension, appetite problems, and fatigue are a few of the things you might experience if you keep things in all the time.

That being said, letting your feelings out and being you can save you from physical pain caused by repression.

If there are times you feel like breaking something, consider getting a stress ball or a fidget cube to release your emotions. There are even break rooms where you can literally break stuff to release your rage!

Just remember that you don’t have to silence your emotions and constantly put a smile on your face.

5) Remind yourself that perfection is overrated

Aiming for the best can be a good mindset in competitions. But when it’s about every single thing in your life, it’s not a good motto.

Because when you do that, what you create is an idealized self-image. An ideal self-image is an extravagantly positive picture of yourself that exists only in your mind. Karen Horney described this as an intrapsychic conflict.

She says that there are three aspects of the idealized self-image. First is the neurotic search for glory, second is neurotic claims, and last is neurotic pride.

The neurotic search for glory is when we strive for so much perfection. You think that your idealized self-image is real so you try to add it to different aspects of your life. Nina Sayers showcases this as she worked herself hard trying to get the lead role for Swan Lake.

With neurotic claims, you believe that your fantasy world is real and that the actual world is wrong. And lastly, neurotic pride is when your pride is based on something fake and only on your idealized view of yourself.

Someday, when you realize that your idealized sense of self isn’t who you truly are, you’ll learn self-hatred. And this can lead to self-frustration and self-destructive actions and impulses.

You don’t always have to win. We do not exist for the sake of excellence. People are imperfect and that’s not a bad thing at all.

Accept your mini wins and don’t nitpick at the details. You’re only making yourself miserable by doing so. Take a breather every now and then. Because your best can’t be forced out of you. You are human and you need rest.

In order to not push yourself too much, don’t fixate on your mistakes. Because who are you trying to not disappoint? It’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake. We each have our flaws and we have to accept that.

To be your authentic self, you have to accept who you are as a whole. Maybe instead of being the best in everything, you can aim to be the best version of yourself.

6) Remove the mask you’ve made for yourself

Let people see the real you.

Sociologist Erving Goffman developed the concept of Dramaturgy. It’s basically the idea that our lives are a constant display as if we’re actors. Goffman believed that when we are born into the world, we are being placed on a stage. And this stage is everyday life.

He believes that all of our interactions consist of adjusting to other people and our roles in their lives. He believed that no matter what we do, we are playing out some role on the stage of life.

Goffman says that there is a front stage and a backstage. As we go on with our lives, we are mostly on the front stage. This applies to how we are at work, at the grocery store, or when meeting someone new. And the backstage is where we become our true selves. It’s our private place.

Only our closest friends see us when we’re backstage. But since you’ve been faking your personality with everyone, all they see is the front stage.

Let people know who you are. Don’t be afraid about the possibility that they might not like you. Because if they don’t, then they’re not the kind of people you want in your life.

It’s okay to act a certain way in front of strangers or customers at work. But you must learn to let people in your backstage. Always being on the front stage can take a toll on your mental health. And it might even make you forget who you truly are.

We know it’s hard to let people in after you’ve closed yourself off for far too long. But it can be incredibly refreshing to let yourself shine through especially around people who care for you.

7) Ditch the “filtered” lifestyle

Don’t push yourself too hard to get that perfect Instagram feed. You don’t have to be traveling and heading to a brunch just so you can snap a pic for your page.  If you just want to laze around at home and post your DIY IKEA shelf, or your lunch for the day, do it.

While you’re at it, stop looking at the number of likes on your photos or the views you get on your IG story.

People like posting on social media because it satisfies their hierarchy of needs.

Specifically, one’s need for esteem is satisfied because people like rewards. The number of likes on social media is seen to be the reward. That’s why our content is filled with ourselves specifically.

And also their need for love and belonging is contented. The social acceptance presented by the number of likes urges people to post more of themselves.

Focusing too much on likes and how you are seen by others takes a toll on your mental health because you have to understand that likes aren’t everything.

They don’t dictate your worth. You also have to realize that people just post specific angles of themselves and edit their photos. It’s an edited reality. You have to stop getting mad at yourself for not reaching that specific standard.

Taking a social media detox will help you take a step back and reframe your perspective about yourself without the judgment of others.

8) Rediscover the things you love doing

May it be singing on the tops of your lungs at a karaoke bar or reading your favorite Harry Potter book, try it out again.

Or maybe you like gardening, carpentry, or camping out. Do the things that make you happy.

By trying to become someone you’re not, you may have forgotten how to be yourself. The way to rediscover yourself is through the things that you love doing.

You have to understand that these little hobbies are a part of who you are. They are puzzle pieces for your jigsaw puzzle. All you have to do is take them out of the closet.

Don’t keep yourself from being who you are. Reread your favorite book and you might remember why exactly you love it so much. Cook your go-to dishes, visit your favorite salon.  Through your hobbies, you’ll get to remind yourself of who you are.

9) Learn to say no

When you’re always trying to be liked, it’s hard to say no to others. That’s why you need to set boundaries with the people around you.

Don’t be a pushover. Sometimes you have to make the hard call and put your food down. Psychologists say that saying no is a psychological skill that a lot of people deeply struggle with.

They explain that there is a range of ways to respectfully say no, while still maintaining healthy relationships.

They discuss how It is very common for many people in therapy to trace some of their anxiety and stress to having trouble or an utter inability to say no.

One of the main reasons that people say no is because of the fear of missing out. This fear can apply to anything from a party on a weekend to a big promotion at work.

But one key aspect is that it constantly involves a sense of helplessness that you are missing out on something huge.

Saying no allows you to stop pleasing others. It eases your mind and helps you offer more of your time to work on yourself. The next time someone asks if you can drive them to the airport when you have to prepare for a big presentation at work, be brave and say no.

You can even try thanking them for their request. Thank them for thinking of you and having trust in you. But this doesn’t mean that you’re saying yes.

All you’re doing is giving thanks and setting your boundaries to make time for your priorities.

10) Name something you like about yourself each day

What do you like about yourself today?

Asking yourself this question can help you be more comfortable with who you are. It reminds you of the positive aspects of yourself.

By doing this each day, you get to condition your brain to think more positively about yourself. You reward yourself with a compliment and it helps you be more confident.

It’s also an example of “faking it until you make it.” You fake your confidence until you find that you truly are more self-assured.

When you name something you like about yourself each day, you get to have a more positive mindset about who you are. It steers you away from thinking negatively about yourself.

You get to focus more on the good things that make you the person you are today.

You can mention anything about yourself. It can be the way your hair looks or the how your voice sounds when you’re excited or even just your smile.

No matter what you mention, it’s one step towards being more open and comfortable with yourself.

You might have gotten used to faking your personality because that’s all you’ve been doing for so long. But hopefully, these tips will help you move towards being your authentic self.

Because maybe you’re the only one who doesn’t see how amazing you are.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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