Most of us have gone through times like this. Instead of behaving in a genuine way, we tell people what we think they want to hear, and act in ways that go against our true nature. In short, we're living inauthentically.
Living and working this way is tiring, dispiriting, and confining. It can also hold us back from reaching our true potential. The opposite of this is to live and work authentically. When we give ourselves permission to be ourselves, we can live free from others' ideas and expectations, and we can choose our own course in life.
It can seem that there are as many different definitions of authenticity as there are psychologists, philosophers, and scholars. However, a common definition is that being authentic is living your life according to your own values and goals, rather than those of other people.
Put simply, authenticity means you're true to your own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure that you're under to act otherwise. You're honest with yourself and with others, and you take responsibility for your mistakes. Your values, ideals, and actions align. As a result, you come across as genuine, and you're willing to accept the consequences of being true to what you consider to be right.
Why be authentic?
It isn't always easy to live authentically. At times, being true to what you know is right means that you go against the crowd. It may mean being unconventional, opening yourself up for the possibility of others hurting you, and taking the harder road.
On one hand, it does mean missing some opportunities – you do have to accept this. However, in the longer term, it's likely to open up many more opportunities; opportunities that simply wouldn't be available to someone who has been seen to be shifty, conflicted, vacillating, or inauthentic.
"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them." – George Bernard Shaw
Living an authentic life is also vastly more rewarding than hiding your true self. When you live authentically, you don't have to worry about what you said (or didn't say), how you acted, or whether you did the right thing. Living authentically means you can trust yourself and your motivations implicitly.
There are several other benefits of being authentic.
#1 Trust and respect
When you're true to yourself, you not only trust the judgments and decisions that you make, but others trust you as well. They'll respect you for standing by your values and beliefs.
When you're authentic, you also have integrity . You don't hesitate to do the right thing, so you never have to second-guess yourself. Who you are, what you do, and what you believe in – all of these align perfectly.
#3 Ability to deal with problems
When you're honest with yourself and others, you have the strength and openness to deal with problems quickly, instead of procrastinating, or ignoring them altogether.
#4 Realizing potential
When you trust yourself and do what you know is right, you can realize your full potential in life. Instead of letting others dictate what's best for you, you take control of your life.
#5 Confidence and self-esteem
You can trust yourself to make the right decisions when you're being genuine and doing the right thing. In turn, this leads to higher self-confidence and self-esteem, greater optimism, and more life satisfaction.
#6 Less stress
How would you feel if, every day, you said what you meant, stayed true to yourself, and behaved accordingly? Imagine the happiness and self-respect you'd feel! Being authentic to yourself is far less stressful than being someone you are not.
Escape competition through authenticity
Authenticity is living your life according to your own needs and values rather than those that society, friends, and family expect from you. Living authentically offers several benefits, including respect from others, the ability to realize your true potential, and happiness and well-being.
Developing authenticity is a lifelong journey. Craft opportunities through authenticity with Resyfy career curation.