How To Be Authentic: Discovering and Embracing Your True Authentic Self

how to be your authentic self

How To Be Your True Self

Authentic (Updated 2024) 01st Apr, 2023

Authenticity is the practice of being genuine, honest, and true to oneself.

It involves embracing our unique traits, values, and beliefs, and living a life that reflects these principles. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be challenging to maintain authenticity amidst external pressures and expectations.

Finding your true and authentic self

Being authentic, or our most true self, is something that many people will chase their entire lives. Some will go on adventures halfway around the world to “find themselves” only to return with more questions than answers.

While pursuing authenticity may be the ideal, it may also be considered chasing the end of a rainbow, the promise of great treasures being just out of reach. 

This article delves into the essence of authenticity, the obstacles faced in achieving it, and the benefits of living a life true to oneself. We will also share practical strategies for developing and maintaining authenticity in your personal and professional life.

So What Does Authenticity Mean?

Authenticity is the quality of being genuine, real, and true to oneself. It involves knowing and understanding oneself, embracing personal strengths and values, and living a life that reflects these principles.

Authenticity encompasses trustworthiness, honesty, and being genuine, as opposed to being fake or inauthentic.

In recent times, there has been a growing emphasis on the importance of authenticity in the workplace.

Organizations encourage employees to bring their true selves to their jobs, leading to improved job satisfaction, performance, and overall well-being. However, the concept of the “authentic self” can be confusing and elusive for many.

Developing and Maintaining Authenticity: Practical Strategies

Developing and maintaining authenticity is a crucial aspect of personal growth, fostering healthy relationships, and achieving overall well-being.

Authenticity is the ability to stay true to oneself, one’s values, and beliefs, while expressing and acting in alignment with them.

It enables individuals to create genuine connections with others, navigate challenges with resilience, and cultivate a sense of purpose in life.

We will explore practical strategies to develop and maintain authenticity, empowering you to live a more genuine, fulfilling, and meaningful life. By implementing these strategies, you can nurture a deeper sense of self-awareness and foster personal growth.

I finally managed to stop caring what they thought about me and asked myself what did I think about me?

Mary from New York.

1. Recognise And Embrace Your Strengths

Focusing on our strengths is a powerful way to tap into our authenticity. Identifying what we excel at and enjoy can lead to improved performance and satisfaction.

Assess your strengths and seek opportunities to maximize their use in your life and work. Be open to delegating tasks that do not align with your strengths, creating space for activities that truly energize you.

2. Reflect On Your Values

Values serve as guiding principles for a meaningful life. Reflect on your core values and how they influence your decisions and actions.

If you feel disconnected from your authentic self, assess whether your actions align with your values. Identifying discrepancies can help you make adjustments to live a more authentic life.

3. Evaluate Internal vs. External Influences

Distinguish between actions driven by internal motivation and those influenced by external factors, such as societal norms or peer pressure.

Focus on setting personal goals that hold genuine significance and align with your values and purpose.

4. Acknowledge and express your emotions

Emotional self-awareness is a key component of authenticity. Develop the ability to recognize, understand, and express your emotions.

This awareness can help you stay true to your feelings, values, and beliefs, enabling you to lead a more authentic life.

5. Cultivate mindfulness

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and journaling, can help you become more self-aware and connected to your authentic self.

Regularly engage in these activities to promote introspection, self-discovery, and personal growth.

6. Build a supportive network

Surround yourself with people who encourage and support your authentic self.

These relationships can provide a safe space for you to express your true feelings, thoughts, and beliefs, fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance.

7. Face your fears with courage

Overcome the barriers that prevent you from living authentically by confronting your fears and challenging self-limiting beliefs.

Break down overwhelming goals into smaller, achievable steps and pursue activities that align with your passions and values.

8. Commit to daily actions

Authenticity is an ongoing practice that requires consistent effort and dedication. Engage in daily activities that align with your values and promote self-awareness, fostering a deeper connection with your authentic self.

Preserving Authenticity: Tips for Staying True to Yourself

The way to be authentic usually begins with uncomfortable introspection where preventative self doubt and limiting beliefs are removed.

Being authentic, by its very nature, will usually put you outside of the usually conforming peer group. This is just par for the course as approval seeking popularity is meaningless to you.

Validation comes from within because you can look in the mirror with pride and say that you are doing it for you

Once you have developed a stronger sense of authenticity, it is crucial to maintain this mindset and lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you preserve your authenticity:

The only voice I need to listen to is the one in my own head. I am done trying to make them happy when it makes me so miserable.

James from Boston.

1. Be honest and reliable

Consistently honor your commitments and speak the truth, even when it may be uncomfortable or difficult. Demonstrating honesty and reliability in your actions builds trust and strengthens your relationships.

2. Continuously reassess your values and goals

As you grow and evolve, your values and goals may shift. Regularly reassess these principles to ensure that your actions remain aligned with your authentic self.

3. Practice self-compassion

Embrace self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness and understanding, especially during challenging times.

Acknowledge your imperfections and mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning.

4. Stay open to feedback

Constructive feedback can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement and personal growth.

Embrace feedback with an open mind and use it to guide your ongoing journey towards authenticity.

5. Nurture your self-awareness

Regularly engage in self-reflection and mindfulness practices to maintain a strong connection with your authentic self.

These activities can help you stay grounded in your values and beliefs, fostering a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and actions.

6. Communicate assertively

Develop the ability to express your thoughts, feelings, and needs assertively and respectfully.

This communication style can help you maintain your authenticity while fostering healthy, meaningful relationships.

7. Embrace vulnerability

Allow yourself to be vulnerable by openly sharing your feelings, challenges, and insecurities with trusted friends and family members.

Embracing vulnerability can help you forge stronger connections and reinforce your authentic self.

8. Set boundaries

Establish clear boundaries in your personal and professional life to protect your well-being and maintain your authenticity.

Communicate your boundaries assertively and consistently, ensuring that your actions and relationships align with your values and beliefs.

Bottom Line

Living an authentic life is a rewarding and transformative journey that fosters personal growth, self-discovery, and meaningful connections with others.

By embracing your unique qualities, consistently reassessing your values and goals, practicing self-compassion, staying open to feedback, nurturing self-awareness, communicating assertively, embracing vulnerability, and setting healthy boundaries, you can create a life that truly resonates with your innermost self.

Embrace the ongoing process of authenticity and allow it to empower you, enrich your relationships, and guide you towards a more fulfilling, purpose-driven existence.

This is not to say that the ideal is not reachable. Some find comfort in themselves harbouring little to no insecurities or fears that prevent them from being and acting however they wish.

To what extent however this is really self discovery or simply acquiescing to a “whatever will be will be” contentment is difficult to say. All perception is subjective and by extension so is all judgment, especially of ourselves. 

Sometimes when asked who we are, the truth is we know not.

To what extent being authentic is a trick of the mind or a means to a real end, the reality is that those who are “authentic” are usually happier, feel better about themselves, achieve more goals and cope with difficult situations more readily and easily.


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  3. Gallup, Inc. (n.d.). State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide.
  4. Mohr, T. (2014). Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead. Avery.
  5. Neff, K. (2011). Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. HarperCollins.
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  8. Sinek, S. (2009). Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Portfolio.

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