Are You Living from Your Wounds or Your True Self?

authenticity emotional life healthy relationships inner child healing self-learning Apr 23, 2024
crumpled arrow and a straight arrow signifying good and bad choices



I don’t know about you, but as I reflect on my life so far, I find myself facing the stark realization that more often than not, I’ve believed things, said things, and done things from my wounded self. The repercussions of these thoughts, words, and actions have been far-reaching, everything from failed relationships to missed opportunities and a pervasive sense of unhappiness. Awakening to my own role in all this wasn’t an overnight revelation; it was a gradual awakening to the fact that it was my own lack of awareness that held me back and that led me to act in ways that hindered my own growth and happiness.

Today, dedicating myself to helping others heal, or in other words, helping others break free from the shackles of their wounded self and embrace the fullness of their true Self is my life’s mission. But before we can embark on the path to healing, it’s important that we first become aware of and learn to distinguish between the voices of our wounded self and the whispers of our true Self.

That’s why this blog post is devoted to answering the question: How do we differentiate between our wounded self and our true Self? How do we tell the difference between the echoes of past traumas and the authentic expressions of our innermost self? How do we know who’s calling the shots and making the decisions of our life?

Let’s dive in and explore the nuances together, shall we?


When it Comes to Our Emotions:


Our wounded self: Reacts with intense, disproportionate emotions, often mirroring past traumas or unresolved wounds.

Our true Self: Responds with authenticity and emotional congruence, reflecting genuine feelings in alignment with the present moment.

For example, your wounded self might lash out in anger at your partner for forgetting to pick up groceries, making a heated argument out of a minor issue, whereas your true Self might take a deep breath, calmly express your feelings, and work together with your partner to find a solution.



When it Comes to Triggers:


Our wounded self: Reacts strongly to situations reminiscent of past traumas, driven by unconscious triggers.

Our true Self: Recognizes triggers with mindful awareness and responds consciously, liberated from the grip of past wounds.

When it comes to getting triggered, your wounded self might become defensive and closed off during a performance review at work, for example, feeling criticized and attacked by generally constructive feedback. Your true Self, however, might acknowledge the feedback, reflect on areas for improvement, and use it as an opportunity for growth and development.


When it Comes to Our Motivation and Intent:


Our wounded self: Acts out of fear, seeking external validation or avoiding discomfort.

Our true Self: Moves from a place of authenticity, love, and personal growth, guided by inner values and principles.

Your wounded self might accept a promotion at work for the sole intention of impressing others and seeking external validation, despite knowing deep down that the position doesn't align with your values. Your true Self wouldn’t be caught doing such a thing. Your true Self would prioritize your passion and values, choosing career opportunities that align with your deepest wishes and contribute to your sense of fulfillment.


When it Comes to Our Inner Dialogue:


Our wounded self: Engages in negative self-talk, self-criticism, or adopts critical voices from the past.

Our true Self: Cultivates a nurturing inner dialogue rooted in self-compassion, positivity, and alignment with authentic values.

Your wounded self might engage in negative self-talk and self-criticism, berating you for making a mistake at work and questioning your abilities. “Who do you think you are?”, “You’re not good enough” is a common voice of a wounded self in this kind of situation. If you made a mistake at work, though, your true Self might offer you compassion and understanding, acknowledging that mistakes are a natural part of growth and encouraging you to learn from the experience.


When it Comes to Our Body Sensations:


Our wounded self: Exhibits physical tension, discomfort, or unease, reflecting the somatic manifestations of past wounds.

Our true Self: Embraces sensations of ease, relaxation, and embodiment, signaling alignment with inner truth and authenticity.

For example, your wounded self might experience chronic tension and discomfort in your body due to stress and anxiety from work and personal responsibilities. Your true Self would more quickly realize that it’s time to prioritize self-care and relaxation techniques and practice mindfulness and deep breathing to reduce the stress that’s creeping in.


When it Comes to Connection vs. Isolation:


Our wounded self: Withdraws or avoids authentic connections, perpetuating patterns of isolation and disconnection.

Our true Self: Seeks and nurtures genuine connections with others, honoring the innate human need for belonging and communion.

Your wounded self might not be too keen on social interactions and might avoid intimate relationships out of fear of rejection or abandonment, despite longing for deeper connections. Your true Self, though, might encourage you to actively seek out and nurture genuine connections with others, and remind you of how important it is to embrace vulnerability and authenticity in these relationships.



When it Comes to Alignment with Our Values:


Our wounded self: Acts in ways that betray core values, driven by fear, insecurity, or external expectations.

Our true Self: Makes choices congruent with deepest values and principles, embodying authenticity and integrity in all endeavors.

Your wounded self might compromise your values and integrity to maintain harmony in relationships or to advance professionally, for example, which might lead you to have feelings of guilt and inner conflict. Your true Self, however, might uphold your core values and principles, being sure to make decisions and take actions that align with your authentic self, even and especially when you’re faced with challenges.


When it Comes to Response Time:


Our wounded self: Reacts impulsively without thoughtful consideration, succumbing to knee-jerk responses fueled by past wounds.

Our true Self: Takes the time to pause, reflect, and respond consciously, grounded in clarity, intention, and inner wisdom.

When it comes to response time, your wounded self is likely to react impulsively to conflicts or challenges without considering the consequences. It might say hurtful things in the heat of the moment. Your true Self might take a pause, reflect on the situation, and respond thoughtfully and compassionately, considering the impact that your words and actions will have on others.


When it Comes to Our Patterns of Behavior:


Our wounded self: Engages in repetitive, self-sabotaging patterns that perpetuate the cycle of woundedness and disconnection.

Our true Self: Embarks on a journey of growth and self-discovery, embracing adaptive behaviors that foster healing, resilience, and authentic self-expression.

Your wounded self might engage in self-sabotaging behaviors like procrastination or perfectionism, repeating negative patterns that might seem helpful on the surface but that hinder your growth and well-being, whereas your true Self might adopt more adaptive behaviors that don’t just cover up hurt and insecurities but that leave a genuinely positive impact on your life.



When it Comes to Levels of Self-Compassion:


Our wounded self: Harbors self-judgment, guilt, or shame, perpetuating cycles of self-criticism and unworthiness.

Our true Self: Embraces mistakes with self-compassion, viewing them as opportunities for growth, learning, and profound transformation.

Self-compassion isn’t a language that your wounded self speaks. Your wounded self might instead harbor feelings of self-judgment and shame over past mistakes, seeing you through a lens of criticism and negativity. But, your true Self would be likely to lean on self-compassion and self-forgiveness, acknowledging your humanity and encouraging you to treat yourself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance.


I hope you've found some clarity and insight to guide you on your journey of self-discovery and healing while reading. If there’s one thing I want to leave you with, it’s this: Recognizing the patterns of Our wounded self is the first step towards the true freedom and happiness we are all seeking. And I’m so glad that, through awareness, we could begin to untangle some of the threads that our conditioning and past traumas weave in our lives.

If you're ready to dive a little deeper into this journey of untangling the life and circumstances  created for you by your wounded self, I invite you to join me for my free webinar, "How to Be the Loving Partner or Parent You Want to Be." In this 90 minute session, we delve into the reasons behind our subconscious behaviors and explore actionable strategies to reclaim our true selves. Simply click here to reserve your spot, and I’ll see you there!

And if you’re thinking “Dr Sophia, I hear you and I want some personalized guidance and support on my path to healing”, I offer one-on-one therapeutic coaching sessions tailored to your unique needs and goals. My calendar is filling up fast, but there are still a few spots left.


With love,


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