Authenticity: To be authentic is what distinguishes you from the crowd and shows the world your uniqueness.
It is also a crucial prerequisite for living a meaningful life. A life that leads to successful bonds with other people and encourages deep and lasting happiness.
However, most of us dread the idea of exposing our true selves to the world mainly out of fear of being isolated from our family and social circle.
Often we prefer to abide by others’ expectations and we don’t live according to our deeper desires.
We put on a mask just to feel included or liked by others. Something that results in sabotaging our well-being in the long run.
But why it matters to be authentic in the first place?
What is “be authentic” in its essence?
First, let’s take a look at what it really means to be authentic.
How often do you find yourself doing or not doing something because you’re worried about “how others will take it”?
And this includes small stuff like what you are going to wear to that party or bigger stuff like what profession you will follow.
To be authentic is, in its essence, the quality of being true to yourself, your values, and your beliefs.
It means to behave in alignment with your feelings, thoughts, desires, core values, and character rather than adapt a persona to just fit in with the people around you.
It is one thing to behaviorally adapt to co-exist peacefully with the world and another to sacrifice your true identity just for the sake of being liked and accepted.
Authentic people don’t mimic others nor do they try to be someone else but themselves. They dare to share their honest opinions, set solid boundaries and abstain from any people-pleasing behaviors.
This way of living permits them to foster deeper relationships, have peace of mind, and enjoy life more.
To be authentic – being yourself – is about enjoying the freedom to “be who you are” in a natural way, without the mask of propriety in your relationships.
To be authentic. But why does being authentic really matter?
Take a moment and think of a luxury brand and its products. Let’s say a Channel bag that typically costs a small fortune to acquire.
The authentic one, that is to say. Its high price reflects several unique characteristics that this trademark represents.
Now, think of all those fake Channel bags that fill up the market worldwide. They are way cheaper and they look identical. But they are not the authentic Channel bags.
The same goes for people. The more authentic someone is the more unique and rare is to this world. And the more precious. Do you get my point? Now let’s expand more on why authenticity is important.
To be authentic is crucial because it sets off a beneficial domino effect for your overall well-being and your life in total. Authenticity enhances your self-esteem and leads you to make wiser choices.
It greatly supports happiness and peace of mind and it fosters fulfillment and self-actualization which is the ultimate purpose of your life on earth.
When your behavior and goals align with your deeper intentions you are more likely to feel content with yourself and others, cultivate healthy connections, pursue your passions and promote your talents, and stick to your beliefs.
Trying to be someone else, betraying your values, or acting according to other people’s expectations on the other hand, – all elements of inauthenticity – can negatively affect your mental health, sabotage your relationships and derail you of your true purpose.
Self-knowledge: the first step to be authentic
The first and most important step of your journey to be authentic and a life full of deep satisfaction and meaning is to discover who you really are at your deepest level.
The journey of self-awareness is a lifelong journey. And the more open you are to following this path, the more you will grow and evolve. And consequently, letting your true colors shine.
Being fully aware of yourself is all about how deep within yourself you are willing to look. This is a huge challenge and often quite scary.
There are parts of your life and your personality that you may don’t even want to look at; that you don’t even want to remember, or that you don’t even want to know exist.
There are parts of your life that you may avoid, parts of yourself that you want to renounce. You may even prefer to hide your fears and insecurities rather than face them head-on.
But if you want to live a satisfying and complete life, a meaningful life, the life you really want, you will need to dive in and “make peace” with yourself.
To find the truth, whatever it is, and to “embrace” it.
That is, to accept your true self instead of fighting and hiding it. So that you can emerge as a genuine person.
Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher with his well-known aphorism “know thyself” highlighted the importance of self-knowledge for an authentic and truly satisfactory life.
Since then, many other philosophers and psychoanalysts recognized and supported his words backed up with relevant data and research.
It is only through self-knowledge one can gain an authentic living in this world and experience deep joy and fulfillment.
Which brings us to the next subject. How do you start showing up as an authentic person?
How To Be Authentic And Stand Out From The Crowd?
The truth is that we live in a culture that places a high value on respecting human rights and promoting freedom and independence.
Simultaneously, however, we are receiving overwhelming pressure to do exactly the opposite.
People around us as well as the media, try to define our behavior by teaching us the importance of fitting in and being liked and accepted.
So is there any way you can escape this trap and invest in your authenticity?
7 Simple Tips To Be Authentic
So, here are some useful tips and ways to help you be authentic:
1. Be honest
Communicate your truth no matter what. Yet do it always in a polite way. Start sharing your feelings, thoughts, and values with the people you feel most comfortable with.
This requires you to be more vulnerable. Vulnerability though is not a weakness and you should not think of it as such. It is a courageous act
2. Avoid gossip
Or any kind of triangulation. Instead speak directly to the person to whom you want to express your annoyance, complaint, or discomfort.
Gossiping is energy-consuming and sooner or later it will harm you.
3. Trust your gut
If you want to be authentic you got to trust your gut. And act on it. Your inner voice is your precious compass to navigate life and it brings to the surface your deeper nature.
All the answers reside inside you. All you have to do is listen and not ignore that quiet voice.
4. Develop self-awareness.
Take some time to contemplate your needs, desires, goals, and aspirations. Your strong points and your flaws.
What you want to offer to this world. How can you be authentic if you don’t really know who you are after all?
Meditation and journaling are the fastest ways to get you there.
5. Take chances
You will never fully know yourself if you don’t leave your comfort zone. If you don’t fully engage in life and experiment.
So, try not to let your fears freeze you and hold you back from trying out new experiences and mingling with new people.
The trial and error technique will not only help your authenticity to emerge but will also enhance your self-confidence.
6. Honor your truth
If you are not in the mood in doing something don’t do it. Simple as that.
Set firm boundaries of what you can and can’t accept. Come to terms with rejection.
What is meant to be in your life and support your purpose will eventually find room. What is not, will just drift away.
7. Practice self-care.
Treating yourself with love and respect builds up your self-esteem and makes you less vulnerable to seeking validation from external resources.
Next to feeding yourself healthy, working out, sleeping well, and keeping toxic people at arm’s length, include positive affirmations in your daily routine.
Learn to be authentic. It’s worth the case!
Authenticity needs courage. It needs effort too. But it is highly rewarding. And it goes hand in hand with self-knowledge.
It’s a personal decision that requires commitment and dedication. And an ally to get you on track and assist you on this transformational journey.
If you feel that you are not living up to your fullest potential and that you hide your true self from your environment just for the sake of being accepted, I am here to help you change that.
And guess what! I am only a free-of-charge discovery call away. In our online session, we can talk about what hinders you from expressing your true colors and showing up to the world as your genuine self.
And then make up a plan on how you can start expressing your real self without feeling guilty or shameful.
You owe it to yourself and the world. Because the world for it to become a better place needs you to be authentic.
The question is, do you have the guts to do it?
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