There’s a unique and unmistakable power in knowing, becoming, and being your real self. Those who are truly happy in life understand this power and vehemently stick to their authentic selves.

To be authentic is not to allow a situation or person to change you, unless for the better. Personal authenticity is firmly in place, regardless of who is in your company. Sure, your style of communication and how you present yourself (e.g. formal or informal speech) may change, but not your actual core.

There is undoubtedly an authenticity problem in society, as many of you have likely seen and experienced. For example, one survey found that nearly half of all people feel they need to “fake it” at work (a belief that only adds to an already stressful working environment.) When we walk into a place of business to purchase something, it’s commonplace to experience a sense of doubt about the person doing the selling. “What’s in it for them?” we ask ourselves.

While we may not be able to change someone else’s authenticity, we can certainly change ours. Feeling the need to “put on a mask” is exhausting, stressful, and (often) deceitful. It’s also risky – when people feel uncertain about you, they’re more likely to start distrusting anything you do or say.

To be your authentic self requires honesty, vulnerability, and courage – and it’s also incredibly rewarding. What does it mean to be an authentic person? And how do you find your true self? Here are some tips for how to discover yourself.