1996 – Are You Living As Your Authentic Self Or Fictional Self?

Are you in touch with your authentic self? I recently started a series called Monday Musings. The musings are reflections on my life, where I have been, and where I am going – or at least hoping to! I have learned a lot about the difference between my fictional self and my authentic self. Have you?

In 1996, I was 13 years old, when I learned about the struggles (not mine) of fitting in. You know what middle school is like. Going through puberty, dealing with hormonal changes,  cliques and bullying.

You gain responsibilities, find new friends and develop coping skills.  It is a time of many transitions.

Easy for some, harder for others. I was lucky. I had a whole bunch of friends, was involved in sports, music, and dance. You could say I was one of  the “cool kids”.  Yet, I always found myself looking out for the underdog.

There were so many times I tried to include the loners in our clique. It did not work.  It was hard to balance both which brings me to my topic for today.

Authentic Self versus Fictional Self

authetic self versus fictional self

Being who you are and living your truth, or living a lifestyle according to what your environment dictates.

We all have several versions of ourselves.

Who we are when we are with friends, family or colleagues. There are certain things we feel we can do or say, what is “appropriate” when among various people.

Over the years I have struggled with conforming to what is deemed “the right way” and living my own truth.

Have you ever felt as though you needed to be someone you are not just to fit in?


'Why fit in when you were born to stand out?' - Dr. SeussClick To Tweet

  Authentic Self

The authentic self is you – the real you. It is you when you are alone.

When nobody is watching. Listening. Or judging. Your core.

Think of this as a fruit. A fruit with many layers. You have to peel off many layers to get to the core, the seed.

The external layers of ourselves are defined by the characteristics and labels given to us by society. Race, religion, social standard, occupation….the list goes on.

  Fictional Self

Your fictional self is essentially the complete opposite of your authentic self.

It is the way others define you. It is not your authentic self or your core, but rather what is seen on the outside.  A doctor, a mother, a soldier, a poor man.

What others see as your social situation and function in life. That is your fictional self.


  Bring Out Your Authentic Self

Knowing and sticking to your values will help you find and define your authentic self.

authentic self freedom

You will notice the following:

  • your values change and deepen as you understand yourself better
  • you are different to the person society has asked you to be
  • you are in tune with your authentic self
  • you are able to live your truth
  • your inner voice within you will become stronger and clearer
  • it is easier to make decisions

Unfortunately, this could mean disconnecting from relationships, situations, or circumstances that violate your truth.

Sure we need to be open, flexible and able to compromise in relationships.

Listening to the thoughts and opinions of others, having an open mind in order to learn new things or gain different perspectives are great and positive character traits to have. However, if you are required to compromise your being, let it go.

'Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.“ - ­Wayne DyerClick To Tweet

  What Are The Benefits Of Becoming Your Authentic Self?

  • Feeling and being happier
  • Doing things on your own terms
  • Realising your potential
  • Feeling fulfilled
  • Truthful to yourself and others
  • Having a sense of purpose
  • Doing what you love
  • Freedom

Align your self-image with your public image, so you don’t have to change who you are when you are around different people. Stop trying to fit in.

You are unique, so walk your own path.

Being real and living your authentic self will make you feel more complete.

“It is not the names they call you that are important, but what you answer to” Click To Tweet

Be true to yourself and do the things you always wanted to do. Discover what that is and live it! Your authentic self will shine through if you let it.

Want to read this later or share with friends? Pin this post.

Do you struggle between your authentic self and fictional self?

Have you accepted yourself for who you are? Has it been easy? Hard?

Please share your thoughts, experiences and advice with me in the comments section below.

Want to read this later or share with friends? Pin this post.

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Are you living as your authentic self? Or still stuck in your fictional self? Learn how to bring out your authentic self - your core, in order to be happy and live your truth.

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67 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Being Genuine About Your Authentic Self

  1. Just love this!!! I think when we’re all younger we definitely deal with this a lot more! The older I get the more real I am 100% of the time

    Posted on March 27, 2017 at 09:36
  2. Such a beautiful post, Sheri! I think most of us have bene there and done that as we were growing up – trying to be someone we are not! But thankfully most of us have matured enough to understand that there is beauty in being unique and being us. Such a beautiful post, Sheri!

    xx, Kusum

    Posted on March 24, 2017 at 19:55
  3. Great explanations of authenticity, I am glad to to find that I am living my authentic self. Great blog!

