What does it mean to be an authentic person and to live an authentic life?
There’s lots of definitions of authenticity floating around, but one of the best ways to understand what authenticity is, is through real-life examples.
There are many ways to express authenticity, including through self-awareness, integrity, self-expression, vulnerability and taking responsibility. Authenticity can also include valuing others, being present, making and keeping commitments, being open-minded and accepting both self and others.
Let’s look at some examples of these in more detail.
Examples of authenticity in our personal lives
Living an authentic life means being true to yourself and your values, and acting in accordance with them.
When people are connected to their authentic self and expressing authenticity in their everyday lives, here’s some examples of the kinds of things they do.
1. Being self-aware
Authentic people need to be aware of, and manage, their actions and emotions in order to be true to themselves.
Someone who is self-aware:
- Notices and recognises their emotions as they happen
- Knows the types of events and situations that can trigger them emotionally
- Is able to regulate their responses to situations
- Sees their behaviours and the effects they have
- Knows what is important to them and who they want to be
For example, you might be having a rough day because things didn’t go very well at work, and now you’re tired and a bit frustrated.
You notice that you’re feeling grumpy and just want to sleep, and realise that it might not be the best time to call your friend, in case you take your frustration out on her, so instead you send her a text to reschedule.
You find yourself on the couch, binge-watching your favourite TV show with a half-eaten tub of ice cream. You catch yourself as your spoon goes back into the ice cream for the seventeenth time and decide that a better way to make yourself feel good would be a nice long shower and listening to your favourite music.
You recognise that your long-term health and friendships are more important to you than your short-term state of mind, and you’ve taken active steps to keep moving in that direction.
From my life – Becoming self-aware in my own life has been a lifelong journey, but being able to recognise my emotions and reactions as they happen has been incredibly valuable in allowing me to make different choices.
2. Being self-accepting and loving
Being authentic means that people accept themselves as they are, and act in a loving way towards themselves and others.
A person who is self-accepting:
- Embraces everything about themselves without exception
- Acknowledges both their positive and negative aspects
- Is kind to themselves under all circumstance
- Understands that they are human and have limits
- Has realistic and reasonable expectations of themselves
For example, you might have snapped at your kids earlier today because they were fighting over chores and you didn’t have the patience to deal with it.
Although you’d like to always be kind and careful with your children, you recognise that you’re only human and that patience is something that you’re still working on.
You take a moment to appreciate yourself for being such a great parent most of the time, and that your kids are resilient enough to cope when you are short with them.
You resolve to apologise to them later, but decide that for now what you need to do is go for a long walk to soothe your emotions. You’ll deal with it all when you’re feeling more composed.
From my life – I think this is something that we all struggle with to some degree, but loving and accepting myself has freed me from so many self-imposed limitations and allowed me to feel so much more comfortable just being me.
3. Being willing to be vulnerable & imperfect
Authenticity also means being willing to make mistakes and risk exposing your less-than-perfect side to others.
Someone who is willing to be vulnerable and imperfect:
- Understands that making mistakes is part of being human and learning
- Feels difficult emotions and shares them with others
- Does things despite the risk of judgement, shame or rejection
- Honestly expresses their thoughts, feelings and needs
For example, perhaps you’ve realised that have got yourself too far in debt and that you need help to turn things around. You’re embarrassed to have reached this point, but you recognise that you need to change things.
You start by talking to a friend about your situation and how you’re feeling and ask them for their support. You end up crying while you talk, but you keep going even though you’re worried about what they might think.
You then take courage in hand and contact the people you owe money to, and make workable arrangements to pay them back over time.
WatchBrown’s famous TED talk on vulnerability:
From my life – I have a deep struggle with vulnerability, as any time I feel exposed in the slightest, all of my well-developed protection mechanisms kick in, primarily in the form of negative self-talk. Again, being aware of this as it happens allows me to temper my response, but this one is a work in progress.
4. Integrity, honesty & values
Not only does an authentic person know who they are and what’s important to them, but they also have the integrity to stand up for what matters.
A person with integrity:
- Behaves in an ethical, moral and honest way even when no one is watching
- Keeps their word, no matter what
- Doesn’t cheat, steal or lie
- Honours confidential information
- Stands up for what they believe in
For example, you find a lost wallet on the ground when you’re out shopping with friends.
You look in the wallet and discover $500 in cash, along with the details of the person whose wallet it is.
