Do you feel like you “act out” different versions of yourself for different roles? Do you put on one mask for work, another for family or your spouse or kids, and feel like the real you stays hidden? This can be a stressful and exhausting way to live. We aren’t meant to hide our authentic selves under other personas just to fit in, but we often feel pressured to do so.There are times when you do have to project a persona in order to accomplish your goals. If you are a bundle of nerves about a sales presentation, you have to project smoothness and confidence to get the interest of your customer. If you are an ER nurse, you can’t be visibly grossed out by a horrific wound. But we get trapped in artificial personas when we force ourselves to hide our true selves in order to fit in and be liked or respected.If you choose to work toward being your authentic self as much as possible in all aspects of your life, you come up against pressure to conform. People are often not comfortable with other people being “real” and react negatively. They can even be threatened by your authenticity because they are wearing masks themselves. So it is important to keep some truths in your mind and revisit them when you need to press back against the messages telling you to go along to get along.1. Life is Short.Many people look forward to a time when they can let the masks go and be themselves – after the kids are grown, after they retire, once they reach a certain career goal. But we don’t know how long we have in this life. Every moment you spend acting as someone else is a moment that you deprive yourself and those around you of the real you. You need to make the best use of every moment, living authentically.2. One Size Doesn’t Fit All.You will never be able to live up to everyone’s expectations. You can tie yourself into knots and wear yourself out trying to chase everyone else’s ideas of you, and will only end up frustrated. When you are yourself, there are people who will be naturally attracted to you. These are the people you want to be around, because you can enjoy their company without feeling that you have to tap dance or perform for them. You won’t be everyone’s ideal, but that is okay. There are people who will find you wonderful the way you are.3. You Have Goals.You have goals in your life that you want to accomplish, that you can only reach by being your true self. Spending time acting as something you are not is time spent away from working toward your goals.4. You need to love yourself.It can seem like the world is against you, that everyone in your life wants you to be something that works better for them. They all have their own concerns that take priority over yours. Therefore, you have to care about you, and be your own fierce advocate. Love and nurture yourself, and others will follow.5. You need to forgive yourself.Don’t fall into the trap of sighing over mistakes or missed opportunities that have passed by days, months, or even years before. That is the unchangeable past. All you can do is learn from it and do better as you go forward. If you make a mistake today, do what you can to fix it today and then let it go.6. Don’t judge.Just as you are on your journey each day, so is everyone else. You don’t know what they are battling with in their lives, how much they are living their true life or feeling trapped within expectations the world has for them. You are not obliged to change yourself to suit others, but they are not obliged to do that for you either. Release your expectations for them and you will feel freer too.–It is a challenge to embrace and nurture your authentic self, and show the real you to the world. There can be pushback from society and people in your life. But keep reminding yourself of these six things, and you will find it easier to resist the pressure and go forward on your journey.