This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.
The world often tells us who we should be and what we should want. It can feel unmooring to receive so many conflicting messages from external forces, but when you know yourself deeply as an individual—or have a strong sense of self, as it's sometimes called—you're less likely to be swayed by outside opinions. Understanding who you are imbues you with a sturdiness that will intrinsically ground you back to yourself, clarifying what truly motivates you and what isn't meant for you.
Defining a sense of self.
Your sense of self is essentially your self-image. Having a "strong sense of self" is simply knowing who you truly are and what you stand for, according to holistic psychotherapist Sonia Fregoso, LMFT. It starts by evaluating and concretizing qualities like your convictions, values, wants, needs, desires, principles, truths, beliefs, behaviors, roles, likes, dislikes, etc.