Your friends encourage you to “just keep a little of the money, as a reward” and ask to see more of what’s inside the wallet.
Despite your own curiosity, you protect the contents of the wallet from your friends and turn it in at the nearest information desk exactly as you found it.
From my life – Integrity is one of my highest values, and so being honest, even when no one is looking is relatively easy for me. But I still have moments when I’d like to take the easy path, and not spend the effort doing the right thing. And then I remember that I’d have to look myself in the mirror tomorrow, and suddenly honesty becomes easier.
5. Taking responsibility
An authentic person also knows that they are responsible for their experiences, their choices and their actions.
Taking responsibility generally includes:
- Understanding that no one else can make you think, feel, do or say anything
- Recognising that you always have choices and a role to play
- Realising that most situations are not actually about you
- Taking steps to make yourself feel better
- Always choosing things that move you in the right direction
For example, you might find yourself in the middle of a stressful situation at home – the new puppy got into the closet and now the shoes are all chewed – and feel tempted to blame your kids or your partner for the mess.
Instead, you step back and take a moment to manage your emotions about the situation, and recognise that there are ways that you may have contributed to what happened. But you realise that what ultimately matters is your relationship with your family and the well-being of the puppy.
You know that you want to have a home where it’s OK to make mistakes and where everyone works as a team, so you work on listening and understanding everyone’s point of view, and focus on finding a positive outcome.
You openly admit that you feel somewhat responsible for the mishap, and start working with your partner and kids to find solutions – both to fix the issue with the chewed shoes and to make sure something like doesn’t happen again!
From my life – Learning to take responsibility for my experience has been a huge journey for me, moving from blaming and finding fault, to looking for the lessons in everything. But it has been so liberating. I love being the one in charge now, because it means that I get to see my present and create my future in whatever way I choose.
6. Being present & valuing experiences
Being authentic also requires that someone be fully present with what’s happening right now. Hand in hand with that comes an understanding of the value of every experience.
Someone who is able to be present in the moment:
- Keeps their thoughts focused on what’s happening now
- Notices the details of everything around them
- Appreciates the value of all experiences, big or small
- Connects with the people around them and truly sees them
- Thinks about the past or the future in small doses only
For example, you might be at the playground with your kids, pushing your youngest on the swing, and find your thoughts drifting off to the work you have to do tomorrow, the mess in the kitchen or the fight you had with your friend last week.
You catch yourself, and begin focusing on the sounds around you – the creak of the swing, the squeals of delight, the wind in the trees, the cars driving nearby. You look up at the sunny sky and the birds resting in the tree, and then down at the wood chips on the ground, and then watch your kids running around.
You start appreciating the opportunity to be in the park and get some exercise, fresh air and sunlight, and happily engage with your older child when they find a caterpillar on a leaf and wants to ask lots of questions about it.
From my life – Confession, I’m not great at being present. I love the future (and detest the past) so I definitely spend more time thinking about where I’m going than where I am. Meditation has helped me with this – as has having kids – and I’m definitely better at noticing the now than I used to be.
7. Comfortable with self-expression
An authentic person is also very good at expressing themselves in the world, being knowledgeable about and comfortable with who they are.
Self-expression can take many forms, such as through movement, speech, appearance, posture, writing or creative activities.
Self-expression might look like:
- Wearing your favourite piece of clothing, even though it’s not “trendy”, just because you love it
- Dancing in the kitchen to your favourite piece of music and singing along loudly, even when the kids roll their eyes at you
- Talking to your partner about your day and how it made you feel
- Playing your favourite music loudly as you drive around in the car
- Sharing your thoughts about the latest novel you read or a recent movie when you’re out with friends
- Slumping down on the couch after a long, tiring day at work or jumping up and down with joy when you discover that your best friend is finally coming home after a long trip overseas
For example, you might decide that you want to redecorate your room to better match your personality and current preferences.
You paint the walls purple and hang rainbow curtains over the window. You stick fluorescent stars to the ceiling and buy pink satin bed sheets.
You fill your room with your favourite things – stuffed toys and anime – and you cover your walls with posters of your favourite actors.
When you’re done, your room feels like a perfect expression of everything that’s important to you and you love spending time in there.
Of course, self-expression is often not nearly as dramatic as this, and comes through everything you say and do over the course of every day.
From my life – I think I’m only just learning now to feel safe expressing myself. For a long time, I tamed my personality and stayed quiet in order not to be noticed, but now I feel more able to be me, although it’s still a work in progress.
