Why is authenticity important?

Let’s be honest, we’ve all had moments of inauthenticity where we felt that our “real” self isn’t good enough and fear of rejection causes us to show up as the person we think everyone else will like rather than our true selves. How do you know people won’t like who you really are? How do you know that your perception of yourself isn’t faulty in some way?

Here’s another truth…people are attracted to authenticity. We all want to be around genuine people as they make us feel comfortable, safe and free to be ourselves. So why do we hide who we really are so much? Here’s why…

· Authenticity = Vulnerability

· Vulnerability = Risk

· Risk = Protection.

If we feel we’re not good enough, we will feel at risk if we are truly seen by others, therefore we will seek to protect ourselves from any hurt or risk that situation could bring. We then develop Oscar winning acting skills and become personas we perceive others want us to be. To some extent we all do this as we go about our daily business and interact with people on a casual basis however, if we want more meaningful relationships and true inner happiness then we need to risk being seen because everything you’ve ever wanted is waiting for you on the other side of fear!

Here are some questions and tips to help you become more authentic in your daily life.

· Are you living your life as authentic as possible?

· Would you like to be more authentic?

· Are you fed up of pretending to be someone you’re not?

Let’s start with awareness. Begin observing yourself and how you feel as you go about your daily life interacting with different people in different situations. How do you present yourself to work colleagues? Friends? Partners? What do you want people to see when you are socialising? When do you feel most comfortable? Self-awareness will not only help you to recognise when you are feeling uncomfortable but will help you understand yourself better thus enabling you to show up as your authentic self on a daily basis. The more we allow ourselves to be authentic the easier it will become and the more natural it will feel.

How do you connect with those around you? Seek to understand and connect with the people around you. Maybe ask some thoughtful questions and listen intently. We all have more in common than we think and so developing a genuine understanding of and connection to the people you are with, you are more likely to feel genuine and authentic yourself.

Do you try to be perfect? Perfectionism is the enemy of authenticity! Why? Because it’s impossible! If you try to be perfect or act perfectly, you are already being insincere. If you dare to be a little vulnerable you are embracing your imperfect self and in the words of Dr Brené Brown, you’ll be amazed where vulnerability can take you!

Do you live in the now? When you are in the middle of a conversation with someone, and while they are talking, does your mind wander to other things? People intuitively know when another person’s focus is elsewhere and they are not present. This causes an immediate disconnect and either terminates the communication or opens the door to resentment. Try to be more present in your conversations and relationships by making the decision to be an active listener and give people your full attention.

Do you share your true experiences? You’ve heard it said a problem shared is a problem halved. How many times have you felt relief to know that you’re not the only one going through a bad time? There’s something very comforting about sharing our experiences both good and bad as we very often give the gift of hope when we open up and give of our true selves in this way.

It’s fact, being authentic means facing fears, taking risks and at times exposing ourselves to hurt but bravely daring to be who we are transforms the way we live so greatly you’ll never look back.

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