    Posted on March 24, 2017 at 16:54
    1. Thank you so much J! Glad you stopped by. xoxox S.

      Posted on March 25, 2017 at 09:56
  4. I loved this and created a board special board this. I love the differences you explain. And honestly, I think most do not know who we are . We are just getting by. Excellent.

    Posted on March 24, 2017 at 13:44
  5. Sometimes I feel I live two lives. One for the world, one for myself. It takes a lot of courage to be your authentic self all the time.

    Posted on March 24, 2017 at 06:28
  6. This is a great post. I think it’s hard to find the authentic self sometimes because you have created so many different versions of you that it’s hard to know the real you. I do agree that peace comes when you find it.

    Posted on March 24, 2017 at 01:27
  7. These are a lot of things to think about. I would very much like to answer straight away that I am my authentic self but I know that it’s not the truth. It’s difficult, but I am moving towards that. 🙂

    Posted on March 23, 2017 at 14:49
  8. Living an authentic life is not always easy as society also has an opinion on how they think one should be. We just need to be happy in who we are or want to be. Also, having an open mind is a really good trait to have. Good read

    Posted on March 23, 2017 at 13:15
  9. I don’t think I’m truly 100% my authentic real self, but a lot better than I was in middle school and high school. Those days were tough!!

    Posted on November 20, 2016 at 20:06
  10. Wonderful post. I feel like trying to adjust the authentic self with fictional self. Be unique. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted on November 19, 2016 at 09:54
  11. I think I am living in my authentic self. This was indeed a great evening read.

    Posted on November 18, 2016 at 20:00
  12. This so truth. Believe in your self. Be like you want to be and be unique

    Posted on September 5, 2016 at 13:47
  13. Great post. It is hard to let people in to see the real you. Many of us are afraid that our vulnerability will leave us open to getting hurt.

    Posted on September 4, 2016 at 20:37
    1. I agree with you Keith. I have been that way almost all my life. I am only recently exiting my shell and becoming vulnerable and showing a different side of myself.

      Posted on September 8, 2016 at 16:42
  14. I love the layout of this, really good to read with short sentences, I feel it’s important to be yourself and know who you are in order to be happier in yourself and reflect every now and again 🙂 no matter your age authentic self sounds important

    Posted on September 4, 2016 at 18:10
  15. Love this! It’s definitely important (and not always easy) to be authentic. I’ve found when I’m authentic, I’m also happiest because I’m being me and not someone else.

    Posted on September 4, 2016 at 16:18
  16. Thank you for this. Like you, I had it pretty good growing up so I never really understood what it was like to “try” to fit in. However, life humbled me when I moved to a different country. I was faced with culture shock and truly felt like an outsider among people who badically grew up together in this small town. I was 16 and it took me 3 years to dinally accept that wasn’t for me. On my 19th beirtjday I had an epiphany and decided from then on, I will be dedicating myself to being the best version of me–the one who lives with zero regrets. I re-invented myself to who I want to be, followed my heart, and started giving 100 % in everything I do. I’ve certainly felt all the benefits you spoke of in this post. I’m 24 now and there’s still so much to learn and grow from but one thing I’m sure is I’m being me. ❤ thanks for this encouragement!

    Posted on September 4, 2016 at 11:35
    1. Hi Katrina! So glad you had you r “a ha” moment early on in life. I am working on bettering myself everyday and not letting other people dictate my life and happiness. I now know that it is up to me. <3 xoxox

      Posted on September 8, 2016 at 16:45
  17. This is one of the most inspirational posts I have ever read! It is so hard to find genuine people in today’s world. It is truly an eye opener for people who have been living a fake life till now! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Posted on September 4, 2016 at 05:58
    1. I am so thankful for your kind words Veethee! I am glad to be able to inspire you! Have a wonderful day, Sheri

      Posted on September 8, 2016 at 16:45
  18. An awesome topic for a blog post. It take a lot for yourself to be authentic. xx

    Posted on September 4, 2016 at 05:55
  19. We live in a world where labels and titles are significant. Despite this, we must remain genuine to ourselves because no matter what we do, we can`t really fool our selves. This had been a thought-provoking post. Thank you for the heartfelt reminders about the value of authenticity.

