If you struggle with how to be more authentic your confidence may not be as strong as it could be. And daily living with a lack of confidence can be draining, defeating, and just no way to live.
Authenticity is the key to honoring yourself and to providing everyone around you the blueprint to know and understand you. When you know how to be authentic you know how to be and share your genuine self.
Being authentic is not always an easy process, and sometimes it can feel absolutely impossible. When you have lived a portion or much of your life acting differently than who you know yourself to be, it can be hard to find your way back to your authentic self.
Here are some ways how you can be more authentic and build amazing confidence as a result.
#1 Authenticity as a Mindset
Cambridge Dictionary defines authenticity as “the quality of being real or true”. But demonstrating yourself as real or true in your personality can be subjective.
Your version of authenticity is based on your opinion of yourself and your behavior and actions. How you are defined as authentic by others is based on their opinion of you and their perception of your behavior and actions.
If you deem yourself inauthentic, it is because of your independent perception of yourself or your acceptance of others’ opinions of you. But you alone create your definition.
Once you have determined that you are inauthentic or lack full authenticity, then you ultimately are stating that you do not believe that you are your real and true self. You have developed an alternative persona to the one you believe reflects the real you.
Inauthenticity as a mindset can lead to a host of negative feelings and conflicts within yourself including:
- Feeling dishonest and false to yourself and others
- Being disconnected and unsure of who you really are
- Questioning your integrity and ability to be consistent in your thoughts, actions, and opinions
- Not liking who you are or what you have become
This inauthentic version of yourself serves as a mask and costume that over time becomes uncomfortable to wear. It is exceedingly uncomfortable to dishonor, belittle, or dismiss your true self in exchange for a character you play every day.
How Do You Build a Mindset of Authenticity
A mindset that honors authenticity is one that accepts that all things in their real and true form are acceptable. Before you can apply this to yourself, you have to see this concept as a reality for everyone.
Many alter who they are because of learning and believing that there is only a finite list of acceptable standards that exist. When you do not follow these standards then you are deemed unacceptable.
But what happens if the acceptable standard is not who you are? Is who and what you are therefore unacceptable? Is it then better to be acceptable than to be authentic?
Once you can believe that whatever exists simply is what it is AND acceptable, you have created freedom for yourself and everyone around you. There is no longer a need to fit a standard, change your form, or be someone else.
You are and that is enough. Authenticity is real, true, and acceptable.
#2 Authenticity and Your Core Values
Part of knowing who you are is knowing what you believe in. Your personal beliefs represent your authentic self.
What values do you possess and consider important to uphold?
Adopting core values allows you to actively choose how you want to interact with the world. Here is where you move beyond just accepting who you are but also making choices of how you want to be.
Your core values may not match someone else’s. Accept the difference but choose for yourself what you value.
If you are unfamiliar with where to begin to determine your core values, you may want to try My Core Values Journal, a printable product I have created that offers exercises and journal prompts to assist you with exploring what core values you possess today.
Your method to better identify what is important to you as a core value is your choice. The exercise to identify your core value is important because it acknowledges your individualism and gives you confidence that you know what you believe in. It is your core values that will define your actions, opinions, and judgment of your thoughts and behavior as well as that of others.
Your core values can be unconscious and come to the surface when you don’t expect them based on situations that trigger their presence. But whether you know them or show them, your values are an integral part of who you are. And if you live your life in opposition to your core values you will continually feel as if you are living inauthentically.
#3 Communicate Authentically
Communicating authentically is more than the words that you choose, but developing a pattern of consideration of your independent opinion and making decisions to share your opinions openly and honestly.
Often you are faced with situations where time, place, circumstance. and common etiquette will deter you from saying what you feel. In some cases, you may decide to keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself.
It is a bold step forward to live your authentic self by sharing your own ideas and opinions with others, even if your position is different than what others think and feel.
Developing patterns of forced silence can birth feelings of inauthenticity. Keeping your opinions to yourself devalues your voice and creates an opportunity to allow others’ thoughts to have a higher value than your own. A pattern of silence can make you feel invisible.
Say what you believe is right and say it when you believe you should in accordance with your core values and your definition of being your authentic self.
