The power of personal authenticity has become a very popular topic recently and articles about leading an authentic life, authentic leadership, authentic behavior, and having authentic communication and relationships are popping up everywhere.
Since being an authentic person is one of the basic principles of our Tuning Your Core Vibration program, it's exciting to see it being discussed so much!
So what's the buzz about authenticity?
What is Authenticity?
The meaning of authenticity was best illustrated in a business webinar I attended recently. The presenter shared that in the past she spent a lot of time trying to be what she thought everyone wanted her to be. As a result, she was constantly shifting to be the "right" person for every situation. She thought she was being the perfect friend, the perfect mom, the perfect partner. And then her life fell apart.
When she looked at her life closely, she realized that trying to be how she thought she was "supposed" to be was exhausting. Further, it didn't make her happy and it certainly hadn't made the people happy that she was changing for.
At that point she realized that she needed to be herself - she needed to become an "authentic" person. Operating as her authentic self, she would need to own HER beliefs, HER feelings, HER values. And today, people are impressed to find that her stage persona and her offstage persona are one and the same. What you see is what you get! She is happier, her family is happier, her customers and trainees are happier.
Living from a place of authenticity is being true to yourself and having consistency in what you say and do. You have the same fundamental character regardless of the circumstances. You will probably share more details with your BFF. However, she isn't going to get an unrecognizable version of an event compared to the people you work with.
According to Stephen Joseph, Ph.D., an expert on positive psychology, authentic people:
- 1Perceive reality from a sensible and practical point of view.
- 2Accept themselves and others.
- 3Are thoughtful.
- 4Have a sense of humor that is friendly and well-meaning.
- 5Express their emotions clearly.
- 6Learn from their mistakes.
- 7Know their motivations.
On the other hand, inauthentic people tend to be:
- 3Worried about the opinion of others, and
- 4Out of touch with their emotions and motivations.
Wouldn't you rather be authentic?
How is Authenticity Reflected in What You Think?
Our brains are very active, and we are thinking about something almost all the time. But this thinking that we do isn't always useful, especially when we are inauthentic.
If you are authentic, what you think about is in alignment with who you really are.
How is Authenticity Reflected in What You Say?
The intensity goes up a notch when you are talking to others.
Operating with true authenticity means having honest, authentic communication with others. Now, you might be thinking that means blurting out opinions that might be hurtful. That couldn't be further from the truth! Real authenticity means being truthful but using kindness, empathy and tact in what is said to those around us.
When you are authentic, your words align with you you really are.
How is Authenticity Reflected in What You Do?
Your actions speak louder than words.
When one is authentic, he or she will take charge of his/her life. Like the teacher of my workshop, what you see is what you get in any context that they operate. Opportunities are more likely to be recognized and acted upon by these self-confident people.
5 Tips to Becoming More Authentic
Practice Journal Writing
When you are trying to find the "real you," it's very helpful to write down your thoughts. Reviewing what you think about people and events in your life can help you clarify what is important to you and what your values are. Journal writing is also a great way to learn how to safely express your feelings.
Don't Compromise Your Values
Compromises are a fact of life. It's good when building relationships to know when to meet someone halfway. But when it comes to your core values, stand firm.
Stop Trying to Be Someone Else
We all have role models that we look up to and want to emulate. If they have a trait you admire and it's in alignment with your values and beliefs, go ahead and try it on. That can help your personal growth. But if you are trying to copy something that is totally outside of your identity, or is in conflict with your values, give it a miss.
Love Yourself and Have Compassion for Others
We get disconnected from our true selves when we struggle with self-esteem. If you don't like yourself, it is easier to try to present "someone else" to others that you think is more fun, more lovable. You can find ways of increasing self-esteem in this article on ending self-sabotage. Another option is the BrainSpeak Pathways "End Self-Sabotage" program.
Let go of negative of limiting beliefs that no longer serve you.
Not sure how to do that? Mike DiLeone lays out a great 4-step process to eliminate core beliefs:
- Write down and say out loud the belief.
- Identify when that belief started - what happened? Did someone hurt your feelings? Try to go back to that time and hear the conversation and replay what happened - be sure to feel what comes up for you.
- What was happening with the other person at the time? Were they upset or stressed out? They may have been taking out their frustrations on whoever happened to be there, and didn't mean to hurt you. Could you have taken what occurred out of context?
- Challenge the belief - if there is no doubt that the person was right, write it down the proof. If there is no proof, let the belief go - it is not based on anything solid.
If you feel you are not living your life authentically, begin to apply this advice today. Of course, you can't expect to turn everything around overnight. But apply this advice day after day and you will find yourself letting go of behaviors that keep you from letting your unique light shine. Live your life mindfully. Before you make any decision, ask yourself which choice is in alignment with who you are. Make the choice that is congruent with your life's authentic purpose.