The first thing you will notice when you meet a highly authentic person is how they lead their lives: with their souls.
They possess an insurmountable will that allows them a type of fearless courage and passion that stands strong against the toughest obstacles.
Their mental discipline is unlike any other, and they work hard to maintain the integrity that drives them.
But what does it mean to be truly authentic? The word comes from the Greek word for “original, genuine, principle” (authentikos).
And authenticity isn’t limited to the leaders and influencers of history, including innovators, historical figures, and nation-builders.
Authenticity exists in all of us, and it is only in how much we strive to develop our authenticity that matters.
It’s not your paycheck, your social status, your titles, or anything else that grants you authenticity. It’s in the way you hold yourself and live your life, the way you chase your dreams, and the way you stand up to conflict.
It’s in the development of your inner energy, which defines how “awake” you are—how much you understand yourself and those around you.
So if you’re asking yourself, “why don’t people like me?” check out these 10 habits that highly authentic people all share, so that you can start living your life with more inner energy and authenticity:
1) You Learn From Your Dips
Life will never be a straight path. There are ups and downs, highs and lows, and as much as we cherish the high points of our life, we must be sure that we do not neglect the learning experience from our dips.
It can be easy to shelter yourself into believing that fate is unkind, that bad luck just happens, but truly authentic people embrace the value of every failure and disappointment.
2) You Stick To The Bigger Picture
Each day presents its own challenges: a surprising coincidence, an unexpected chore, or a task that takes you out of your plans.
But there are goals that you want to accomplish long-term, things you want to be and things you want to achieve. If you allow yourself to be distracted every time the smaller picture gets in the way, you will never find yourself moving towards the bigger one.
3) You Make Your Own Daily Rituals
Mastering yourself, your skills, and your authenticity comes from long-term consistency.
This means every single day, you take another small step towards your goal. By forcing yourself to fall into your own positive rituals, you set your body and mind onto a singular goal that cannot be missed, as long as you stay committed.
4) You Live Presently
This isn’t just about not dreaming about the future too much or not dwelling over the past. This also means living in the moment, living in the now.
Think about what you are doing right now. You are probably distracted by a dozen other things. We live most of our life distracted, multi-tasking, juggling, which means we are never truly alive in the moment of our existence.
Even with mundane tasks, learn to focus.
[Not only does Buddhism provide a spiritual outlet for many people, it can also improve your health and wellbeing. Check out my new no-nonsense guide to using Buddhism for a better life here].
5) You Visualize Your Destiny
Destiny is an abstract word, yet so many of us believe in it. We believe that we are destined for a certain role in life, a certain career path, or a certain advocacy.
But the abstractness of destiny makes it hard to picture as a real, tangible goal that can be achieved. This is why you need to visualize your destiny.
Make it your intention to achieve it; turn your goal into a “where”, and work towards moving to that place every day.
6) You Achieve Goals Daily
We are often our own worst critics: we set ourselves up for huge, gigantic, year-long or life-long goals that we are bound to fail, because we were never realistic about the magnitude of our goals.
We set ourselves up for failure by aiming higher than we can jump. Instead, cut your long-term goals into smaller, daily goals that you can realistically achieve. Don’t aim to write a novel by the end of the year; aim to write a page every day.
7) You Learn To Embrace Uncertainty
The authentic person does not fear uncertainty, because the authentic person knows that their path is not and never will be prefabricated.
Every part in life is filled with uncertainty; some parts are just more uncertain than others.
8) You Adapt
The ability to survive in this world requires a certain flexibility and adaptability that authentic people know well.
While it’s important to stick to your convictions, your values, and your morals, it’s also important to know when you would accomplish more by bending, learning, and adapting to your environment rather than forcing the environment to adapt to you.
(If you’re looking for a structured, easy-to-follow framework to help you find your purpose in life and achieve your goals, check our eBook on how to be your own life coach here).
9) You Focus on Excellence, Not Perfection
Perfection is impossible, and striving for perfection can lead you to ruin. Change the goal in your mind, and shift your goal posts from perfection to excellence.
By committing yourself to perfection, you are committing yourself to failure, because nothing will ever be perfect in an imperfect world.
But by committing yourself to excellence, you will find excellence in everything you create.
10) You Surround Yourself With People Who Bring You Up
And finally, authentic people understand that the best way to stay authentic is by being around others who can influence and inspire them. You know how to talk to people in a meaningful way.
Negativity and toxicity are contagious, and no more how strong-willed you may be, surrounding yourself with people who are trapped in their own negativity can pull you down as well.
The question is, how can you be more authentic yourself? Here are 5 practical tips
The problem with authenticity is that humans tend to go outside of themselves to find it. We look for jobs that will make us happy.
We strive to build relationships that make us feel worthy. But the truth is that authenticity isn’t made, it’s discovered.
We are all authentic in our own ways, but we don’t allow ourselves the space to see that.
Because we are too busy building our external worlds, we don’t often stop to think about how we are showing up in our lives right now.
Being authentic is about showing up just as you are, with what you have to offer the world. If you are trying to be more authentic, the key isn’t to try harder, it’s to be more aware of your personality and what you have to bring to the world in your own way.
Focus on improving these five areas of your life and you’ll find that being authentic isn’t that hard after all.
1) Know what you want.
One of the hardest things for people to do is decide what they want in their lives. Do yourself a favor and start making decisions about who you are and where you want to go.
Being authentic in your life means being honest about the things you want. You can’t go to a job you hate everyday and pretend that everything is okay.
It’ll hurt your spirit and your drive to do more with your life. Decide what you want to get out of this one and only life and show up for it so that you can bring joy to the world in your own unique way.
2) Think before you act.
If you want to be more authentic, you need to be conscious of how you want to show up when you decide to.
Being authentic isn’t about shooting from the hip or doing things and asking questions later. It’s about taking the time to consider how you want to answer a question, pursue a goal, or share a coffee with a friend.
Everything matters and when you pretend like it doesn’t you end up being less authentic. Authenticity is in the decision to be who you want to be, not actually who you are.
3) Be kind to other people.
Being authentic means that you need to consider others in your world – it’s not just about you. If you want to raise yourself up and feel good about who you are, you don’t do that by making millions of dollars. You do that by being kind to other people.
Treating people with respect, regardless of who they are, or how they are treating you, can help you see that you are showing up in a way that serves you.
Someone might be yelling at the top of their lungs at you, but if you are showing up as your authentic self, being kind, you can be at peace with yourself.
Being authentic means that you give people the floor when they need it. Use your authenticity to help others: listen when someone needs to be heard.
It’s hard to imagine that our lives don’t revolve around us, or that the world isn’t there just to serve us, but it’s true.
Once you realize that you are part of a bigger, grander scheme to make the world a better place, you can show up for other people and do great things.
Listening to others helps them feel connected to you and safe. Being authentically you gives someone a place to turn when they need it and they trust that you won’t hurt them.
5) Open your mind.
Finally, being more authentic starts with opening your mind to the possibility that you are faking most of your life.
If you use social media, ask yourself how much of what you post is entirely true? How much of what you show the world – online or offline – is real? Look at how you show up in your life and the results you get from that effort.
Open your mind to the possibility that you could show up in ways that serve you better, and serve the world. Hear others out. Learn new things. Learn new ways of doing things.
And ask questions before you judge. All of these things can help you be more authentic in your own life and as an added bonus, in the world.