Discovering Your True-Self is a Lot Like Peeling Layers of Cognitive Tendencies

Being authentic doesn’t solve all your problems

Piyush Kamal🎖
Publishous
Published in
6 min readMay 28, 2021

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Image designed by the author

THE FOLK concept of true selves is way too implicit in our everyday talk about “who you really are,” “being yourself,” and “finding yourself.” These phrases imply the existence of a fundamental layer of a person’s identity that defines them as unique individuals.

In fact, we’re often bombarded with this new age advice to “be yourself.”

Adam Grant wrote¹ in the New York Times that “we are in the Age of Authenticity, where ‘be yourself’ is the defining advice in life, love, and career.” A study² from 2011 found that in college commencement speeches, one of the most common messages was “Be True to Yourself.”

In other words, these colloquialisms suggest that who “we are” actually revolves around a central “core” of identity-conferring properties. As if, the imagery depicting a core-like entity expanding within the bounds of a larger entity activates feelings of authenticity.³

Based on these less than perfect interpretations, perhaps, living according to your true self means — seeing yourself for who you really are based on your sincere striving to embody the value and achieve the goals you truly believe in.

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Piyush Kamal🎖
Publishous

Published Author Who Loves to Play at the Intersection of Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, & Philosophy — Sharing the Slice of Wisdom Not on Paper but Screen