Ever felt like everyone around you is putting up a front?
Like you’re drifting through a sea of fake smiles and rehearsed small talk?
And all of a sudden, someone shows up who not only has little interest in adhering to the agreed-upon protocol, but stands out in the best possible way.
They don’t follow the crowd.
They’re not afraid to disagree.
They don’t care about projecting an idealized version of their life.
Instead, they conduct themselves with humility and sincerity.
Being around them feels like a breath of fresh air, so you’re probably wondering what their secret is.
Turns out, people who live with authenticity and integrity usually display these 8 unique traits.
We should all adopt a similar approach to life.
Living authentically begins with self-awareness.
Individuals who embrace authenticity and integrity are generally attuned to their emotions, values, and beliefs.
This allows them to navigate life with a clear sense of self and not feel the need to pretend to be someone they’re not.
If you strive to be authentic, you don’t just acknowledge your values.
You make it a point to uphold them in your interactions and relationships. Hence, the integrity part.
Now, while it’s true that knowing yourself is an ongoing process, usually the most challenging part is getting started.
A few things that can help:
- Journaling – it provides a space for self-expression and can reveal patterns or triggers you may not be aware of
- Meditation – it encourages you to be more present and observe your thoughts without judgment
- Asking for feedback – honest input from loved ones offers insight into your areas for improvement and blind spots
- Reading – psychology books, philosophical texts, and even general fiction novels open a window into your soul
- Letting your mind wander – you can’t have epiphanies if you don’t allow your mind to unwind from time to time
Choose whatever practice resonates with you and adapt it to fit your lifestyle and preferences.
You’d be surprised by what you’ll discover along the way.
Honesty is an integral aspect of authenticity.
Genuine individuals express their thoughts and feelings truthfully, fostering trust and transparency in their relationships.
That doesn’t mean they say every little thought that pops into their head.
Rather, they give you their honest opinions when asked, even if those may lead to an uncomfortable conversation.
I always thought that your best friends are the ones willing to speak difficult truths, especially when you would very much prefer it if they zipped it.
Mine let me whine for a while whenever I throw myself a self-pity party but eventually tell me to stop complaining and get myself together.
When I’m out and about, I love to meet people who don’t care that much about appearances and tell you that the party sucks or that your opinion on a certain matter is ignorant.
You don’t have to be rude, but nodding politely is overrated.
People who live with authenticity and integrity are consistent in their words and actions.
Since they understand themselves and know their values, their behavior doesn’t fluctuate.
They don’t say something to your face and another behind your back.
While they can change their mind, they don’t change who they are at their very core.
If they value respect, for instance, they treat others with kindness and empathy.
If they value loyalty, they don’t betray their friends.
If they value independence, they rarely ask for help.
You get the idea.
You can’t live an authentic life if you don’t embrace vulnerability.
People contain multitudes. As you get to know yourself, you’ll uncover both strengths and shortcomings.
Fake people hide their shortcomings and highlight their traits.
Authentic people, on the other hand, show their true selves, even when that means revealing a bad trait, an unhealthy habit, or a giant lapse in judgment.
They own up to mistakes, admit failures, confess disappointments.
By doing so, they forge deeper connections with others.
At the end of the day, there’s something magical in hearing someone open up about their less desirable attributes.
It makes you feel less alone.
Authenticity and integrity are often joined by resilience.
While authenticity is admired, many prefer white lies over harsh truths.
Not everyone appreciates the vulnerability I mentioned above.
Some individuals find this level of transparency unsettling or uncomfortable, as it contrasts with our collective practice of presenting a polished image.
They might attack those willing to question the rules. Try to hold them back. Silence them to maintain the status quo.
Encountering resistance helps authentic people build resilience.
If you’ve been an outsider in high school, the concept should be anything but foreign.
Back then, I desperately wanted to fit in, so I made compromises to be accepted by the majority of my classmates.
I admired colleagues who didn’t hide their nerdiness, didn’t care about how they dressed, and weren’t particularly interested in appearing cool.
Those who loved a subject everyone else hated or enjoyed activities the rest of us looked down on.
It took me most of my 20s to slowly become myself.
It’s when I began to realize that fitting in is less important than being true to who you are.
Better late than never.
Remember when I stated that people who live with authenticity and integrity can change their minds about stuff?
It’s because they’re not stuck in their ways.
Instead, they keep an open mind and accept diverse perspectives.
They approach life with curiosity.
Since they know themselves well, they also understand that their beliefs and opinions can transform as they gain new experiences.
They are committed to personal growth, which implies a readiness to reassess one’s perspectives when presented with new information.
Change is a natural part of the human experience.
Something to keep in mind next time you’re afraid to go outside your comfort zone.
Authentic living requires courage, especially in the face of societal pressure.
Individuals with integrity pursue their true selves, even if it means going against what their family or the world as a whole expects from them.
You need daring to do something like that. It’s much easier to accept whatever life decides to throw your way.
Embracing a more unconventional lifestyle and chasing impossible dreams?
Find the audacity and let it propel you to new heights.
Finally, people who live with authenticity and integrity take responsibility for their actions.
They own up to their missteps and use mistakes to fuel growth.
At the same time, they don’t have a habit to shift blame.
They know they are the only ones responsible for forging a life they’re proud of.
And they work at that day after day.
People who embody the traits above lead fulfilling lives.
The good news?
You can be one of them.
There’s no secret handshake, no exclusive club membership.
All you need is a willingness to embrace your true self and a dash of courage to live in alignment with your values.
Doesn’t that sound like fun?
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