being yourself

Be who you are and say what you feel
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.

Dr. Seuss

Each person had only one genuine vocation--to find the way to himself. . . . One's task was to discover one's own destiny--not an arbitrary one--and to live it out wholly and resolutely within oneself.  Everything else was only a would-be existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideals of the masses, conformity, and fear of one's own inwardness.

Herman Hesse

If you seek authenticity for authenticity's sake you are no longer authentic.

Jean Paul Sartre
I believe one of our souls' major purposes is to know, love, and express our authentic selves.  To live the life and be the person we were created to be.  However, our true selves only emerge when it's safe to do so.  Self-condemnation, shame, and guilt send your true nature into hiding.  It's only in the safety of gentle curiosity, encouragement, and self-love that your soul can bloom as it was created to do.

Sue Patton Thoele

The task is to recognize that you are uniquely special, have something to give, some talent no one else shares in quite the same way.  This gift needs to blossom so we can appreciate and enjoy the benefits of it and acknowledge you for it.   You owe this to yourself and to all of us to honor your gifts, for only when you share your unique joy with the world does the entire world benefit.  Every advance humankind has known has come because of someone's effort.  Don't let shyness rob you and the world of the power and the passion that lies within you.  No one can be all that you will be except you yourself.  Follow your passion.

Joel Garfinkle


Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most
deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says,
"This is the real me," and when you have found that attitude, follow it.

William James


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Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.

Richard Bach


It is finally when you let go of what people expect you
to be and people's perceptions of you that you're able to be
the version of yourself that you're supposed to be-- like
in God's eyes.  It doesn't matter if you're half crazy, or eccentric,
or whatever it is-- that you have to be true to who
you were born to be.

Gwyneth Paltrow


To think is easy.  To act is difficult.
To act as one thinks is the most difficult.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The eighteenth-century German philosopher Johann Herder taught
that each person has an original and unique manner of being human.
The task is to develop it.  According to Nietzsche, a person is known
by his or her "style," that is, by the unique pattern that gives unity
and distinctiveness to a person's activities.  Style articulates the
uniqueness of the self.  Rather than fitting one's life into the demands
of external conformity, rather than living one's life as an imitation of
the life of another, one should look to find the authentic self within.
One should labor to develop one's own unique style in crafting one's soul.
An individual who denies his or her own individuality articulates life with
a voice other than that which is uniquely his or her own.  A person who
suppresses his or her own self is in danger of missing the point of his or her
own existence, of surrendering what being human means.

Byron L. Sherwin
Crafting the Soul

Once you accept and rejoice in your authenticity, you begin
to see things as YOU are.  You begin to see the authentic self
is the Soul made visible.  Godspeed on your journey to wholeness.

Sarah Ban Breathnach


The more authentic you become, the more genuine in
your expression, particularly regarding personal experiences
and even self-doubts, the more people can relate to your
expression and the safer it makes them feel to express
themselves.  That expression in turn feeds back on the other
person's spirit, and genuine creative empathy takes place,
producing new insights and learnings.

Stephen Covey




We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people
that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves
and live our lives with authenticity.

Barbara De Angelis


Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at,
with originality, which they should never bother about.

W.H. Auden


When you find your authentic self, the same thing happens.  You realize
that who you thought you were—which was based largely on the opinions
of others and who they think you should be—isn't who you really are.
You don't need a mirror to find your authentic self; you only need to
stop trying to be anything, and simply just be.  You become your
authentic self by letting go of who you think you should be.

Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
Little Book of Wisdom


We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


When one is pretending the entire body revolts.

Anaïs Nin


You cannot fail at being yourself.  A cat doesn't try to be
a tiger, and you shouldn't try to be something you aren't.
You are a process, not a product.  Your job is to discover
what you are and create that creature.  You still won't be
perfect, but success isn't about perfection--it is
about authenticity.  You are a success if you are
being your real, authentic self.

Bernie Siegel


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When you awaken to what I call the Authentic Self, which is the spiritual
or evolutionary impulse, what begins to emerge is the dawning recognition
of the fact that each one of us, at our highest level, is that Authentic Self,
which is actually the same energy and intelligence that originally inspired
the entire creative process.  You begin to intuit and feel directly
connected to the very impulse that initiated the whole event
fourteen billion years ago and is driving it right now.

