“Sarah, I want to be authentic in my marketing. But how do I find my authentic self?”
This article explores avenues to help you on the journey to find your authentic self.
Not only will this help you to be authentic in your marketing and business, but it will also make you come full circle with who you truly are so that you can share your gifts with the world from a place of knowing and worthiness.
The Mask That Hides Your Authentic Self
I used to wear a mask online that hid my authentic self.
With that mask on, I was so adaptable, and I blindly followed the advice of all the big marketing gurus out there. I tried all of their suggested techniques, not once questioning if they were aligned with my values.
The only thing that kept me going was the protection and safety of hiding behind my mask.
Without it, I was completely lost. Without it, I felt a deep existential anxiety. The feeling gave me hot flashes and knots in my stomach and kept me up at night. I was being inauthentic.
But then, one day, sitting on an ugly leather armchair in my therapist’s office, a seed was planted. I was ready to come full circle and do marketing my way. As my authentic self.
I was ready to do the work and take off the mask. Let’s look at how YOU can find your true authentic self.
How To Be Your True Authentic Self
Reflect On Your Values and Beliefs
Take time to think about what is most important to you and what you believe in.
Your values are the principles and ideals that are most important to you, and they can guide your decisions and actions in your personal life and your work.
By understanding what matters most to you, you can make choices that align with your values and feel more authentic and genuine.
To find your authentic self, think about what you believe in.
- Do you believe in a particular religion or spirituality?
- Do you have strong beliefs about social justice or environmental issues?
By understanding your beliefs, you can make decisions and take actions that align with your values and sense of self.
To find your top five values visit Personal Values Assessment, which offers a free online assessment.
If you’re interested, the current top five personal values from me (Sarah Santracroce) are:
- Well-being (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually).
- Personal growth.
- Humor, fun and joy.
I say ‘current’, because our values can change over time. When our kids were small, family was among my top five values.
It’s not that I don’t value family anymore, but since the kids are now young adults, they don’t need me as much, and some other values (such as my well-being) have become more important.
Explore Your Authentic Interests and Passions
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What are you naturally drawn to?
Find activities that bring you joy and fulfilment to help you discover more about who you are and what makes you happy.
If you find this difficult, you may have to go back in time.
- What did you enjoy doing when you were a kid?
According to my friend and licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Burgess, until we reach age five, we are who we are truly designed to be; we’re not yet conditioned to be who others think we should be.
As a kid, I read a lot, had a vast stamp collection, and loved knitting.
And early on, I loved languages and different cultures. My parents exposed us to other cultures even though we didn’t have the money to travel beyond European borders.
For example, I remember a Thai refugee coming to eat with us every week, and I was really interested in his experience.
- Who were you when you were 7 years old?
Think Deeply About Your Definition of Success
The second most common reason heart-centered entrepreneurs hate marketing is “comparitis” (also sometimes referred to as “imposter syndrome”).
The internet is the best thing that has ever happened to us, and if we’re not careful, it can also kill our confidence, creativity, and, eventually, our business.
That’s why becoming clear about your definition of success is so important to finding your authentic self. When we compare, we forget that we might actually be comparing apples and pears.
Just like you don’t see the other side of the story, you also don’t know the other person’s definition of success, and that’s a game changer because your end goal might be different!
Imagine your last day of life. How do you know you have been successful?
What is a Fulfilling Life?
Everyone has different ideas of success and what it means to live a fulfilling life.
Here are a few things that you might resonate with:
Making Meaningful Connections
A successful life might include building strong relationships with your family, friends, and loved ones and feeling fulfilled by the connections and bonds you have formed with others.
Pursuing Your Passions and Interests
Success might mean feeling like you’re pursuing your passions and interests and feeling a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment from doing so.
Making a Positive Impact on the World
Success might mean feeling like you are making a meaningful contribution to the world, whether through your work, relationships, or charitable efforts.
Living a Life That is True to Yourself
Ultimately, success might mean living a life that is authentic and true to yourself and feeling a sense of contentment and satisfaction with the choices and decisions you make along the way.
Again, it’s important to note that everyone has different ideas of what success means to them and what it looks like to live a fulfilling life.
The key is to find what brings meaning and purpose to your life, and to strive to live in a way that aligns with your values and beliefs.
How Is Your Authentic Self Wired?
