10 rules authentic people follow to lead a happier and more fulfilling life

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde

Most of us like to be around authentic people. We feel safe and at ease around them.

We trust them and know they’d never lie to themselves or to us.

They’re genuine, real, and honest and we tend to gravitate toward them.

They have no hidden agendas, are true to themselves, and open about their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

There is no doubt authentic people are good to be around.

 But, do you know that we can all develop the skills to be authentic?

Here are 10 rules authentic people live by.

1. They are self-aware.

They know their own motives, patterns of behavior, what it is they want, and their capacity to get there.

They are clear about their strengths as well as their weaknesses. They are also aware of their vulnerabilities and accept them.

They like to reflect on their lives and have a strong sense of who they are.

2. They live their values.

They are clear about the core values that guide them through life.

They incorporate their values into their daily life and effortlessly take action congruent with them. Because of this, they tend to be more in the present and appreciate what they have.

They are true to themselves and don’t look to others for approval. How they treat themselves and others is consistent in all situations in their life.

3. They are clear about their place in the world.

They tend to forge their own path to fulfill their purpose and passions in life. They have innate self-esteem but are not afraid to admit their faults.

Authentic people respond to internal expectations rather than the expectations of others.

They accept themselves for who they are and tend to be less judgmental of others.

They are comfortable in their own skin and don’t feel the need to change themselves to be accepted by others. They know who they are, their purpose and passions, and they don’t hide it.

They are generally creative, independent, and flexible. They are not afraid to take risks and regard any mistakes as valuable learning experiences.

4. They are accepting of themselves and others.

They tend to be at peace with themselves. They understand the good parts about themselves as well as their flaws, knowing we are all human and no one is perfect.

They tend to know they are good enough as they are.

5. They are emotionally agile.

They are good at dealing with their inner world of emotions and can mindfully engage with them. They own their emotions; their emotions don’t own them.

They are able to face their emotions, good and bad, accurately label them for what they are, and then choose to move forward deliberately aligned with their values.

Authentic people know, being emotionally agile is the foundation of being resilient and thriving in this tumultuous world.

6. They see failure as a teacher.

They are open to learning. They see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow from their mistakes.

They see life as a learning experience and have a growth mindset where they believe that even basic qualities can be developed through hard work and practice.

They strive to develop their qualities and see the potential for growth as they do this. When life throws curveballs they see it as a challenge.

7. They are good listeners.

Everyone loves having a conversation with an authentic person.  You feel listened to and valued for who you are.

They are genuinely interested in you and good at creating connections in a deep and meaningful way.

They naturally have good listening skills. They pay full attention, maintain eye contact and most importantly withhold judgment. They are open and receptive to whatever you are talking about.

8. They are compassionate.

Authentic people have the ability to show empathy and be able to put themselves in other people’s shoes.

Their basic mantra is to treat people with respect, even if they disagree with them.  

They know they are no better than anyone else. They are not backward in expressing their views but do so in a way that does not alienate people.

They naturally practice self-compassion because they know we are all human beings with flaws and suffering is part of the human experience. They are literally their own best friend.  

9. They have your back.

When you are with an authentic person you feel comfortable and safe. You know they will be honest and genuine with you and do not have any hidden agendas.

They are transparent and mean what they say. If they make a commitment, they keep it. 

10. They know happiness comes from within.

They are not materialistic and know the true pleasures in life come from having purpose and meaning, good relationships, and being connected to themselves and others.

They may have ambition and work towards achieving goals, but they have a balanced view of it all and do not let material goals take over their lives.

They know intrinsically it is not through the accumulation of material possessions, status, and wealth that defines success. They know living a life aligned to your values defines a successful life.

Final thoughts

There are no negatives to being an authentic person. We love spending time with them.

The good thing is, we can all develop the skills to become more authentic by:

  • Practicing self-awareness
  • Understanding our core values and living in alignment with them
  • Being open, honest and transparent
  • Finding our purpose and passions in life
  • Practicing compassion and empathy for ourselves and others
  • Developing our self-confidence through setting goals aligned to our values and taking action to do what matters.

At the end of the day, taking the time and effort to become more authentic, leads to greater well-being and a happier, more fulfilling, and connected life.

 I would say it is worth the effort!


Jeanette Brown

I have been in Education as a teacher, career coach and executive manager over many years.
I'm also an experienced coach who is passionate about supporting people in finding real meaning and purpose in their lives, building a resilient, grounded inner self and achieving their desired goals.

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