Authenticity is immensely valued more than ever these days. We are surrounded by fake news and social media facades. Think about it. Many are so caught up following the crowd they have become consumed by it. Being our own authentic self may feel precarious when you want to fit in, be accepted, and liked by others.
Based on living in a fake world, we all crave transparency and authenticity in general because we seek the truth. Our current political and social climate, in particular, encourages us to root for honesty in brands, organizations, government, news, and people.
We have outlined how and why we need to get real and be our authentic self.
Millennials, in particular, struggle with identifying with authenticity because so much time goes into curating the perfect share-worthy social media post. Consumed with procreating their own’ ideal self,’ not their own ‘real-self.’ As a result, the image projected (on social media) is how we think we should be perceived and not who we are. I believe humans would rather be themselves than wander around wearing a mask, but it takes mindfulness and self-reflection to take the necessary steps to become transparent. It’s up to us to be authentic, it’s a choice.
Based on this, we have identified nineteen ways you can be more authentic, transparent and the best version of yourself by making conscious choices every day.
When we open the door for us to be seen, and not worry so much about how we are perceived, it starts to build a foundation for inner strength. Hey, it’s not easy to let down our guard. It takes lots of courage and strength for us to open up and show our vulnerable side to people. But when we do, others begin to see our authentic selves. When you can show your vulnerability, you can develop deep relationships. With every personal exchange and interaction, we have the opportunity to enjoy connecting with others.
When we can be more vulnerable, we are more likely to be happy. As you would expect, research has determined that more authentic people are more comfortable? In one study, researchers found that people who scored higher on a measure of authentic living reported greater happiness, more positive emotions, and higher self-esteem than people who reported being less authentic. More authentic people also reported having better relationships with others and more personal growth.
For me, an authentic person is comfortable, transparent, and easy to talk to. They look directly into your eyes, and their smile is genuine. This type of person is not afraid to be vulnerable. When you are with this person, it feels similar to throwing a warm cozy blanket around your naked shoulders as you immediately exhale and relax. You can rely on this person to be consistent each time you meet. This type of person is often described as “real” and “the salt of the earth.”
As humans, we recognize a sincere smile as opposed to a polite smile or gesture. Ultimately, humans are drawn to authenticity, making us feel comfortable, safe, connected, and respected. These particular types of people have more friends. It makes sense, right?
Being characterized by someone as ‘the salt of the earth’ is a magnificent compliment… it means that you are regarded as open and unpretentious. The expression is a Biblical in origin (Mathew 5:14), and it is believed that the use of ‘salt’ in the expression is a reference to the value of salt, which was quite a valued commodity back then. Also, adding salt to something adds seasoning and flavor.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be known as authentic, real, transparent, and ‘salt of the earth’? Being authentic is a personal trait that takes time to evolve. Because developing emotional intelligence is a slow process.
So what is emotional intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in an effective and positive way. A high EQ helps individuals to communicate better, reduce their anxiety and stress, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathize with others, and effectively overcome life’s challenges.
Since developing emotional intelligence takes time, so does becoming more authentic. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s actually a lifetime process. As we age, we learn to cherish who we are. We develop informed ideas about life. The more life struggles we have, the more we can appreciate the blessings in life.
I can totally relate to that. The older I become the less I care about what people think about me. In fact, I rarely ever spend time thinking about what others think of me anymore at all, thank God!
Learning to love ourselves is part of the process towards being more authentic. None of us are close to being perfect, but we all have the ability to remove any pretenses and facades from our repertoires. It takes focus, effort, compassion and empathy to do this but it is absolutely feasible.
For most humans, our authentic self is buried within our unconscious. It is our goal to look within to identify who we really are. It takes time and it takes digging to identify who we are. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, that’s what makes the world special.
In order to identify your authenticity, Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. says it’s critical to discover your “Authentic Self”—the self that prioritizes living according to your values, pursuing your purpose, and fighting for the causes you care about.
What if maybe, just maybe everyone would learn to embrace who they are, to be open and free about sharing their vulnerabilities and appreciating the differences in others? What if everyone was honest and open-minded and genuinely took time to care for others?
Wouldn’t that be something if we all felt more connected with one another? We all would be the much better versions of our own authentic self! Remember it’s a choice we can all make, so let’s all show up and be real!
As a parent, I feel it’s critical to talk to our kids about how important it is to be themselves. Help them embrace why they are special and unique. Discuss the issues with social media and how important it is to be transparent and own who God designed them to be. Conversations like this are not always easy but so very important.
My parents always told me to be myself growing up. Nowadays, that takes much more effort because of social media. Kids and teens need more time alone without screens to use their imagination and reflect on what makes them happy. Time to figure out who they are. Social media is taking over many teen’s lives, it’s time to take control and look within ourselves instead of comparing ourself to others.
Thanks for sharing this article with others.