“The key to making your work resonate is to uncover, develop, and then bravely use your authentic voice.
8. Having passion & vision
Authenticity often comes with an increased passion as a result of self-awareness and an outward-looking perspective.
Understanding what’s most important to you, and being willing to take risks and be responsible for your experience, tends to lead to an increased sense of purpose and agency.
Someone who is passionate might:
- Find endless energy coming from within that they can direct towards their passion
- Be more determined to achieve goals and keep moving forwards
- Feel contented and fulfilled while engaged in their passion
- Feel compelled to spend lots of time working on their passion
- Want to make the world a better place in their own unique way
- Have a stronger sense of meaning about their lives
For example, you might realise that you are passionate about fitness and nature, and discover a love of bushwalking and hiking.
You plan out new tracks to walk every weekend, and find yourself thinking about past walks, and future walks in every spare moment.
feel more alive and happy when out walking than at any other time, and despite the occasional sore muscle, you only feel invigorated after your adventures.
You set yourself a goal of walking every trail in your region in the next 12 months, and inspire four other parents from school to join you in your quest.
You develop a vision for encouraging families to spend more time outside and start a part-time club on the weekends to show people the best places to hike in your local area.
Passion also doesn’t have to be all-consuming to add value and drive you forward in life, and can come in many different shapes and sizes.
From my life – I’ve never felt like I was an especially passionate person, but as I’ve developed a sense of my strengths and values over the years, I’m finding more things that call to me and pull me forward. And I certainly relish the idea of making the world a better place.
9. Making a commitment
Along with passion, authenticity brings commitment – commitment to what you know to be true about yourself and what’s most important to you.
Being committed in your personal life might look like:
- Believing that you can achieve your goals or desires
- Taking daily action on the things that matter
- Recognising when you lack skills or resources, and filling the gaps
- Being willing to adapt and learn
- Sticking with things even when they’re hard
- Learning to say “No” and setting boundaries
For example, you might decide that it’s to get fit and healthy, because you want to live in a strong, energised body. You decide to start swimming daily, which you enjoy, even though you’re not very fast.
You get up early each day to swim, even when you don’t feel like it, and after about six months, you decide to get some one-on-one training to improve your style and speed.
Your local swim club notices your improvements, and offers you a spot on the team. Even though you’re tempted, you turn them down because you realise that the weekend events and out-of-state trips would make it harder to achieve your overall health goals.
From my life – I’ve always been someone who could make things happen, and work daily on whatever needs to be done. I think I learned early on, growing up on a farm, about sticking with hard things until they’re done, and apparently my first word was “No”, but boundaries are still something that I struggle with.
10. Following your inner guidance
Authentic people also know how to follow their inner nudges to lead them to a life that is more aligned with who they truly are.
Someone using their inner guidance might:
- Take time before making decisions to check in with their gut
- Practice tuning into their inner senses on the smaller stuff to begin with
- Use mindful practices, such as journaling, meditation or yoga, to increase awareness of small signals and feedback
- Spend more time in nature to quieten down the distractions
- Learn to discern between heart and mind
- Notice where the nudges point and learn to trust them
For example, you might be trying to decide whether to accept a new job offer, which seems to tick all the boxes, and offers strong potential for growth.
But you notice there’s a slight off-feeling as you consider the opportunity, and you ask for a few days to consider your answer.
You go for a walk in your favourite local park, and sit on a bench under the trees. You take your journal with you and start writing out a list of pros and cons.
As you write, you notice that your mind seems to want you to take the job, for all the right reasons, but your gut is nudging you to look more closely at the people you’d be working with.
You do some quick research on your phone and discover that the CEO has a reputation for harassing staff and that the business suffers from high turnover.
You decide to go with your gut and turn down the job offer, and go on to accept something even better a few weeks later.
From my life – This would have to be the biggest lesson I’ve needed to learn, and am still practising on a daily basis. I have a very good “inner GPS” but all too often I minimise it or downright ignore it. One of my core life lessons is to learn to listen and trust my inner nudges, and they’ve never led me wrong.
11. Open-minded & unbiased
Being authentic also requires a certain openness to new ideas and experiences and a willingness to put aside what you think you know.
When you are comfortable with who you are and expressing yourself, you don’t feel such a strong need to be right or certain.