    With Love, Grace

    Posted on September 4, 2016 at 03:56
  20. What a wonderful post. The perspective of personality. I agree with you. Thank you for this blog.

    Posted on September 2, 2016 at 23:01
  21. Beautifully put together. Very interesting post. It takes a lot of self discovery to bring your authentic self.

    Posted on August 31, 2016 at 07:45
  22. I kind of go back and forth between my authentic self and my self that I show to the world. This is a constant battle.

    Posted on August 27, 2016 at 22:49
  23. This is a wonderful post. I have been becoming more in touch with my authentic self as I have aged and it feels wonderful!

    Posted on August 27, 2016 at 11:41
  24. Oh goodness! 1996 I was going into my sophomore year in high school – I had some amazing challenges that year that really shaped who I am today. Finding and showing your authentic self is so important!

    Posted on August 27, 2016 at 08:28
  25. This is probably one of the biggest lessons I share with my teenagers. It took me a long time to be comfortable with living an authentic life and I am determined to see that they do the same!

    Posted on August 26, 2016 at 15:31
  26. I am so glad I found myself, although it is a hard. This is a great post, worth to share!

    Posted on August 26, 2016 at 07:34
  27. Love this post. I’ve never thought of it that way. I am going to retweet a lot of what you said 🙂 However, I’ve always been confident with who I am. Im weird, for sure, but I embrace it, because there is no other me on the planet. I believe each person is unique and should be proud of that!

    Posted on August 26, 2016 at 01:24
  28. It took me some time to learn this lesson. It’s important to be true to who you are, because that will make way for happiness instead of the pressure of fitting in. This also teaches you about acceptance and honesty.

    Posted on August 26, 2016 at 00:58
  29. We have different personalities and it all depends on who our company is but then again, you don’t want to end up pretending to be someone else. Maybe this is why I don’t like the idea of being in too many circles. You tend to lose yourself more that way.

    Posted on August 26, 2016 at 00:56
  30. Figuring out who you are is tough. It’s wonderful when you do but I feel like the second you do you start to change again.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 22:07
  31. Great post. It can be hard to be your authentic post with some people. I know who I am and usually say what I mean (unless I worry about offending someone or getting into a conversation I don’t want to have). My girlfriend calls me a “truth teller”. Some people don’t like that, but I 100% accept who I am and I surround myself with people that accept me.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 21:56
  32. What a great post! Really gets you thinking! I’m all about my real self these days. It’s har to get to that point but one day it just clicks and you no longer care what others think.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 20:21
  33. I feel like I have several selves that I rotated through depending on the people we are with. I think my husband is the one that I am most authentic with.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 15:37
  34. THis is so inspiring! I love the post:)

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 13:41
  35. This is such a great and well written post. It can be so hard to figure out who you really are but when you do it is an amazing thing. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 12:58
  36. It takes people years to find out who they are. When you’re a kid in middle school you often struggle with your identity and you do what you can to fit in and survive. But when you’re grown up, it’s a whole different story. The less true you are to yourself, the harder it is to deal with life.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 11:06
  37. There’s nothing better than accepting who you really are. It’s a lesson we all learn the hard way. Being true to yourself is so much better than trying to fit in, you’ll be happier and there will be less pressure for you.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 11:03
  38. As I grow older, and now that I am a busy mom, I don’t have time to cover myself in layers as much. What you see is what you get because I am usually so involved with this moment I don’t have time to retrieve those layers. 😉 I kinda like it! 😉

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 10:42
  39. What a great topic, Sometimes it takes long before you knew the real you. I hate people who’s always say negative behind my back

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 10:34
  40. It is interesting try to find out who you really are! Thank you for this interesting post!

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 09:52
  41. I feel like my husband is the only one who knows my authentic self. A lot of people assume they know me and my personality based upon my blog. They assume I’m naturally outgoing!

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 09:46
  42. What an inspiring post and just what i needed to hear today. thank you for touching my heart adn soul today.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 09:43
  43. Playing the comparison game is so dangerous!! It is really important to figure out who you are and what your real WHYs are so that you can always stay the course you were meant to take! I love this post!

