Being the authentic you
Are you acting in a certain way around your boss or colleagues so you are accepted?
Do you say things to impress others?
We all want to fit in, be liked, accepted and respected by other people. In person and on screen, particularly on social media, we often present ourselves as who we think we should be, and not reflecting our true self.
What is the definition of authentic?
It is being not false or copied. It is being genuine and representing one’s true nature and beliefs. Authenticity is being true to oneself.
What is being authentic?
It is when you behave in ways that show your true self and how you feel.
If you are showing people only a particular side of yourself, or presenting a persona that is not characteristically you, then you are not being authentic.
To be authentic means you need to know who your true self actually is. Self- reflection, self- awareness, self- honesty and self-acceptance is required.
It is about living in the moment with conviction and confidence, and staying true to yourself.
It is being aware that society and media tells us who we are to be, how to look, how to spend money, and what to think. There is a need to not allow these influences to prevent being authentic.
Why is authenticity important?
When you are being someone you are not, then you are continually reminding yourself that, who you really are, is not acceptable. This may lead to being less connected with people, and not feeling good about yourself.
If you are authentic, you have integrity, trust and respect.
When you are honest with yourself and others, you have the strength and openness to deal with problems.
When you trust yourself, you can recognise potential in your life.
When you trust yourself, your self-esteem and confidence increases.
An authentic person makes people around them feel at ease.
Is it easy to be the authentic you?
Some people will find it easier than others. For some people, being authentic may not be easy. Sometimes you may:
- protect yourselves from previous experiences
- not want to take risks because you fear what others think of you
- have a constant need to please people
- are constantly comparing yourself with others so you put yourself down
- always be striving for perfection
The good news is that you can be the authentic you through learning the approach to take.
How do you discover your authentic self?
To be your authentic self, you need to know yourself, prioritise living according to your values, find your purpose and care about the people and things that matter to you.
How to develop authenticity
- Observe yourself objectively
Take notice of how you behave, how you react under pressure, what you think and believe, what challenges you and why, and how do you respond to challenges.
Notice how you feel at the time when in the moment. Is the feeling really you, or is it a false response perhaps adopted from someone else, your family, expectations or past experiences.
Are your actions and talk aligned with your beliefs? When you want to fit in, it is easy to say something which is inconsistent with the authentic you. This is common. Are you thinking or saying some things because someone else taught you to say them? Have you thought about what you believe? To be authentic, align your thinking and actions with your beliefs.
- Be intuitive
Be conscious of your inner thoughts and actions. Listen to your inner-self as it will guide you.
- Explore your values.
Knowing your values is an effective way to live more authentically.
- Make telling the truth a habit
Be honest to yourself and say what you think, believe and feel according to your values. When you speak your truth, authentically, you show others that you are responsible, honest and trustworthy.
- Make decisions and statements, with deliberation.
Important decisions for yourself and others requires planning, knowing the facts and purposeful thinking. Don’t be rushed into decisions.
- Develop a personal growth mindset
Be open to new knowledge, opportunities and new experiences and aim to achieve sustained authenticity.
- Be kind, humble and genuine
Treat people with kindness and respect.
- Find your life purpose
Finding your purpose, if it is not already known, may come while developing your authenticity. A passion to accomplish an important goal may make you realise your conviction. If you open yourself up to living authentically, your purpose is likely to become clear.
- Practise, practise, practise the ways to develop authenticity
At every time, in any place, practise being the authentic you. Have the courage to be yourself.