Being open-minded can include:
- Being willing to try new experiences e.g. foods, locations, activities
- Curiosity about things that are unknown (or things that are known for sure)
- Asking questions and looking for information that challenges beliefs
- Being comfortable being challenged or being wrong
- Seeking to learn about and understand other people’s points of view
- Allowing others to express their opinions, even if they’re different
For example, you might have formed the opinion after a childhood encounter with raw fish, that all Japanese food tastes weird, but then you form a new friendship with someone who absolutely loves Japanese food.
You listen to them wax lyrical about the joys of Japanese food without judgement or feeling the need to change the subject. You find yourself asking questions about their experiences and why they feel the way they do, and tell them about your less-than-stellar memories.
Eventually they convince you to join them at their favourite Japanese restaurant, where you discover quite a few delicious dishes, and even a few favourites, and vow to come back again to try even more new delicacies.
From my life – Happily I have such a thirst for knowledge and growth (another of my core values) that I’ve always been open-minded. There’s just so much to explore and understand that I could never imagine thinking I knew it all. I don’t much like being wrong, but I’m always asking questions and seeking to understand other people’s points of view.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”
12. Valuing others
Along with authenticity also comes a strong sense of the value of others, inherently, to you and to the world in general.
Someone who values others is likely to:
- Be genuinely interested in what they have to say and how they are
- Make time to spend with other people
- Give people the benefit of the doubt
- Be honest, sincere and encouraging with others
For example, you might decide to schedule a regular weekly catch-up with three of your closest friends.
You enjoy spending time together, and listen closely to what’s going on in their lives. You pay attention and ask relevant, insightful questions, and always assume that they’re doing their best.
You value the things that you learn by being around them, and you focus on finding positive, encouraging things to contribute to the conversation.
From my life – I’m at my best in one-on-one relationships, and I value my close friends highly. Sometimes I run into people who are absolutely fascinating to talk to, and I do my best to be supportive and positive with everyone I talk to.
Examples of authenticity in relationships
Being authentic in relationships means not only valuing people, but also being genuine and true to yourself while interacting with others.
Authenticity in close relationships has also been shown to improve self-image and well-being.
By managing our emotions in a relationship, we’re able to be more present, and more true to ourselves, which might look like:
- Noticing when we’re getting upset at someone else
- Choosing to step away from a conversation for a moment
- Deciding to see things differently in order to have a different response
- Recognising that the other person is not responsible for how we feel
For example, your partner might be telling you about their co-worker, who bought them lunch and a gift on their birthday, which triggers your issues of fear of abandonment and jealousy.
But instead of blowing up at our partner for having this interaction, you take a moment to stop and think, and realise that perhaps the other person was being thoughtful and helping them deal with recent work stresses.
You excuse yourself from the conversation briefly, and take a few slow deep breaths, and remind yourself that your partner is always loving and faithful, and that your feelings are coming from your own thoughts and reactions.
You choose to feel loving and grateful that other people are being considerate towards your partner, and focus on how you can make them feel appreciated as well.
Being authentic means being present for others and not needing to dominate conversations.
Listening carefully in relationships includes:
- Not interrupting, ignoring or minimising others’ words
- Giving the other person your full and undivided attention
- Asking relevant and insightful questions (where appropriate)
- Reflecting back to others your understanding of their words
For example, you’re sitting with your best friend in a cafe having coffee and a muffin after doing some shopping together.
They start telling you about the troubles they’re having in their relationship, and you focus on them as they speak. You ignore your phone as it buzzes and you make occasional noises to show sympathy or agreement.
After they finish, you restate what you heard, and ask them about their feelings and priorities, without feeling the need to tell them what to do or share your own stories of heartbreak.
Authenticity involves self-acceptance, but also equally and unconditionally accepting others.
This could look like:
- Allowing others to express their thoughts and feelings, even if you don’t agree
- Letting other people feel their emotions, without telling them to stop
- Not comparing them to others, for better or for worse
- Listening without judgement, and not assuming you have all the answers
For example, you might have just met a new member of your book club, and find them talking about the latest political issues in a way that you don’t agree.
Rather than censuring them or trying to correct them, you listen and ask them about their opinions to help you understand them better.
As you watch them get upset about people who don’t agree with their point of view, you sit quietly and remember that they have a lifetime of different experiences from you, and that they believe passionately in their perspective.
You find things to appreciate about them, and come away from the conversation enlightened and having enjoyed making a new friend.
Treating others well
When someone is being their authentic self, they also tend to treat other people much better.
Their self-acceptance and equanimity, along with their valuing of others ensures that they treat everyone with respect.