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 07:54
  44. There are so many people that hide their true self behind facades. That’s why it is always refreshing to come across people who embrace their uniqueness and not afraid to show it. 🙂 – HilLesha

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 01:07
  45. I think the authentic self needs to continue to grow and change as time passes. Having a fictional self or pretending to be be someone Im not is not something I can bring myself to do

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 22:11
  46. This is an awesome topic. I can think about it for hours. I definitely think getting older helps you to become your more authentic self too. I find the older I get the more I am happier with myself and not worried about what others think.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 21:54
  47. I really had a life situation that made me evaluate myself and what I want out of my life. This was such a freeing moment to focus on my true wants versus the ones I had been trained to want.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 21:40
  48. I think I’m living as living and portraying myself as my authentic self on my blog. I’m pretty straight forward and wouldn’t know how to be any other way. What a great post.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 17:19
  49. What a great post!! It is so important to know who you are and understand who you are, makes the world much easier to survive.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 16:48
  50. I can’t imagine how it would feel like having to live a lie (for example LQBTQ+ youth.) Some of their stories are truly heartbreaking and I can only wish our society had different and more inclusive values

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 14:54
  51. I feel like my authentic self and my fictional self are the same person. I am transparent. I don’t see the point of hiding who you are and pretending to be something you aren’t. I am always my authentic self and people don’t see me as anything but that.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 14:22
  52. I love this post! It is so important to develop our authentic self–we will truly be happy when we do.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 14:07
  53. This is so true! Sometimes is hard to find our authentic self. But when you find it, you feel so great.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 13:18
  54. I love the authentic self and ways to get there. I think that we “hide” behind other selves to protect parts of ourselves, but if we can find peaceful ways to get there let’s do it!

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 12:54
  55. What a wonderful perspective. LIVE AUTHENTIC. We love your point of view and are grateful you feel compelled to share with others.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 11:17
  56. After a certain age I feel like trying to adjust the authentic self with fictional self. It pays back much more than keeping them separate!

    Posted on August 22, 2016 at 16:14
  57. Great post. I would say for most of the people around the world, it is a journey to find your authentic self. For some others, they are so transparent that your authentic self is already very known by the outside world.

    Posted on August 22, 2016 at 13:46
  58. I hve being the authentic version of me and will always be. The freedom that comes with being original says it all for me. Dont know about others, but this is me. Authentic leX.

    Posted on August 22, 2016 at 13:06
  59. It’s so true. We often don’t deal with our both sides, because we don’t want to be judge by others. We’re afraid of their opinions so we just show off our fictional self, whereas our real one is so much better than expected! I’d say that I personally took a long time to understand this and due to HS retrospection, I know what it means when you’re looking for yourself and you don’t know if you can show it to your friends. It’s hard and it takes time!

    Posted on August 22, 2016 at 12:39
  60. It is a challenge to find your authentic self. That is why it is good we open-doors to new experiences and then evaluate ourselves if these new experiences are for us. Being part of supportive team (especially family) really helps.

    Posted on August 22, 2016 at 05:10
  61. I think the attempt to find our authentic self is an ongoing task. We evolve in time, our values, preferences, and circumstances change and we have to adapt to the new us. From simple things, like a changing taste in how we do certain things, to more complicated things, like our values changing.

    As for the fictional self, that’s a bit of us portraying what the world wants to see. Or just adapting to different people and different circumstances.

    I’d say that as long as we try to be in sync with our current true self, we have a better chance of being happy and feeling accomplished. But again, constant struggle, and of all the things in the world, knowing yourself is sometimes the most difficult.

    Posted on August 21, 2016 at 05:39
  62. Beautiful post.It takes a lot if self discovery to find the real you. But this journey comes with time. Along my journey I have had many lessons and blessings which have moulded me.
    Have shared the post on Twitter.

    Posted on August 20, 2016 at 02:50
    1. I feel it is a continuous struggle to have the actual self prevail over fictional self. Once that battle is won the journey and interactions becomes easier and genuine. Purely my thoughts… 🙂

      Posted on August 20, 2016 at 09:21