Andrew Cohen


Finally and most important of all, authenticity means that you must do what
you do the way you do it and allow everyone else the same courtesy.  There
was a time I wanted to be like every famous writer that ever lived.  I tried
to copy styles, reframe information, use similar artwork.  I almost drove
myself crazy!  Now I just do what I do.  I have mentors.  There are people
whose work I admire, but I write the way I write.  I eat the way I eat.
I dress the way I dress.  I can't believe that God made us each
so unique only to have us do everything the same way.

Iyanla Vanzant


Do not carry the burden of the past; do not live in the future.
The only important thing is that one lives in the present
authentically and fully.  Whatever your current life is,
be the most you can be by living in the moment.

Chan Chih


We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.

May Sarton


How would your life be different if you approached all relationships
with authenticity and honesty?  Let today be the day that you
dedicate yourself to building relationships on the solid
foundation of truth and authenticity.

Steve Maraboli
Life, the Truth, and Being Free


Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic,
imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never
be greater than our level of self-acceptance.

Brené Brown
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be
Vulnerable Transforms the Way We
Live, Love, Parent, and Lead



Children are born authentic, but over time parents, teachers, and
other authority figures shape them and prod them to chase goals
that are aligned with family expectations, social values, and religious
beliefs.  Provided they feel loved and receive the right messages, this
is a good thing, but there comes a day when all children, regardless
of their circumstances, are old enough to make their own choices.  If
the choices we make are not in balance with our true natures—in
alignment with our souls’ desires—we lose our authentic selves.

Bernie Siegel
No Endings, Only Beginnings


Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.
It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest.
The choice to let our true selves be seen.

Brené Brown
The Gifts of Imperfection

What it means to be authentic:
- to be more concerned with truth than opinions
- to be sincere and not pretend
- to be free from hypocrisy:  walk your talk
- to know who you are and to be that person
- to not fear others seeing your vulnerabilities
- being confident to walk away from situations where you can't be yourself
- being awake to your own feelings
- being free from others' opinions of you
- accepting and loving yourself

Sue Fitzmaurice

   being yourself   

Anyone who really loves you wants you to be authentic.  And
anyone who doesn't want you to be authentic doesn't really love you.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to
authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to
the honesty, and the inevitability of something.

Meredith Monk


The closer you stay to emotional authenticity and people, character
authenticity, the less you can go wrong. That's how I feel now,
no matter what you're doing.

David O. Russell


Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing
every detail of yourself without rhyme or reason.  It is simply the act of
openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen, saying what
needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and
becoming that which you are intent on being.

Scott Edmund Miller

The struggle to excavate your true, authentic self from beneath the mountain
of conditioning and ridiculous expectation is the epic struggle of your lifetime.

Bryant McGill
Simple Reminders


It's a funny thing, how it works.
The moment we stop trying so hard to be someone, we become
ourselves-- only what was there all along, waiting and
peeking out from behind all the masks we wore.
And when this happens, we discover that Who We Really Are is
much greater than anything we might have
pretended or even hoped to be.

Jacob Nordby

When you honor your most authentic self--your Spirit--you are
allowing your Light to shine and touch the world.  Living
authentically, in its simplest terms, is living your Truth, the
truth in your heart and soul. It's allowing yourself to be guided
by Divine Truth and Wisdom, each and every day, and doing
your Highest, most authentic work in the world.
It's joyfully creating and living your Highest purpose!

Valerie Rickel


Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


When Walker first steps onto the road, he has no thoughts, no history, no memories, and no clothes. As he travels and meets people and learns from them, he comes to know more about life, living, and becoming the person he's meant to be. Walker is a parable for all of us who wonder what might be the purpose of life, why bad things happen with almost as much regularity as good things, and how we can learn from the bad examples and experiences in our lives as much as we can learn from the good things. Tom Walsh's parable is a story of the ages, a timeless exploration of ideas and thoughts that all of us wonder about, a sincere and heartfelt portrait of a man who has no past and no future, but who learns to make the most of each precious present moment as it comes.



Explore all of our quotations pages--these links will take you to the first page of each topic, and those pages will contain links to any additional pages on the same topic.

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