Authentication: When a person is authentic, it means that they act in ways that genuinely show how they feel. They do this rather than putting on different faces around different people, or tailoring their personality based on context. Personal authenticity is the daily expression of your core beliefs and personality. To be authentic, you need to accept yourself for who you are, and treat others with respect. Authentic people display a consistent set of values, and don’t change their behaviour from one conversation to the next.
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- To become more in touch with yourself, try to accept yourself, act on personal values, build your self-esteem, and prioritize your personal growth.
- To act in an authentic way, focus on being present, trusting your intuition, expressing your honest thoughts, and being vulnerable when necessary.
- Be yourself (even at social gatherings!) stick around for the long-run in relationships, and avoid telling lies.
1. Accept yourself for who you are.
Accepting yourself often requires a mental attitude adjustment. Try to be slower to criticize yourself or see yourself as inferior to others. Focus on accepting and appreciating who you are as a unique individual. This will lead to authentic behaviors in line with your personality.
- This includes accepting your flaws. Being comfortable with yourself requires you to accept that you are not perfect, and means that you should embrace your quirks and the distinct parts of your personality.
- For example, it’s fine if you have hobbies or interests that differ from those of your friends. Explore the things that interest you, and over time, you’ll meet other people who share the same passions.
2. Support your self-esteem.
Every person has valid thoughts and ideas, and is gifted and intelligent in unique ways. It is hard to act in a way that is genuine to your personality if you doubt yourself or lack confidence in yourself.People who lack self-esteem often try to act like people they perceive to be confident, or preen and act as if they’re overly confident. This is a key sign of inauthenticity.
- For example, people with poor self-esteem may dress in the same way that more popular people do, or listen to the same type of music as people that they think are popular. Instead of this, follow your own interests, whether or not other people share them.
- If you have some emotional baggage, give yourself the time to think about it and move on if possible. Talk to a therapist or a counselor if necessary.
3. Act on your personal beliefs and values.
Authentic people are in touch with their moral compass and their personal set of beliefs. This includes religious beliefs, moral beliefs, and beliefs of any other kind. These beliefs should be evident in your daily behaviors. Many people unthinkingly adopt a partner’s, parent’s or friend’s beliefs without figuring out if they are right for you.
- For example, if you say that all people should be treated equally and yet show obvious disdain for certain types of people, you will not be perceived as authentic. Or, if friends are drinking alcohol or eating types of food which you believe are unethical to eat, ask them to stop or excuse yourself from the situation.
- Find your values by identifying what makes you happy and when you were the proudest. Figure out when you feel satisfied.
- You can also think about how you want to give back to the world, then use that as a guideline for how you want to spend your time and energy.
4. Put time into personal growth.
There is a great deal of authenticity to be found in growing yourself and pursuing interests that fulfill you as a person. This can be done through classes, volunteering or hobbies.
- In contrast, inauthentic people often neglect the things that interest them in favor of pursuing whatever they believe to be popular or socially required of them.
- When you’re taking care of yourself, and you’re being mindful of how you spend your time and energy, you’ll often find that you’ll feel better physically and mentally, and you’ll likely be more productive and motivated.
5. Be fully present in whatever circumstances you find yourself.
Being present will lead to greater authenticity because you’ll be able to fully focus on the experiences, conversations, and interactions you’re having in the present moment. The people you’re engaging with will be able to tell you’re engaged and present, and will perceive this as a sign of personal authenticity.
- On the other hand, inauthentic people are inclined to let their minds wander during interpersonal interactions. In interpersonal settings, this behaviour can be perceived as insincere or rude.
6. Trust your intuition when it comes to behaviour and relationships.
Intuition is the inner voice or gut reaction which helps you make decisions and informs your behaviour. In terms of ethical decisions, your personal intuition can also form a “moral compass” to help guide you in making personal decisions.
- Following your intuition will help you make consistent decisions and act in a stable way, rather than making decisions based on what you perceive to be popular opinion or social expectation.
7. Express your thoughts and feelings.
Talk about your opinion when it matters to you. Authentic people are comfortable speaking their mind and communicating when they have a problem or are appreciative of something. If you feel inhibited to speak your mind, or realize that you frequently only say what you think those around you expect to hear, you’re likely behaving in-authentically.
- For example, express gratitude to those around you. Try saying something like, “Mom and Dad, I wanted to say thank you for helping me with my car payments last month. I know money is tight, but the extra cash made a big difference for me.”
8. Ask people for help when you need it.
Genuine people accept that they aren’t perfect and ask for help when needed. Authenticity is not the same thing as perfection. Asking those around you for help is a sign of humility and authenticity, and shows that you respect the skills and talents of the people in your life.
- For example, if you’ve been struggling with your mental health and a friend is a professional counselor, ask them if they can recommend an associate who you can contact for counseling or therapy.
- Or, if you have persistent car trouble, reach out to your co-worker who moonlights as an auto mechanic.
- In a work environment, it’s easier to get your colleagues help if you communicate your needs as an invitation to do something, instead of a burden that’s been inflicted on them.X
9. Be vulnerable.
Share personal information about yourself and be open about your flaws as you start to trust others. Don’t reveal everything if you don’t need to. If you keep your true self hidden, you’ll find it hard to build an authentic relationship.
10. Don’t put on a different face or personality for social functions.
In order to be authentic, simply be yourself in all social and interpersonal contexts. It can be tempting to act the way you think others want you to act, or to posture and act like you have an inflated ego in order to impress new acquaintances. However, these behaviors are not authentic, and other people will see through them quickly.
- Of course, it’s only natural to slightly modify your behavior and vocabulary around certain people. You talk to your boss differently than you talk to your partner or spouse.
11. Don’t tell lies unless they’re absolutely necessary.
Honesty is a key component of authenticity. If lying is a routine part of your behaviour, eventually your friends and other people in your life will catch on. Most likely, they’ll find your lies very inauthentic.
- You can remain authentic despite a lie or two, depending on the circumstance. For example, if you attend a dinner party but find the food distasteful, it’s okay to say, “I’m not very hungry; I’ll only have a salad.”
12. Maintain long-term relationships.
Build trust and respect with other people. A key sign of authenticity is the ability to form and maintain lasting friendships, as well as romantic and professional relationships. Long-term relationships are not built overnight but are rewarding and self-affirming.
- Inauthentic people are often unable to maintain long-term relationships. Inauthentic behaviors, like putting on airs, telling lies, or not having consistent personal values, can prevent lasting relationships from forming.
- Learn to be okay with being rejected. If you don’t have a fear of rejection, it will be easier to maintain a relationship.
13. More tips
Healthy communication is a key element of being authentic. If you are uncomfortable with communication, then focus on building this skill. Talk to others, take classes or be part of a group that encourages open communication.