Authenticity is a trait that many people aspire to have, yet few truly possess. Authentic people are those who stay true to themselves, their values, and their beliefs. They are comfortable in their own skin, and they don't try to put on a façade to impress others or fit in with the crowd.
Instead, they are honest, transparent, and open about their intentions and feelings. Authentic people are often respected and admired, but being authentic is not always easy. It can require a great deal of courage, vulnerability, and self-awareness.
In this article, we'll explore what it means to be an authentic person, the benefits of authenticity, and how you can cultivate authenticity in your own life.
- Why authenticity matters
- Meeting authentic people
- 10 characteristics of authentic people
- Wrapping up
Why authenticity matters
Being authentic enables us to live a life that is true to who we are, rather than conforming to the expectations of others or trying to be someone we're not. By embracing our individuality and expressing ourselves freely, we can live a life that is more fulfilling and aligned with our personal values and goals.
For these reasons, authenticity can have a profound impact on our overall well-being. A study has found that people who scored high on a measure of authentic living are happier, experience more positive emotions, and develop higher self-esteem.
Authenticity also puts less stress on how we live our lives. In positive psychology, being authentic can be simply defined as “feeling like yourself.” This is affirmed by recent studies, which interpret authenticity as recognizing when something “feels right” and following that instinct.
Without trying too hard, authenticity leads us to where we should be according to what feels true and consistent with our beliefs and identity.
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Meeting authentic people
When you meet authentic people, they are certainly for keeps. In my experience, making new friends isn’t easy. And, for a long time, I thought that my introverted personality was the simple reason behind this.
But, as I got older, I realized that I’m naturally drawn to connections that run deeper and feel more authentic. For me, building genuine relationships that last is more important than having a big circle of friends who come and go.
The close-knit friends that I bring a great deal of support and positivity into my life. I value them for being honest about their intentions, sharing their vulnerabilities with me, and not needing to put a “mask” on when they’re around me.
Having authentic people in my life means that I have real friends whom I can trust and rely on. Knowing that I’m always in a safe space when I’m with them also allows me to cultivate authenticity and be my truest self.
10 characteristics of authentic people
It can be difficult to know for certain if someone is authentic, as people can be good at presenting a false image of themselves.
However, there are some signs that may indicate that someone is authentic:
1. They are self-aware
Self-awareness is a key characteristic of authentic people because it allows them to understand themselves deeply. They are attuned to themselves, their strengths, and their limitations.
Self-awareness is the foundation for authenticity because it allows us to make choices and act in ways that align with our truest selves. If you want to develop authenticity in your life, start by reflecting inward and identifying the things that make you, you.
2. They are honest
Authentic people are honest with themselves and others. They don't pretend to be someone they are not or lie about what they’re thinking, feeling, or experiencing.
Authenticity is all about being true to yourself and expressing yourself in an open and transparent way. By being honest, you can also attract the right people and build genuine relationships!
3. They value integrity
Authenticity and integrity are closely related concepts that both involve being true to oneself and one's values. Those who are authentic give importance to integrity because they hold themselves to a high moral standard and are committed to doing what is right.
Remember that being authentic requires integrity even when it is difficult or inconvenient to you. You must stand your ground, and don’t let anything sway what you believe to be true and just.
If you want more tips, here's our article with tips on how to live with integrity.
4. They show consistency
Consistency is an important aspect of authenticity, as it involves being in alignment with one's identity and principles over time. Authentic people are consistent in their words, actions, and behavior.
Once you are aligned with your values, you must live in accordance with these truths. Never change who you are just to fit in or to gain acceptance from others. Keep doing you!
5. They are not afraid to be vulnerable
Those who live authentically are comfortable being vulnerable. They naturally share their true feelings with others and don't put up walls to hide their true selves.
It can be scary to be vulnerable with others. To be authentic, practice by opening up to the people that you trust. This way, you know that you won’t be judged or rejected when you show them your true colors.
Here's one of our articles on vulnerability with 11 examples, if you're looking for more inspiration!
6. They are creative
An authentic person often has a strong sense of creativity, as they are willing to express themselves in unique and unconventional ways. They are not afraid to be different or stand out from the crowd.
If you want to nurture your authenticity, tap into those creative juices and explore the most inventive ways that you can reveal your truest self!
7. They practice empathy
Authentic people are empathetic and understanding of others' feelings and perspectives. They take the time to listen and try to understand where other people are coming from.
Empathy can enhance our authenticity, as it allows us to connect with others in a deeper and more meaningful way. Keep in mind that authenticity isn’t just about ourselves, but it also extends to the way we relate to others.
Showing empathy is sometimes easier said than done. Here's our article on how to be more emphatic with 7 actionable tips.
8. They are courageous
Authentic people are often brave and willing to take risks. In order to stay true to themselves, they take courage in the face of judgment, rejection, and even failure.
If you feel like you’re the type of person who can power through such challenges, then your inner strength is already a testament to your authenticity!
9. They remain humble
Humility is indicative of an authentic person. As they are not concerned with impressing others or projecting an image, authentic people simply focus on being genuine and true to who they are.
If you want to live an authentic life, there’s no need for you to boast your accomplishments or go after titles and popularity. Instead, celebrate yourself for who you are and where you are at this moment. Believe us when we say that you are already winning!
10. They are comfortable in their own skin
Authentic people learn how to accept themselves. They embrace their strengths, weaknesses, and every quirk in between. They know when they have to improve and when to validate their most unique traits.
Authenticity and self-acceptance can reinforce each other, creating a positive cycle that leads to greater self-awareness, self-expression, and personal growth.
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Achieving authenticity is not always easy. It requires a great deal of awareness, acceptance, and courage to be vulnerable in a world that often values conformity and superficiality.
However, staying authentic can be powerful and can bring many benefits to our lives. It allows us to build strong and meaningful relationships, cultivate a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and live a life that is true to who we are.
Do you resonate with these characteristics? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!