I hope Oscar Wilde will forgive me from beyond the grave for borrowing his quote.
For me, authenticity is one of the most important qualities or characteristics anyone can possess. Authenticity is easy to avoid, because you don’t have to be in Hollywood to be a good actor. But what is authenticity? For me, the answer is simple. It’s being true to who you really are at your core: your true inner self; the real you. Here are the key benefits to living an authentic life:
- You don’t have to adopt and struggle to maintain a false, inauthentic persona for the benefit of others.
- If you’re inauthentic, you’ll pursue false aspirations and desires, along with bogus goals. That’s all you can pursue when you’re not being yourself. Authenticity frees you to achieve goals you truly want, ones that reflect your true desires.
- When you’re authentic, you’re trustworthy and reliable, because you’re genuine and open, not lurking behind some role you’ve created for the world to see.
- Authenticity allows you to say to the world, “This is me. Accept me as I am or don’t accept me at all. There isn’t any more; no hidden personality that you’ll never see; no secret agenda and no deceit. Take me as I am and I’ll do the same for you.”
I must admit that being authentic is scary. Human beings have an innate ability to be different things to different people and it feels safe to have a persona within which you can hide the real you. On the other hand, it takes courage and confidence to open yourself up to the world and live your truth. But the rewards are immense.
Once you master the art of being the real you, life will become easier, more enjoyable and infinitely more rewarding. You will boost your self-confidence, raise your self-esteem and increase your belief in yourself. Who doesn’t want those things?
So how will you know when you’re being authentic? It’s an intuitive and instinctive judgment. We all have a place deep in our hearts where we can’t fool ourselves and your heart will tell you the truth. That truth will inspire you, because you’ll be in spirit and not just in form.
You’ll also know from the reactions of people around you. Some won’t like your authenticity for all kinds of reasons. If they know they can’t replicate it, for example, they may be envious of you. But the people who matter and genuinely care for you will be delighted. They may have already caught glimpses of who you really are and will revel in your permanent emergence from the shadow world of pretense. Here are a few things you can do to help move you towards authenticity:
- Put aside every opinion you’ve ever heard from others about who you are and the persona and characteristics you possess. Decide for yourself who you are at your core and what kind of person you want to be.
- Define your dreams. What are the things you love doing and what do you want to achieve with your life? Decide what it is that you feel passionate about.
- Discard any mistaken identities you’ve taken on for the benefit of others. Ignore what other people want you or need you to be. Live the identity and persona you want to have.
- Recognize that you are a unique individual with unique skills, traits and personal characteristics.
- Define the goals in life that you truly want to achieve for yourself and develop a plan that will move you closer to meeting them.
- Live in the moment, anchored in the present, ignoring the past and not being apprehensive about the future. If you find yourself speculating about the future, be as factual and realistic as you can in imagining how life might unfold for you.
I feel so strongly about this topic that I’ve written a short book about it! And I’m giving it away! Click the image below to download your free PDF, no obligation or email required. I wish you success in your new-found career as the real you!