We hear so much about authenticity. “Be authentic” “Authenticity is the key” “The only way to be successful is to be authentic.” But what does that really mean?
Let’s break it down.
Authenticity is to be true to one’s personality and character. It means you’re willing to show the world who you really are. You’re willing to live the life that you were meant to live. Authenticity is the ability to show your uniqueness to the world.
There are very few authentic people in the world, but you know them when you see them.
We’re naturally drawn to authentic people. We feel comfortable with those that are willing to be themselves.
Use these strategies to live a more authentic life and show the world the real you:
1. Know your values.
What’s important to you? Make a list of every quality you think is important for a person to have. Now, put that list in order. What are your five top values? When you know your values, the authentic choice in any situation is more obvious than when you don’t know your values.
2. Stop doing things you don’t want to do.
You still need to pay your bills and take out the trash. However, you don’t have to play on the church softball team, drive your neighbor to the airport, or take care of your cousin’s cat. If something is too disagreeable for you, just say, “No.”
3. Do what you want to do.
You can spend your time how you please. You don’t need a grand excuse or proof that you’re doing something noble on a cosmic level. The fact that you want to do it is a good enough reason. It’s important not to hurt anyone, including yourself, but feel free to play the harmonica, dance in your front yard, or wear white after Labor Day.
4. Keep an open mind.
When your thinking is very rigid, you limit yourself and prevent your true self from shining through. Preconceived notions are prisons that block you from being authentic. Learn how to experience the world from a variety of perspectives and an open mind.
5. Trust your intuition.
When you ignore your hunches, you feel out-of-sorts. Trust your instincts. They’ll let you know when you’re not being genuine.
6. Be self-aware.
You can’t be authentic if you lack self-awareness. Notice how you feel. Ask yourself, “What do I need at this moment? How can I meet that need?” If you ignore your emotions, you can’t be self-aware.
7. Practice boldness.
The biggest reason for a lack of authenticity is timidity. We want to say and do certain things, but we’re uncomfortable with standing out in any way. We feel vulnerable and exposed. A little discomfort never killed anyone, and there’s so much to be gained by being bold. Give it a try.
8. Openly share your opinion.
Tell others what you think or how you feel about something. Of course, you’ll want to be tactful so you remain considerate of the feelings of those around you. Are you hesitant to share your thoughts on a topic? Ask yourself why that is.
9. Avoid perfectionism.
Trying to be perfect is a huge limitation on your natural personality and expression. Avoiding mistakes and imperfection at all costs is a recipe for inauthenticity.
Authenticity requires courage and dealing with discomfort. But if you want to live your life to the fullest, authenticity is required. Show the world the unique person you are, and celebrate your newfound freedom.
Life is short! So just DO YOU.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to pretend to be someone else. 😉