You are uniquely you. But what does that really mean?
I came across different personality assessments on my journey to find out more about myself so I would attract clients in alignment.
They all helped me discover aspects of myself and how I’m wired.
For example, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator helps you understand how you see the world and make decisions by pinpointing whether you’re more introverted or extroverted, sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling, and perceptive or judging.
I’m an INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling and judging).
Here are some other assessments and tools that help you to find your authentic self:
- Human Design (also listen to ‘How to Apply Human Design in Business and Marketing’ on the Humane Marketing podcast)
- Character Strengths
- Fascination Advantage
Listen to Your Body
One of the best ways to find your authentic self is to be silent – and listen to your body.
Tami Simon, founder of Sounds True, a big publishing company in the spiritual and personal development niche told me: “To me, this notion of Personal power comes from being authentically in touch with what is emerging deep in our own bodily knowing, our bodily experience, deep in our soul. And that soul is sharing new instructions with us all the time.”
Listen to the full episode “How to Bring Your Authentic Self Into Your Business” with Tami Simon.
Here are a few ideas on how to listen to your body more to find your authenticity:
Pay Attention to Your Physical Sensations
By noticing the physical sensations in your body, you can get a sense of what your body is trying to tell you.
For example, feeling tense or anxious might indicate you’re stressed or overwhelmed.
Take Breaks and Practice Self-Care
Taking breaks and practising self-care is essential to give your body and mind the rest and nourishment they need.
Self-care can help you to feel more balanced and energized, and better able to listen to your body’s needs.
Experiment with Different Activities
Trying different activities, such as exercise, meditation, or yoga, can help you to tune in to your body and become more aware of its needs.
I love Yoga with Adriene for my daily home yoga practice.
Seek Out Medical or Professional Help
If you have physical or emotional concerns that you can’t address on your own, seeking medical or professional help may be helpful.
A healthcare provider or therapist can help you identify and address any underlying issues impacting your overall well-being.
Reflect on Your Feelings and Emotions
Paying attention to your emotions can help you to better understand what your body is trying to tell you.
For example, feeling angry or frustrated may be a sign that you must set boundaries or address an issue causing stress.
Bring More of Your Authentic Self to Your Human Marketing
Even though I have listed ideas in a checklist, don’t underestimate this deep inner work.
I know from experience and by accompanying participants of the Marketing Like We’re Human program through their journey, that this is foundational work that takes time.
But it’s so worth it!
You can start this reflection with the 1-Page Marketing Plan, which begins with Passion and Personal Power.
And you’ll know when you’ve come full circle because marketing and posting online will no longer feel like a drag.
Instead, you’ll feel like you’re in a flow state, where everything makes sense because everything is connected to your authentic self.
My Conclusion on How to Find Your Authentic Self
Entrepreneurship can be a great way to find your authentic self, develop new skills, and pursue your passions while building a career and generating income.
Not only is it rewarding to know who you truly are, but it’s also the best way to create a sustainable business that brings you only ideal clients who resonate with your worldview – without ever wearing a mask again.
Marketing Like We’re Human aka The Client Resonator – a Program to Find Your Authentic Self & Build Your Business Your Way
I created the Marketing Like We’re Human aka The Client Resonator with one goal: help entrepreneurs find their authentic self and then resonate with their ideal clients. The program is the result of a collaboration with ideal clients in three beta rounds! It’s a hybrid program, with a video course component and a live group cohort experience. I run it twice per year and you can find out more about The Client Resonator program over here.
You might also like the following blog posts or podcast episodes:
- Authentic Relationships: How to be Human in Business
- How to Apply Human Design to Business and Marketing
- Branding & Marketing with Authenticity
- How To Bring Your Authentic Self Into Your Business
- What if You Lost Your Passion?
- Finding Your Core Story and Your Superpowers
- Kayleigh O’Keefe on The Future of Truth
Other Resources You Might Enjoy
- The Marketing Like We’re Human aka The Client Resonator Program
- Manifesto: The Humane Business Manifesto (no opt-in).
- Creed: The Humane Marketing Creed (no opt-in).
- The Humane Marketing Glossary: marketing words we love
- The 1-Page Marketing Plan (email opt-in with 7 email prompts to help you think about the 7Ps of Humane Marketing in your business).
- The Humane Marketing Circle, our community of Humane Marketers.