How To Find Your True Self: A Complete Step-by-step Guide

Article last updated on January 20, 2022

How do you know who you really are? How do you want to live your life? These questions are important because they help us find our true self.

Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.
Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.

We all have dreams and goals, but sometimes we don’t know where to start or how to get there. Finding your true self is a journey that takes time and effort.

Find your true self

To find out who you truly are, you need to look within. This means being honest with yourself and asking yourself these questions.

Once you figure out what makes you tick, you can begin to take action towards achieving your goals.

I’ve already talked about the 3-step process of finding what to do with your life and understanding that most people don’t care about you (which can be very liberating perspective).

But this article will be different.

I will not talk about the law of attraction or some spiritual woo-woo stuff.

You will learn how to identify your limiting beliefs at the subconscious level, which helps you break free from them to find your true self.

And if you want a straightforward answer to finding your true self, here it is: You’re not finding yourself, you are creating yourself, and as you develop your new self, you are calling it a finding process.

Before I give you a step-by-step process towards finding yourself, I want to explain to you what authenticity actually means, because if you don’t understand that, then you won’t be able to apply the steps properly.

Authenticity. What Does It Mean?

Authenticity is when you are doing things for the right reasons. For your pure and honest reasons.

When you are living your life according to your values and principles, it’s when you are acting in accordance with who you really are.

This is why people say “fake it till you make it”. To me, this is complete nonsense.

If you are faking it, you are lying to yourself. And if you lie to yourself, you’ll never be authentic.

You will just continue living a lie until you wake up one day and realize that you’re still living a lie.

So, how does one become authentic?

Determine your values and principles.

Your values and principles are the foundation of your identity. They define who you are as a person.

Your values and principles determine whether something is good or bad for you.

Your values and principles

In other words, what are you willing to stand behind?

If you don’t have any values and principles, you’re going to be an empty shell. You will be nothing more than a walking zombie. A mindless robot without any sense of direction or purpose.

People would see you as a fake person. They’d think you’re a charlatan.That you’re not genuine.

That you’re just pretending to be someone else. Without values and principles, you don’t have a backbone.

The reason people are so confused about their lives is that they don’t have clear values and principles.

They’re constantly searching for answers. They’re looking outside themselves for validation. They’re trying to fit into some mold.

But once they finally come across those values and principles, everything becomes crystal clear and they find their true self.

Your values are like guardrails that you will not cross. They keep you aligned. So, determining them is vital.

To determine your values and principles, take time to reflect upon your life.

  • What has been important to me over the years?
  • What do I value?
  • Whom do I admire?

Once you’ve reflected on all this, write down your thoughts.

Remember, your values and principles are the core of who you are.

And you are attracted to them at a deeper level, at an emotional level.

Once you know the lines that you will not cross, you now need to see what will move you forward.

Your Motivators

Motivation is the fuel that drives us.

Without motivation, we can’t achieve anything. We can’t even get out of bed in the morning.

We can only live our lives by default. By inertia.

Motivation comes from within ourselves. Originating deep within.

It’s the energy that pushes us to action.

There are two types of motivators.

The first type is external motivators.

External Motivators

These are the motivators that come from outside of ourselves. Things such as money, fame, power, etc.

External motivators are always temporary. They give us a short-term boost, but ultimately, they fail because they are based on external things.

On materialism: On wealth. On power. They aren’t sustainable.

Because they are based on things that change. Things that fade away.

They are also very unstable.

Because when times get tough, these external motivators disappear. And then it’s back to square one.

You’ll find yourself struggling again.

You’ll feel lost.

And you’ll start asking questions again.

Why am I here? What am I doing with my life?

All of these external motivators are based on temporary solutions.

They won’t last forever.

So, if you want to leave a lasting impression, you must learn how to create your own internal motivator.

Internal Motivators

Internal motivators are something that is based on our inner being. It’s something that is deeply rooted in our souls.

Our innermost desires Our deepest needs When we tap into our innermost desires, we become unstoppable.

Because we are tapping into the source of our own power. The source of our own strength.

When we tap into our innermost desires, we no longer depend on external motivators.

Instead, we rely on ourselves.

We rely on our own inner power. This is the secret to building a lasting legacy. This is the secret to living an authentic life. This is the key to happiness.

