At its root, authenticity requires self-knowledge and self-awareness. Authentic people accept their strengths and weaknesses. They are accountable. They are connected to their values and desires and act deliberately in ways that are consistent with those qualities.
Authenticity is about being genuine and real. It allows us to connect deeply with others because it requires us to be transparent and vulnerable.
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of authenticity. Authenticity starts when you set the intention to be genuine, but you must have a clear picture of what that looks and feels like.
When you live with this kind of self-awareness, decisions are easier because you are free to choose things that move you closer to your values.
This seemingly intangible quality of authenticity, then, has very tangible outcomes. Authentic people feel better, are more resilient, and less likely to turn to self-destructive habits for comfort. They tend to be purposeful in their choices and more likely to follow through on their goals.
If, instead, you find yourself feeling fragmented, unhappy, bored, stressed, stuck, or uninspired, it could be a sign that you aren’t acting authentically. That’s something you can change right now.
Here are four ways to get started:
- Redefine your values. It’s impossible to live a value-based life without a clear sense of what that means. We need to articulate what matters most and align our actions around those things. Get clear on what you care about and authenticity will take hold.
- Foster an open mind. Authenticity flourishes when we experience the world from a wide perspective. Take in the depth and complexity. The mind needs to be stretched as much as the body. Challenge yourself to look at all sides of the situation.
- Notice when you’re faking it. Get curious about it. Why is that? Be mindful of insincerity, lack of presence or acting out of alignment with what works.
- Trust your intuition. Our relationship to the physical world is the bedrock of living. The more in synch we are with our natural rhythm, the more we can trust our inner knowing. Pay attention to those hunches, physical sensations, and impressions. The synchronistic moments are confirmation that you’re on the right track.
Who we are evolves and changes. This is a dynamic process. This is a journey of going deeper, to keep discovering and unfolding new pieces of ourselves.