There are probably times when you feel more like your true self. Maybe it’s when you’re doing your favorite hobby or working in a field you love. At the same time, all of us say and do things that feel inauthentic to ourselves and the world. How can you discover your true self and be happy with who you are? The answer lies in finding your spiritual core. When you’re connected to your spiritual core, you have a strong sense of self-worth, you’re in tune with your true self, and you live a happier life.
Self-esteem and Self-worth
Your self-esteem is how you perceive yourself. Self-esteem is typically referred to as positive or negative, and it’s strongly influenced by your experiences. Most people experience both positive and negative self-esteem, depending on the circumstance—for example, you might think of yourself in a positive light when you’re playing your favorite sport but then see yourself in a negative light when you’re public speaking. But a true positive self-esteem (one that lasts) doesn’t come from success or achievement. It comes from understanding your self-worth.
When you have a sense of self-worth, you value yourself, regardless of what you do or don’t do. You believe that you are worthy of love and belonging. You understand that you deserve to be happy and to live the life you want. Your sense of self-worth directly affects your self-esteem. For example, if you don’t value yourself, then you probably won’t think very highly of yourself. Everyone needs reminders of their self-worth sometimes. Discovering your own self-worth comes from connecting to your true self.
Your True Self
Your true self is somewhere inside of you, in your spiritual core. When you access this part of yourself, you feel happy, peaceful, and centered. Your actions align with your purpose. You live a life that looks more like the life you dreamed of as a child. You feel a magical sense that life is good and things will work out for you. Being connected to your true self doesn’t mean that everything is easy or that you won’t experience pain or heartache—rather, it means that you’re living a deliberate, fulfilled life.
Everyone has a spiritual core. Just like your physical core refers to the center of your body, your spiritual core is the center of your spirit. In your spiritual core, you find your values, beliefs, and deepest desires. In addition, you find your worth as a human being there. Your spiritual core is also the space where your personality lies: what makes you, you. At times when you feel a guiding voice or presence from within, that’s coming from your spiritual core.
The beautiful thing about what’s inside your spiritual core is that these parts of you aren’t easily swayed. They will always serve you, even if they evolve over time. While it’s normal for your values, beliefs, and desires to change throughout your life, your value as a spiritual being will not change. You have a basic goodness that will always remain with you. Understanding your inborn spiritual worth helps you stay connected to your true identity and true self, even when life throws you a few curveballs.
Disconnection from Your True Self
If you’re reading this and your mind is blanking on what your unique spiritual core looks like, it might be that you aren’t living in harmony with your true self. You’re not alone. It’s not hard to neglect your spiritual core (in fact, it takes significant effort to not neglect it). There are infinite tasks demanding your attention and infinite ways to distract yourself from what’s going on around you. So much of your life depends on what others think of you, which tends to make you say and do things that aren’t in line with your true self. A previous article on our site calls this disconnection “existing” as opposed to “living”:
“Existing is doing what you have to do to get through each day and that’s it. Nothing seems to bring much excitement into your life, you don't know what makes you happy, and you're often left feeling disconnected from God. Change scares you, so you try not to do anything differently, and the words, opinions, and ideas of others seem to dictate your reality. Existing in today's world could be waking up to go work a job that you hate, only to come home and do it all over again tomorrow. Existing could also mean living to please others. When we just exist in the world, our dreams are just that: dreams. Pure illusions of the life and things we want to have. We can’t see the possibilities and opportunities in our lives because we've trapped ourselves in the mindset of it being unobtainable or unimportant.”
When you’re not in tune to your true self, you’re simply existing. You feel like your choices aren’t aligned with your calling. You may daydream about a life you could’ve had if you’d made a different decision once upon a time, or you may live every day looking forward to when you can get back in bed. You experience pain that often feels unexplainable and untreatable, whether it’s physical or mental or emotional or spiritual. Without an awareness of your spiritual core, your whole self is off-balance.
Three Steps to Discover Your True Self
So if you’ve lost your grip on your spiritual core, what can you do to settle back into your true self? You’ll have to slow down and investigate your true self. You will also need to develop consistent spiritual habits to stay connected, and to observe any changes along the way. You can feel that connection to your true self every single day if you choose. We’ve broken down three steps you can take to discover your true self.
(1) Notice how you feel. Being in tune to your emotions is key to removing the layers hiding your true self. This isn’t a practice that is isolated to whenever you do your wellness routine. It’s something you should carry into your everyday life. The next time you’re overcome with difficult or painful emotions, describe them and listen to them. This gives space for your stress to dissolve, and it makes a clear path to your true self.
(2) Picture your dream life. When you think “dream life”, you might imagine an absurd, unattainable life, or a life in a mansion where you have unlimited money and resources. But that’s not really your dream life. Your dream life is the life where you are happiest, where you are the most connected to yourself. It’s the life where everything you do comes from your spiritual core. Glennon Doyle, author and philanthropist, created a simple exercise for this picturing your dream life. She calls it your most true and beautiful life:
“Conjure up the truest, most beautiful life, relationship, community, world you can imagine. Write it down. Now read what you’ve written and consider that your imaginings are not a pipe dream -- Your imaginings are your marching orders. We must start accepting that what we can imagine, we can also create.”
(3) Practice spiritual habits. If you haven’t started a spiritual wellness routine, now is the time! The benefit of a wellness practice is that it gives you the chance to develop your spirituality consistently. It gives you a framework for setting spiritual goals. And because your true self lives in your spiritual core, basically any spiritual activity you choose will fuel your connection to your true self.
Benefits of Connecting to Your Spiritual Core
Being connected to your spiritual core has many benefits that will help you be happier in your everyday life. One of these benefits is that you will have power to overcome the negative effects of comparison. It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to each other. A lot of the time, though, comparison leaves you feeling worse about yourself. You start to doubt your goodness and value as a person. But, as we’ve said in a previous article, “If you are caught up in the comparing that is so easily found in the world, you’ll miss out on the satisfaction and joy that comes from confidence in your unique spiritual identity.” Connecting to your spiritual core will help you understand your self-worth and give you strength to overcome the evil of comparison.
Another benefit is that you will be happy with yourself. You’ll be less critical of your shortcomings, and you’ll appreciate your unique spiritual design. Most people use “I’ll be happy when” statements, convincing themselves that enduring the present is worth it for a happier future. However, like we’ve said before, this isn’t always helpful:
“It's not bad to be hopeful for the future, but relying on it for happiness is unsustainable. ‘I'll be happy when’ statements, then, aren't particularly hopeful because they neglect the here-and-now. They act as an escape from reality, where instead of dealing with the issues in front of you, you daydream about an idealistic future. Happiness should help you appreciate life, not run from it.”
When you’re connected to your spiritual core and your true self, though, you find joy in everyday moments of your life. You make decisions based on what matters most to you and on what you enjoy, instead of based on what others expect or think of you. You live your best life.