This could take the form of:
- Listening to others and encouraging them
- Talking with respect and kindness to all, regardless of stature
- Taking other people’s backgrounds and situations into account
- Helping others to feel good about themselves
- Seeing everyone as an opportunity to learn and grow
- Respecting others’ beliefs and personal boundaries
For example, you might live in a building where there’s a doorman, and instead of ignoring him or treating him like a second-class citizen, you take the time to learn his name, and make a habit of greeting him each day, and thanking him when he helps you.
Occasionally you stop and chat to him and learn a little about his family and his life, and sometimes you buy him a muffin or share a story from your day. You see him as an equal human being who deserves dignity and respect.
Examples of authenticity at work
Authenticity is equally important in the workplace, where it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of pretending to be something you’re not to make a good impression.
The most important piece of being authentic at work is respecting other people – their points of view, their boundaries and their personal situations.
This might involve:
- Smiling at people and remembering to say “thank you”
- Helping without being asked and doing what you say you will
- Being aware of your effect on others while you work
- Value others’ time by being prompt and punctual
- Including everyone’s input in discussions
For example, you might be part of a team that’s been tasked with organising Christmas gifts for all of your most valuable customers.
You work together to figure out who will do what, and you deliver your part on time, and then offer to help out another team member who’s struggling to get everything done.
When the job is all finished, you take a quick moment to celebrate and thank everyone for their help in getting it done.
Being unaffected by praise
One of the things that comes with authenticity is a greater emotional stability and less of a need for external validation.
Someone who is unaffected by praise might:
- Take compliments and criticism equally well
- Be open to the possibility that their work could have been better
- Be more motivated by internal measures than external opinions
For example, you might have completed an important project on time and on budget, but know that the quality of work could have been better, but it didn’t happen due to limited resources.
Your boss expresses their appreciation for the job done, and while you appreciate their feedback and praise, you also commit to finding ways to increase quality on the next project.
Being focused on the possibilities
At work, an authentic person also tends to be more interested in what happens next, than on digging through the past or wallowing in any current dramas.
This may take the form of:
- Moving quickly from setbacks to finding solutions
- Being less concerned about what they can get right now, and more interested in the long-term view
- Thinking about ways that everyone can win
For example, you might lose a key client at work, but instead of recriminations or a painful analysis of who did what wrong, you extract the key learnings from the experience as quickly as possible and look for ways to reduce the likelihood of a similar occurrence.
You look at the silver linings of the situation, reassure and encourage everyone for doing their best, and look to take on new clients that are a better fit for your business.
Examples of authenticity in leadership
Our leaders are being pressed to create a more authentic presence in our lives, and to create genuine connection with their followers and lead by example.
Asking for a second opinion
Authentic leaders often seek out opinions other than their own, to make sure that they’re seeing every possible angle and making the best choices.
This might include:
- Consulting with staff and customers on important issues
- Handing over problems to employees, and facilitating a process where they come up with ideas, make decisions and implement solutions
- Work with advisers or mentors to help them get an objective viewpoint
- Talk to staff at every level of the business to ensure they truly understand what’s happening
For example, your business might be struggling with poor customer retention, and the CEO isn’t sure what the best way is to tackle the problem.
They spend time walking around the business, talking informally to various staff members for their input and suggestions. They call some of the customers they lost recently, and then they do some work with their coach to get a better handle on everything they’ve learned.
And then they put together a team of volunteers from across the business to address the problem, empowering the employees to come up with a strategy to address the issue, and then provides the team with the resources they need to implement their chosen solution.
Always looking for ways to make things better
Authenticity in leadership also comes with a strong future-focus, and a vision for making things better.
Authentic leaders might:
- Dream of a bigger and brighter future, and aren’t afraid to share their dreams
- Spend time exploring possibilities to ensure the business can achieve its goals while remaining aligned to the vision
- Set high expectations of excellence, but don’t expect perfection
- Make meaningful commitments and stick to them
- Take responsibility for their role in the success of the organisation
For example, your boss might want to double the size of the business in the next 12 months, and creates a bold plan to achieve it.
They take the time to communicate this vision to all staff in a way that feels meaningful and personal, and take the time to ensure that everyone understands the purpose behind the dream.
They also explain how they will personally support this plan, and the steps that they will be taking to maximise the chances that the business achieves it, without setting unrealistic expectations or pressures on employees.
