January 30, 2020

Is discovery of our authentic self the greatest expedition of all?

Julie Farrell, 33

I wrote this piece after an intensive programme of cognitive behavioural therapy. I realised that the work I was doing in therapy was breaking inherited patterns of negative thoughts and subsequent behaviours; and in the breaking of them, I was learning who my authentic self really was. I started to question why I had to do this work, and how I had become inauthentic in the first place. It’s a question we owe ourselves to ask, and one which is increasingly neglected in a distracted and digital world, particularly amongst younger generations. It’s my hope that by discussing and analysing my own experiences of therapy, that others will question their own behavioural patterns. Their authenticity. Ask themselves why they do the things they do, and if their behaviours no longer serve them, or indeed, others. Destructive patterns are hard to break: it takes time and work to realise if we are stuck in a cyclone of repeating behaviours. This essay asks the question – do we really know ourselves? Will we ever? And if we truly want to know our authentic self – what might that journey look like?

Is discovery of our authentic self the greatest expedition of all?, 2020