Sharing yourself authentically with others contributes to the learning, expansion, and evolution of thought by others. It also allows others to gain a deeper understanding of you and how to interact with you.
Regular open and honest communication permits you to continually build confidence and comfort with your authentic self.
#4 Dress the Style That Represents You Authentically
You can share your self-expression through thoughts and opinions, but not all expression is said out loud. Even when you don’t use your voice, your can communicate your presence through your facial expression, your stance, and your style of dress.
What you wear is a silent yet pronounced way of sharing who you are and is another way to demonstrate your authenticity.
While there are many societal rules wrapped in obligations attached to business, religion, sexuality, and sexual orientation, you still have your own independent and unique voice that is permitted to present itself as you choose.
In dressing yourself authentically you decide if you want to conform to boundaries and imposed standards or to fully express your personal style and creativity.
Claiming your style is claiming your self-expression and ability to accentuate your voice through a visual impression.
When you are unfamiliar with permitting yourself the freedom of expression in your style, try these options:
- Add color to your wardrobe and experiment with patterns, fabrics, or cuts of clothing that are flattering to you and inspire comfort and expression
- Wear jewelry that you find attractive but that may also invoke deeper meaning and representation of your family or heritage
- Create a vibrant hairstyle that symbolizes the mood you want to represent. Are you fun, energetic, or excited today or are you conservative, formal, and authoritative? How can these moods be represented in a hairstyle?
- Consider a tattoo, new make-up, or a nail polish design. Artistic design on your body can be worn to inspire many different emotions, representations of nature, the world around you, or your personality. Let your body be a canvas, experiment, and find what works for you.
Allow your authenticity to shine and showcase your personality confidently through your individuality and style.
#5 Live an Authentic Lifestyle
Adopting a lifestyle of authenticity is the ultimate goal. When you do not have to camouflage who you are and can be yourself openly in all situations you have truly come into your own.
However, we still live in a world where those around us may not practice acceptance and even demand conformity to their expectations. Living an authentic lifestyle can include living boldly as you choose even if it is in defiance of others.
Another form of authenticity is recognizing who you are and thoughtfully choosing to surround yourself with the people, environment, and atmosphere that represents and honors you.
- Find friends and spend time with family members that respect and honor you as you are.
- Choose to work for employers and with business partners that make you feel comfortable and accepted as a norm.
- Give patronage to restaurants, storefronts, and other vendors and businesses that demonstrate the core values that you consider important to you.
- Enjoy deeper closeness and better harmony in love relationships where honesty, integrity, and genuine self are the basis of your connection with each other.
When you know who you are, you are in the best position to find the individuals and communities that embrace and celebrate you authentically.
And while you may not be in position to always have the company of those who align with you fully, knowing and spending time with those that do embrace you can help build a sense of comfort, validation, and internal permission to be exactly who you are.
A community of open-minded individuals who embrace you for who and what you are with love and open respect is the gift of authenticity that builds amazing confidence.
More Tips on How to Be More Authentic
If you are looking for more inspiration to take on your authenticity in bold and meaningful ways, take a look at Masterclass Online Classes. You can specifically watch RuPaul’s masterclass on self-expression and authenticity.
RuPaul has been a pioneer of living life on your own terms throughout his career as an actor, music artist, television personality, and most notably as a drag queen.
He presents a very real balance between the struggles of being authentic and the benefits of learning and projecting your own authenticity.
A few more tips to consider on your path to living authentically include:
- Don’t wait to be comfortable when you have made a practice to hide your authenticity. New behavior can feel awkward even if it is genuine.
- Don’t make a habit of hiding who you are to make anyone else happy. The same person you choose to please may be unhappy with themselves.
- Instead of spending time studying someone else’s expectations, be infatuated with learning yourself. Your opinions, your style, your sense of self through decisions, likes and dislikes, and your own discernment are all parts of you. Never stop learning who you are!
Learning how to be more authentic is not necessarily easy but it is necessary to become a healthier, happier, more confident you.
Accepting yourself as you are, valuing who you choose to be, and sharing yourself in a real and genuine form with others takes self-insight and courage.
But if you take steps to be what you know yourself to be, you can live well and with amazing confidence.
If you are looking for more ways to boost your self-awareness and be more intuned with yourself, consider reading these posts:
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