We live in a society that values ego, bling, status and cash and we seem to have lost our sense of authenticity. So many of us are caught up in fitting in that they have lost themselves in the process and don’t know what it means to be themselves anymore.
But what does it actually mean to be authentic?
It’s like peeling off the layers of an onion. We take away the ego, bling, status and cash and over time we come to the core of who we truly are. It’s kind of difficult to describe what authenticity really looks like, but we all can always immediately tell if somebody is being genuine and real or when they are not. It’s like we instantly know by how someone carries themselves and how the person speaks that we know whether they are being authentic or not.
At times, the notion of being authentic can feel daunting, but there are some very actionable qualities, skills and habits we can start expressing and doing today to be more authentic with ourselves first and foremost, but also with those around us.
Here are our TOP 10 qualities of authenticity.
#1 Express Your Feelings Honestly
When you are living from a place of authenticity, you don’t need to hide your feelings or pretend that you are feeling something that you are not actually feeling. The beauty of authenticity is that you have the confidence to express your feelings honestly and can openly show them without the fear of being judged. If you are upset, you show it. If you like someone, you tell them. If you are comfortable in your own skin and know who you are, showing others how you feel allows them to better understand who you are. It’s incredibly freeing to not have to bottle up your feelings and express them unapologetically.
#2 Be Bold
Most people try to avoid feeling uncomfortable at all cost and when we start to feel nervous or anxious, we pull back. Being authentic requires us to be bold and step outside our comfort zone and become comfortable with discomfort. Authenticity makes you bold, you don’t worry about other people’s opinion and can do and say what is in line with who you are and communicate with others openly about your values, wishes and desires.
#3 Value Experience Over Material Possessions
Highly authentic people realize that life experiences are a lot more meaningful than any richness or material possessions. You don’t need shiny things to feel good and are open to learn and explore, both internally and externally. Genuine people value experiences and relationships and know that happiness comes from within. You know that ultimately it’s not how much money you have accumulated, but how many lives you were able to touch and the lessons you have learned along your journey.
#4 Don’t Worry About Pleasing Others
Highly authentic people are who they are and while they strive to act with compassion and understanding, they don’t worry about pleasing everyone around them or live up to other people’s expectations. Being genuine means that you know that some people will like you and some won’t and you are OK with that. We’ve all heard it before, you cannot please everyone, so be confident enough to be who you are and don’t even try to please everyone. This way you will attract the right people into your life who appreciate you for who you are.
#5 Give Up ‘Should’ing’
Pressures from society, cultural expectations and our own thoughts about what we ‘should’ do can cause us to forget or deny our authenticity. Give up ‘should’ing’ and allow yourself to follow your passion instead of always doing what is expected from you and what you perceive to be what you’re supposed to do. If you consistently choose joy over your ‘should’ you connect to living authentically and wire your brain for happiness.
#6 Gather Your Tribe
We all know that we are the average of the 5 people closest to us, so authentic people surround themselves with people who value the real them and understand who they are and get them. Get rid of all the negative, critical people in your life and find the people who support and encourage you just like you are doing for them. Gather your tribe and hang out with people who build you and others up.
#7 Keep an Open Mind
Being authentic means that you are open-minded and welcome new ideas and life lessons. You don’t live in a vacuum and respect other people’s beliefs and feelings, which makes you approachable and open to see other people’s perspectives. You may not always agree with everybody, but you eliminate judgment and preconceived notions, which lets you emerge out of interactions with others knowledgeable, tolerant and balanced.
#8 Consider Your Gut Feeling
Listen to your body, because your body never lies and always knows if you are living authentically or not. Just think about it… when you do something you don’t want to do and isn’t in line with who you are, your body is tense, stressed and tired. However, if you act authentically with excitement, joy and purpose, your body feels lighthearted, open and expansive. Listen to your gut feeling and be aware of the physical sensations in your body and you can be sure you will make the right decision that you are comfortable with and that is in line with who you are.
#9 Celebrate Other People’s Successes
Genuine, authentic people aren’t just focused on themselves, but rather motivate and support others to keep pushing forward and be the best version they can be. You will be the first to celebrate other people’s successes and see the success of another as the proof that you yourself can do it too and succeed. If you operate from a place of authenticity you aren’t jealous or try to throw curveballs into other people’s way to lessen their chances of success, but you lift people up, inspire and motivate them.
#10 Take Responsibility
As an authentic person, you are in the driver seat of your own life, you make all the important decisions for yourself and don’t allow others to make decisions for you. With that you know that the person who makes a mistake or fails is ultimately you and you have the courage to take responsibility for your own life and actions. No matter what the outcome is, whether it is positive or negative, you own it and don’t have the need to shift blame.
Authentic people know who they are. They are extremely confident and completely comfortable in their own skin. Genuinely real people are deeply grounded in reality and truly present in the now, because they don’t have to worry about anyone else’s agenda or figure out their own. They just show up as they are and live life to the fullest.
INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF AND GET TO KNOW WHO YOU TRULY ARE
Joschi & Monika