What does it mean to be authentic?
“Authenticity,” as defined about 13 years ago by psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis, is “the unimpeded operation of one's true or core self in one's daily enterprise.”
At its root, authenticity requires self-knowledge and self-awareness. Authentic people accept their strengths and weaknesses. They are accountable. It connects them to their values and desires and acts deliberately in ways consistent with those qualities.
Authenticity is about being genuine and real. It allows us to connect deeply with others because it requires us to be transparent and vulnerable.
“It is important because it liberates us from the pressures of always trying to be something else, always trying to be perfect,” You must learn to discover who you are without the roles you play.
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of authenticity
Authenticity starts when you set the intention to be genuine. Then, there must be an awareness of what that looks and feels like, and a willingness to act under in your genuine nature even when you feel vulnerable.
When you live with this kind of self-awareness, decisions are easier because you are free to choose things that move you closer to your values. You are able tostand in the presence of your imperfections because you can accept your humanity. You can also embrace your talents and abilities.
Authenticity may also require you to make unpopular decisions or to acknowledge aspects of yourself that you’d rather hideaway, but it allows you to live a more open, honest and engaged life.
This seemingly intangible quality of authenticity has very tangible outcomes. Authentic people feel better, they are more resilient, less likely to turn to self-destructive habits for solace. They tend to be purposeful in their choices and more likely to follow through on their goals.
If instead, you find yourself feeling fragmented, unhappy, bored, stressed, stuck or uninspired, it could be a sign that you aren’t acting authentically. That’s something you can change right now.