If you want to find your true self, you have to start by tapping into your innermost desires. You have to start listening to your heart.

You have to listen to your gut instincts.

Listen to your intuition. Listen to your emotions.

This is your emotional part.

Now I will cover the thinking aspect.

Zoom Out and Zoom In

This means taking a step back to gain perspective while still being present in the moment.

In other words, zoom out so you can see everything from a larger perspective. But don’t lose touch with the details.

In daily life, this happens all the time. We’re constantly zooming out to gain perspective.

But sometimes we forget about the details.

Sometimes we lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Zooming out allows you to see what’s going on around you.

To see if you’re moving in the right direction or not.

Zooming out helps you see where you are now. Wherever you’ve been before. What has worked for you in the past…

On the other hand, zooming in helps you focus and stay grounded.

By zooming in, you can see exactly what’s happening right now.

It helps you take responsibility right now. What’s happening right now is more important than anything else.

Your entire life, you are zooming in and zooming out. You are seeing the big picture while focusing on the small details.

The problem arises when the vision becomes blurry. When you lose sight of the big picture.

When you get distracted by the little things, when you lose focus, when you stop paying attention to the details…

That’s why you need to have a clear vision, and for that, you need to recognize what is not serving you.

Recognize what doesn’t serve you

What does not serve you is what keeps you stuck.

It’s your limited beliefs.

  • Fears
  • Doubts
  • Worries
  • Anxieties

All of those negative thoughts keep your vision blurry.

They prevent you from taking action. They prevent you from making progress. They prevent you from creating change.

So if you want to create a lasting legacy, you need to know what doesn’t serve you.

And then you need to let it go.

Letting go of what does not serve you

Letting go of these limiting beliefs and fears is one of the hardest parts of changing your life.

Why? Because they feel real. They feel like they’re actually happening.

You may think that letting go of them is impossible.

But that’s just because you haven’t tapped into your innermost desires yet.

You haven’t listened to your heart.

So the first thing you need to do is tap into your deepest desire. And once you do that, you’ll realize that letting go of these limiting beliefs isn’t as hard as you thought.

Once you have a clear vision and become pissed at your fears, you can let go of what doesn’t serve you.

You know what you really want deep down inside, but you need to shake off the burden you have been carrying.

Define Your Ideal Self

Who is your ideal self?

This is who you want to be.

Not someone else. Not anyone else. Just you.

If you want to find your true self, you must define your ideal self.

How do you want to live? How will you spend your time? Who will you surround yourself with?

We need a vivid image of our ideal self. A person who embodies everything we want to be.

Someone who inspires us. Someone who makes us proud.

  • When you walk, how do you walk?
  • When you talk, how do you talk?
  • When you think, what do you think?

Everything about your ideal self should make you feel good.

Because this is who you want to become.

Look at personal inventory

Now, zoom out and look at all the areas of your life where you don’t feel fulfilled.

where you feel unfulfilled. where you feel stuck.

Take a step back and ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”

Take a look at your personal inventory.

Are there any areas of your life where your values are not being met? Are you living below your potential?

Take an objective and self-aware look at your life and make some changes.

Remember, you are looking at all the areas of life where you are not getting what you want.

Don’t judge or blame others. You are only responsible for yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to other people. There is no competition here.

The point is to figure out what is keeping you from becoming the best version of yourself.

Take daily action towards authenticity

This is where we need to zoom in again. What are the things that you need to do today? What are the actions you need to take?

A meaningful life consists of small steps that lead to big results.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you need to do. But remember, you can always break your goals down into smaller tasks.

People often overcomplicate their lives.

That’s why some people end up doing nothing.

But if you want to change your life, you need to focus on taking meaningful daily action to become your true self.

Reflect on your story

Your story, your life, your experiences are what have shaped you.

You can use this as a tool to protect yourself against negative thoughts or feelings as you are going through making your life better.

You need to remember who you are and what you’re capable of. Your accomplishments in life can strengthen positive emotions and obliterate negative emotions.

Be and stay assertive

Being assertive means speaking up when something needs to be done. It also means speaking up when you’re unhappy. Assertiveness is important because it helps you stand up for yourself.

It protects you from feeling like a victim. It gives you confidence in your decisions.

It allows you to express yourself without fear of rejection.

