Everyone has a different idea of what being authentic means because it is a little different for each person. However, some basics define an authentic person as familiar to most people. I will not only explain the basics of an authentic person but break down each thought and what it means. A study at Forbes magazine suggests that only 15% of people live authentically, which is something that I hope to change for each person reading this.
Sticking To Your Values
Everyone has different values, beliefs, or morals that they like to guide their life, and depending on what stage of life you are at, they change within yourself. What your values were as a teen will change as an adult, when you have kids, and as you grow into different stages of your life.
So what I recommend is to sit down and write your values out, freehand them, and get lots of ideas about how you want to live your life. Most of these can be combined into five or so broader categories. For instance, saying you want to be honest, speak how you feel, communicate better, and let your needs be known, could all fall under the value of ” Honest Communication.
So when you start with maybe 20 different ideas of how you want to live your life going forward at this stage in your life, you will find you can get that down to 4 or 5 central values. This will be easy to put on your phone ( as I do ), so you can check with them when you need to make a decision.
Whenever I have to make a tough decision or even a smaller one, instead of just deciding which is the easiest or less painful decision, I turn to my phone, look up my values, and decide what aligns with my values. Often, it is not the easiest or least painful short term, but it will always be the least painful long term. I will know I did what my values stand for, hold my head up high, and will not have regrets down the road, as what choosing the easy path will lead to. The pain of regrets is far worse in your life than the immediate pain of making a decision based on your beliefs.
Speak Your Mind Freely
Speaking your mind freely is very important to being authentically yourself because you have your thoughts, opinions, and needs in all life situations. When you do not express them freely, you can never indeed be known and valued as the person you truly are, which means no one can truly connect with you because they do not know you; they only see what you think they want to know or how you feel you should be for them.
By speaking your mind freely, with respect, you let people know who you are, what you think, your ideas, opinions, wants, and needs. All of these are needed for the other person to connect with you honestly, know you, and understand how you feel, think, and want or need. At that point, you become connected and respected, and in any relationship, that has to be there to be a real connection to who you truly are.
When you focus on other things when talking to someone or even doing anything in life, you are not respecting the person or the event you are doing.
Being present is not only showing respect for the person you are talking to but will also let them know you are interested, you care, they mean something to you, and they are your focus.
I used to be in conversations and planned my response before they ended, thinking of what I said before and how they took it or what I needed to do later today. I never really heard them, never really understood what they wanted, and would often leave the conversation thinking I knew what they wanted or needed from me. Still, because I only heard maybe half the words, I was usually wrong as to what they wanted to say to me.
That will lead to someone feeling disrespected, not listened to, and make them feel like they didn’t matter to you because you could not be bothered to listen to them fully.
Being present with a person or anything you are doing is being fully there, interested, and asking questions. If you are not clear, you ask more questions, dig a little deeper, and find out what is truly being said and what is truly needed by that person. This makes them feel great, that you care, you listened, you value them, and you are interested, all things people want to feel when talking to someone.
Not to mention that you will gain better insight into them, know them better, they will know you better, and the connection will be stronger. The only way to have great relationships in all aspects of life and the only way to live authentically as you and have people know the real you!
An authentic person has the confidence to say how they feel and ask for what they want, and know what they can do and what they can not. When asked to do things or show up somewhere, we all like to say “yes, I will be there” or “yes, I can do that for you” because we do not want to disappoint someone. That again is doing the easy thing to avoid short-term uncomfort but will lead to long term much larger uncomfort.
When you agree to do something and show up late, or not at all, or cancel last minute, you are all telling that person that they do not matter, that they are low on your priority list and that you are not reliable for any future things you say to them, also leads you to feel bad for having broken your promise to them.
You feel worse than if you had just said in the beginning, ” I cannot commit to doing that. If things change, I will let you know as soon as I can”. The person you are talking to will be able to make any alternative arrangements and will be glad you let them know right away so they can change plans if needed and try to get someone else to do it.
The integrity part of being authentic is combining all your values, beliefs, and knowledge of yourself to do what is naturally you without question. It is just who you are and what you value. Keeping that close to you, and having it part of your life as a simple natural way of living life to your fullest, is the integrity part for me.
It just becomes who you are, and in time there is little question as to what the right thing to do is, the right thing for YOU to do is. Keeping those values and living by them is the act of integrity; it gives you that good feeling of knowing you are living your full life, being connected, living in the present, and it all is just a part of you.
Being open-minded, too, is very important to fully be authentic to yourself because until you understand that you do not have all the answers, you do not fully know everyone, that everyone has value in what they say and what they do, and that you can be open to their side or point of view.
I often ask a question not just to get that specific answer but also to let that question lead to other ideas, other thoughts, so when I may have asked a simple question of ” how did you do that?” I keep going down that road till I find out that the person was a carpenter in his early years, and then went on to build the house that he had lived in for 30 years and that he met his wife while working on the house, and they now have three children who are all married and visit once a month.
Being open-minded allows us to learn far more than we ever could by closing our minds to the simple answer or generalizing who they are and what they think before even getting to the truth of who they are. We lead a more full and interesting life when we discover more layers by being open-minded and leading to conversations that will amaze you and teach you things that make life exciting and authentic.
Self-awareness is often the definition of being authentic and being self-aware. It does cover all the bases of what we just talked about but is just a part of the process of becoming authentically you.
You need to be self-aware to be authentically yourself. It is a big part of the whole picture, but so many other things we just touched on in previous paragraphs are all needed to make it all come together in a way that does not feel forced or something you have to do. There needs to be comfort, ease, and the feeling of just being yourself and not thinking about what you should say, what you should do, who you should talk to, when you should keep your mouth closed, etc. It will just flow naturally, and there will be no thought. It will authentically be you, and it is very freeing, liberating, and so much less stressful.
Instead of feeling like you will lose friends or make people mad at you because you are being real, you will find more people way more attracted to you and your personality; they will want to talk to you, they will want to hang with you because they will see you are being authentic in all its glory and all its faults, you are truly human, real, and engaging as you are, no need to pretend.
There Is Help
Now that we have a good idea of what an authentic you will look like, I am assuming you are in the 85% bracket that has not got there yet but will be in the 15% bracket after getting some great help and support from people who have been there and done that.
I will be listing links to various websites, e-books, and e-courses that all help you get there. I went all over the Internet finding these, mainly to dead-end places, useless information, and just too many to sort through. I have compiled a few perfect spots that will help, they all helped me, and I would not recommend them if I did not use them and find them very good. It costs you nothing to click on the links, but it does help support my website and keep my articles flowing.
I want to see people who want to become authentic, find their true selves, and live a fully connected life as who they are. It is soooooo much better than not being authentic and leading a life of surface connections that will mean nothing to most people in the end.
My review of an online therapy website that can help support you on your journey: Online-Therapy.com.
My review of the Self-Therapy Journey website: Self-Therapy Journey.
My review of the Self-Love Workbook: Self-Love Workbook.
My Homecoming book review: Homecoming.
If you have any questions, comments, or need any specific help. I will be happy to help; leave a comment in the section below with your e-mail and first name, and I promise to get back to you or email from my link below. I will answer all e-mails personally! I want to support you on your journey, and together we can get you to be authentically you!
website: Authentically Me
E-mail: Email me!