People put a lot of stock on authenticity. But it begs the question – does anybody really know what it truly means to be authentic? How do you know if someone actually fits the description? And most of all – do you have authenticity?
In a nutshell, the word ‘authentic’ means being real, legitimate, and genuine. It is the complete opposite of being fake or counterfeit. So based on these definitions, it is safe to surmise that an authentic person is someone who is able to express what he or she thinks and feels in a pure, unadulterated form. Basically, being authentic is being able to speak one’s mind with a great deal of transparency and with minimal filters.
To some, an encounter with an authentic person may be akin to a trip to the dentist. To many, however, authenticity is a real breath of fresh air. Hardly anyone ever speaks their minds anymore, so it can be quite refreshing to encounter someone who does.
Authentic people also tend to be happier and more fulfilled because they’re not hampered by the need to hold back. Because of this, they are able to make decisions easier. They do what they want and on their own terms. Plus, they have a better sense of purpose.
Indeed, authenticity is something that all of us should aspire to. Luckily, it is something that can be easily cultivated with the right mindset. Here’s how:
1. Be self-aware.
Self-awareness is, first and foremost, the very cornerstone of authenticity. You need to have every intention of being genuine, no matter how vulnerable that might make you feel. So you need to be completely self-aware to know what looks and feels genuine to you and, in turn, be able to act accordingly.
2. Define your values.
You have to know what you value and what you desire, in order to become authentic. This way, you are better able to understand exactly what drives you and inspires you, and even what you enjoy. While you will mostly keep the values that you grow up, do know that these could also change overtime. So it’s a good idea to evaluate and define your values at any given time. Authenticity will follow suit, once you know what you truly care about.
3. Have an open mind.
Just because you have a set of firmly define values doesn’t mean that you close yourself off from other perspectives. For authenticity to really flourish, you need to be able to look at all sides of the equation and evaluate the world from every point of view. Being judgmental and close-minded should not be allowed to hamper your authenticity in any way.
4. Trust your instincts.
You’ll know you’re being inauthentic when you feel out of sync. So if things don’t feel right, don’t ignore it. This is your intuition telling you that you’re not being authentic. So pay attention to your hunches and gut feelings. These will serve to put you back on the right track to authenticity.