On Being Authentic
Have there been times in your life when you felt you weren’t acting like your true self? Maybe you were unsure of a situation or were lacking the confidence to reveal who you truly are.
Whatever your reason, you chose to hide your real self. Personal concealment places us into an emotionally unhealthy cycle. First, we feel unsure of ourselves and this causes us to act even less authentic in the future. We may even begin to wonder, “Who am I?”
Rather than spending time hiding from the world, you’ll flourish by revealing your true self to others. Becoming more authentic in your interactions is definitely possible.
Commit to increasing your personal authenticity in these ways:
1. Monitor your feelings closely. When you know and understand your own emotions, you’ll be less likely to behave in ways that contrast with your feelings.
* Mindfulness will help you tremendously in your quest to be more authentic.
* Stay in the moment and consider what is going on in your world in the present.
2. Give yourself time. If something happens and you’re unsure of how to react or respond, it’s okay to not react at all. Allow yourself some moments to consider the situation.
* If you feel pressure to respond, saying something like, “I’m not sure how to respond to that,” can be your best line of action until you’re more confident in your reaction.
3. Catch yourself being inauthentic. When you realize you’ve been less than honest in a given situation, it’s okay to say, “Wait a minute. I changed my mind,” or “Maybe I’m not as sure about this as I thought.”
* Remind yourself that you have permission to alter your response to anyone and anything at any time. Then, choose a route that’s more in line with how you honestly feel.
4. Notice what situations prompt you to be disingenuous. Being insincere or untruthful each time you’re around your in-laws or your supervisor, for example, will reveal where your insecurities lie.
* Do some self-reflection to determine why you’re behaving this way around that person or in that particular situation.
5. Be authentic with others to increase your level of confidence. The ability to be open and honest shows that you like and accept yourself and you’re self-assured. Avoid being afraid or too timid to show others who you really are. Self-confidence goes a long way!
6. Realize that others truly appreciate you when you’re authentic in behavior and comments. Think about how you feel when you’re with someone who’s consistently open with you. It feels comfortable and easy to be with someone you know you can trust. There’s no tension or guesswork involved.
* If you keep this information in mind, you may find it a little easier to be authentic.
7. Show care and gentleness toward others. You might be thinking, “What’s the connection between being caring and being authentic?” If you go out of your way to be polite and kind to others, it will be a natural response to be authentic with them.
* Once you realize that you hold their feelings in your hands, you’ll know it’s necessary to be gentle and honest with others.
When you expend a little bit of effort on relating to others truthfully and carefully, you’ll gradually find that you like yourself more. When you offer authenticity to others, it sets a wonderful example for those around you. The more authentic you are, the richer the life you’ll live.