Examples of authenticity in business
Authenticity in business is all the rage at the moment, but what does it mean and what are authentic businesses doing differently?
Devotion to products & customers
Authentic businesses are passionately devoted to creating amazing products and making their customers as satisfied as possible.
When being truly authentic, businesses tend to:
- Care more about their customers than profits
- Have a strong purpose and passion that drives everything
- Be comfortable showing the real humans inside the business
- Be willing to go the extra mile to make customers happy
- Want to create a product that sells itself
For example, Dove’s Self-Esteem project has been promoting their vision of real beauty for over 16 years.
Their marketing campaigns encourage women to feel good about their appearance, and their Beauty Sketches campaign has been their most successful to date:
Through these campaigns, Dove shows their commitment to empowering women and changing the way they see themselves, which resonates with customers tired of false images and impossible standards.
Making the world a better place
Not only do authentic businesses care about their customers, but they also care about society and the world as a whole.
Businesses making the world a better place might:
- Create quality products that are healthier and safer
- Make a clear commitment to sustainability and ethical practices
- Ensure that working conditions at their business are excellent
- Participate in community support projects and organisations
For example, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has a commitment to creating quality ice cream, while respecting the environment and their employees.
As a result, they buy the best possible ingredients from farmers, pay their employees well above minimum wage, and contribute large amounts to philanthropic causes through their foundation, all while growing the business at a sustainable rate.
Their mission has now guided them over more than 35 years to create a business with an authentic brand that people love.
Examples of authenticity in society
Being authentic as a society means genuinely caring for the members of the society, operating transparently and working to create a better quality of life for everyone.
Although achieving authenticity at a societal level is definitely more challenging, at the core is the essential purpose of helping others.
If a society is authentic, it may:
- Ensure that all citizens are cared for and respected
- Provide full visibility into its operations and decision-making
- Prioritise people’s well-being above profits or any other motivators
For example, a local authority may implement a program that provides access to free health care in order that everyone has the opportunity for good health.
Free education, soup kitchens, and the democratic process are all other examples of attempts at authenticity in a society.
If a society works towards the principles that drive personal authenticity, then the world would indeed be a better place.
Qualities of an authentic person
An authentic person shows their authenticity through their thoughts and actions. They are self-aware, honest, and loving and follow their inner guidance and values. They practice self-acceptance, are comfortable expressing themselves and being imperfect. They value experiences and relationships.
As discussed above, being authentic generally includes many of the following:
- Self-acceptance & love
- Passionate & visionary
- Integrity, honesty & values
- Vulnerability & imperfection
- Being present & listening
- Valuing others
- Taking responsibility
- Being committed
- Listening to inner guidance
- Managing emotions
- Accepting & respecting others
- Making things better
How do you show authenticity?
The best way to show authenticity is by being true to yourself and freely expressing who you are. This requires self-knowledge, a willingness to be vulnerable, and taking responsibility for your experiences. By being open-minded, accepting and valuing others you can be more authentic.
What is authenticity (in simple words)
Authenticity is being true to who you are and expressing yourself. You know what’s important and you stand up for it. You are comfortable being vulnerable and take responsibility for your life. You are honest, open-minded and loving, and value people. You are passionate and committed.
Ready to be more authentic?
You now know what being authentic looks like through countless examples of personal authenticity.
Now it’s time to see how many of these examples of authenticity you can bring into your own life.
You might notice from the examples at work, in business and across society, that authenticity seems to come primarily from alignment with purpose.
And if that is true, then perhaps personal authenticity also comes from living in alignment with your purpose, which leads to the question, what is your purpose? But perhaps that’s a question for another day…
Use the examples provided to discover new ways to express your true self and stay in alignment with your values, and you’ll find yourself being your authentic self in no time.
Let me know in the comments below how you have struggled with authenticity and what step you took to be more aligned with your true self.
These resources are also included in the article above and will help you explore the topic in more depth:
- The power of vulnerability by Brené Brown
- The Importance of Authenticity for Self and Society by Rebecca Erickson
- Dove’s Self-Esteem project
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
- Authenticity, presence of meaning, and struggle with ultimate meaning by Wilt et al, 2021
- Be real, open, and creative: How openness to experience and to change mediate the authenticity-creativity association by Xu et al, 2021
- Authenticity in friendships and well-being in adolescence by Peets & Hodges, 2017
- Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice by Todd Henry (Amazon affiliate link)
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown (Amazon affiliate link)
Some of the ideas and information in this article came from the following sources: