Authenticity is underestimated. It's more than being honest with the world. It's being honest with self. Cultivating your authentic self has many benefits. Most importantly, you won't feel the need to change your words or actions to impress others. You can relax and be yourself.
Before you can be authentic, it’s important to know yourself. This includes your values and goals. Authenticity becomes a possibility when you know what matters to you.
Embrace authenticity and present yourself honestly:
1. Give up on looking perfect. Excellent is good enough. But seriously, when we don't have to look perfect, we can be honest. Nobody can be perfect and honest all at once. Don't make a spectacle for the rest of the world. You won't feel much later.
It’s okay to be less than spectacular. Be the best at being yourself.
2. Know your values and be true to them. If you know your values and adhere to them constantly, you are already doing good by being authentic.
Make a list of your values and identify the five that matter most to you. Do you live your life within those values? Would it be apparent to others that you have those values?
Decide to make decisions based on the values you hold. Be willing to share your values with others.
3. Notice when you’re not being authentic. It’s not easy to be authentic all the time. You might find yourself transforming based on the situation. A first date is a good example. Are you genuine or do you claim to be someone you're not?
Notice those moments where your authenticity begins to wane.
4. Understand your goals. What do you want out of life? Do you know? Are you willing to let others know? Knowing your goals enables you to live your life accordingly.
List your short- and long-term objectives. To what extent are they reflective of your values?
5. What are your defining characteristics? Be honest about yourself. Now ask yourself if a casual acquaintance would describe you the same way? How about somebody who knows you? How about your closest friend?
How many people know you well? If there aren’t many, ask yourself why. If you live authentically, it should be easy for somebody to develop a true opinion of you.
What are your “negative” characteristics? Are you impatient or messy? Are you willing to allow others to see these characteristics or do you attempt to hide them?
6. Tell the truth. If you’re being authentic, why would you need to lie? This pertains especially to anything you say about yourself. Acknowledge your mistakes, weaknesses and weaknesses. Share your opinions honestly and freely.
7. Simplify your life. Get rid of everything that’s extraneous. What you choose to hold on to will reflect your preferences and true identity. Find your true essence by stripping away the non-essential. Start with clothes you never wear, things you never use or activities you don't like. Only keep what's more important to you.
8. Do what you say you’ll do. Keep your word and live up to your promises. You’ll feel more congruent, and others will view you as more congruent. When your words and actions match, you’re demonstrating authenticity.
Life becomes easier when you’re living authentically. You will not feel the weariness that comes with the constant change of your opinions, attitudes, and personality to please others. You’ll no longer feel the need to protect yourself from others. Be authentic with your thoughts, words, and actions. Invest time in yourself and gain freedom.