The Authentic Self...
Authenticity comes when all else is gone, all the masks, all the armour, and all the games.
We all have some form of defense. Somewhere deep inside, there is something worth protecting; we are all vulnerable at some level. Until we can remove the mask, stop the games and put a chink in that armour, we are not living our authentic life.
If you haven’t looked inside, you haven’t even touched on what needs to be dealt with. Not only will you not be living your authentic life, but your issues will manifest themselves into something else, like disease. When fear is running your world or you are holding onto resentments, anger, unhappiness or pain, this is a signal that you have 'stuff' to deal with. Obviously, there are a plethora of issues that accumulate within, but if you don’t deal with them, or with life, you will pay the price. You are here to learn and grow, not sit and stew. So whatever you are hoarding inside, whatever deep, dark secrets you don’t want to look at, they are keeping you from being real.
Self-awareness is the key.
Start by listening to your own inner wisdom or intuition, that little voice inside you. Living in your head will be telling you how you should act or what you should do. Actually, as soon as anyone mentions what you should do, stop listening. Only you know what to do. Trust your intuition.
Try to look at things with an open mind, no judgement. Work on this... people are who they are and they do what they do, just be you, and do your thing, don't worry about the others.
Take a look at your belief system.... clean out everything that no longer serves you.