Assertiveness is not aggression. Aggression is attacking someone else. Assertiveness is simply standing up for yourself.

You need a certain assertiveness towards yourself and others.

If you ask me, assertiveness towards yourself is much more important than assertiveness towards others. Negative self-talk can only affect you if you allow it.

So, start practicing assertiveness. Speak up to your inner BS when you need to.

When you practice assertiveness, you’ll find that you have more control over your own mind.

You become the type of person who doesn’t let others’ opinions dictate how they think about themselves.

Stay focused

Without focus, there would be no progress. Without focus, there will be chaos.

To find your ideal self, you need to put everything aside and just focus on the task at hand.

Focus on one thing at a time. Focus on one goal at a time.

You can be motivated and plan all day long, but unless you actually follow through with your plans, nothing will happen, and the best way is to put your blinders on and focus on one single goal at a time.

Summary of Step-by-step Process How to Find Your True Self

Finding your true self is a process. It takes time. You don’t become the “new you” overnight.

I’ve been working on myself for over a decade now. And one thing is certain… Once you reach one level, you can find another level. There are an infinite number of levels.

And that’s the beauty of life. There are always new challenges and new opportunities out there.

We may be stuck here at one moment in time. But our journey continues. We move forward, and we grow.

I believe that everyone has potential within them and we should strive to develop ourselves fully.

To recap this article and the entire process, I want to share my step-by-step guide to finding your true self.

  • The first step is to understand the authenticity and importance of your values and principles.
  • Your values and principles are the basis of your character. They’re the foundation of your integrity. What you will do or not do. They determine who you really are.
  • The second step is to identify your motivators. These are the things that motivate you to act. Motivations help us make choices. They are the driving forces behind our behavior. They are the reasons why we take action or refrain.
  • We have external and internal motivations. External motivations come from outside sources. Internal motivations are generated from the inside. We should never rely on external motivation alone. If you want to change something in your life, then you need to know what drives you, and that’s what internal motivators are for.
  • The third step is to constantly zoom out and zoom in. Zooming out means looking at the big picture. This helps us see where we stand in relation to other people and things. Zooming in means doing the same exercise on a smaller scale. This helps us zoom into the details of our lives and figure out what we need to work on.
  • We have to recognize what doesn’t serve us and let go of that which doesn’t serve us. Then we can start focusing on what does. Because if we don’t, it’ll continue to hold us back like a boulder tied around our neck.
  • Then the fourth and final step is to define your ideal self. Defining yourself as you would ideally like to be is how you will actually be your true self, because once you set it, it can actually become your identity. Once you have defined your ideal self, you can begin to practice living up to those ideals.
  • To live up to those ideals, you need to use the Zoom Out and Zoom In methods we talked about earlier. Look at your personal inventory, zoom out and look at the bigger picture. What is it that is not serving you but you’re clinging onto it? Let go and take daily action towards authenticity.
  • To take daily actions, we need to use the “Zoom In” method. Focus on the small parts of your life, be present and do the work. 
  • Whenever needed, reflect on your story and your accomplishments because they’re your greatest assets when you face the obstacles ahead. Never underestimate the power of your accomplishments.
  • Throughout this process of finding your true self, be and stay assertive and focused. Stay assertive because your inner critic is always going to try to distract you with negative thoughts. So whenever you feel like giving up, just remind yourself who you are becoming. And stay focused, because distractions won’t matter if you don’t give them opportunities.

So these are some steps that I strongly advise everyone to take in order to discover their true selves.


The question, “Who are you?” does not matter.

The question, “Who are you becoming?” is what matters.

You now have a step-by-step process for identifying your authentic self and creating the fulfilling life you deserve.

Please remember that your values and principles are the foundation of your character. They are the bedrock upon which you build your life.

You must understand them well before you can move forward. Only after you do that, will you be able to discover your authentic self.

If you found this guide helpful, please share it with someone else.

There are a lot of people struggling to find themselves. It can get really overwhelming, especially when no one seems to tell you what you should do or what you should believe.

My goal was to provide you with an easy-to-understand and implement approach to help you identify your own unique path to success.

Marko Matijasevic

Marko is performance-based growth strategist, focusing on business growth while maintaining a strong emphasis on authenticity in every individual he works with.