If you look enough at social media and self-improvement books, there’s a lot of discussion happening about being “authentic”. What in the world does being authentic mean?
Simple. It means being true to who you are as a person.
Why is this important?
Because it leads to a happier and more peaceful existence. You want to be who you are for your own well-being, credibility and success in life.
Sometimes we make things harder than they have to be and one of the ways we do it is by not being true to ourselves. Some people live their lives chasing someone else’s dreams. Or, they feel trapped in a story that is not their own with a job, spouse or circumstance that no longer aligns with their values, priorities or existence.
You know whom I’m talking about. Everyone has someone around them who is miserable because they are not being authentic.
So, how do you know if someone is not being their true self, including, potentially, you?
- No Room for Self-Care: If someone you know is always too busy to take care of him or herself, this is the best indicator that the person is not being authentic. When there’s too much to do for someone else and no time for recharging one’s own batteries, that’s a problem.
- Values Versus Reality: When someone is not being authentic, they are not living their values. It’s plain and simple. If someone says they want a life rich with experiences, but is always looking to have the best toys – no matter how miserable he or she is – this person is not living their values. They value a lot of money, but don’t want to say it out loud. So, they say they want simplicity and experience, when they actually care very much about money.
- There’s No Room for “No”: People pleasing is another clear sign of someone who is not being authentic. Someone who is being true says the word “no” often. In other words, they don’t have a pattern that goes against their principles, values or interests just to please other people. It might be tough to say no, but it’s important.
- Projecting Their Own Insecurities: This can be very subtle. If you hear someone complaining about you being afraid of things in your life, take a step back. Then look at who is giving you the advice. Is this someone who is afraid in his or her own life? If so, they’re simply projecting their insecurities onto you.
- Poor Follow-Through: When someone is not living an authentic life, there is often poor follow-through. Plans are made and then they somehow unravel. Someone promises something and has a pattern of not honoring their word. The reason is simple. If someone is not being authentic, circumstances arise over and over that prevent him or her from sticking to a plan – probably because they are not interested but they don’t want to verbalize it.
Authenticity is important. People can sense very quickly, even if they can’t exactly put their finger on it, when someone is faking it. You don’t want that. Someone who is not being true to his or herself, someone who is not being authentic, automatically loses credibility.
Author of “Get Off the Couch: Grip & Rip and Break the Barriers Holding You Back in Life” (Free Digital Download)
© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.