Without even realizing it, authentic people stand out from the crowd. They don’t conform to societal norms or play it safe like most people.
They have a unique perspective on life, and this often sets them apart from others.
Although others may not understand their quirks, passions, or worldview, authentic individuals know that everyone has a different perception of the world.
They have broken free from the constraints of societal expectations and live their lives on their own terms.
While this can make it difficult for some people to understand, it’s all a part of being true to themselves.
If you’re unsure whether you’re an authentic individual, here are 9 signs to look out for.
1. They prefer experiences over material things
“One day you will realize that material things mean nothing. All that matters is the well-being of the people you love in your life.” – Leon Brown
They recognize that material possessions may bring temporary pleasure, but it’s the experiences and memories that provide lasting happiness.
Instead of focusing on accumulating things, authentic individuals prioritize personal growth and learning.
They seek out new adventures, explore different places, and spend time with the people they love, all in the pursuit of making the most of life.
For them, getting out of their comfort zone and embracing new experiences is not just a luxury but a necessity for a fulfilling life.
2. They’re Not Afraid To Look Weak
“Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. Notice any labels you attach to crying or feeling vulnerable. Let go of the labels. Just feel what you are feeling, all the while cultivating moment-to-moment awareness.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Sincerity means being yourself and caring about yourself, not what other people think of you.
And most people are afraid of looking weak and vulnerable in front of others, to the point that they’ll do their best to hide their true feelings, even when it doesn’t help them.
An authentic person doesn’t care about looking weak.
Instead, they embrace all of their feelings because that is what makes them who they are.
They have strong self-esteem and confidence and don’t need validation from those around them, because they get enough of it from themselves.
Unlike many people who try to hide their true feelings for fear of appearing weak, authentic individuals have the courage to be vulnerable and open about their emotions.
They know that expressing their true feelings is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and that it’s essential for building genuine connections with others.
So, if you want to be authentic, start by being sincere with yourself and caring for your own well-being.
Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability, as it can help you form deeper, more meaningful relationships with the people around you.
3. They’re open-minded and consider other viewpoints
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” – Alan Alda
Authentic people keep an open mind and are willing to see things from other people’s perspectives.
They know they don’t have to conform to other people’s opinions, but they don’t shut themselves off from different points of view either.
Authentic people realize the importance of diverse perspectives and aren’t afraid to challenge their own beliefs.
They’re always up for thoughtful discussions, reading books that challenge their worldview, and seeking out new experiences.
By embracing a variety of ideas, they open themselves up to endless possibilities and opportunities for growth.
Remember, being strong and independent doesn’t mean you know everything.
Authentic individuals understand that true strength comes from being willing to learn, grow, and evolve.
If you want to learn more about the traits of strong independent people, check out our recent video on 10 signs you’re a strong independent person:
4. They respect themselves and others
“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
One crucial aspect of being an authentic person is having a deep respect for both yourself and others.
After all, if you don’t respect yourself and your own needs, how can you expect to live authentically and true to who you are?
By setting boundaries, taking responsibility for your life, and prioritizing your own well-being, you’re able to cultivate a healthy sense of self-respect that is crucial for living a fulfilling and authentic life.
Only by respecting yourself can you truly embrace your authentic self and share it with the world.
You set boundaries and prioritize your own needs, while also being aware of your limitations and avoiding manipulation.
Furthermore, you take responsibility for your life, even when things are tough, and develop a healthy sense of self-respect in the process.
Respecting others is also important – after all, we’re all on our own journeys and deserve to experience fulfillment.
5. They treat everyone with the same level of respect
“How we treat people is always our choice, and if we choose not to be respectful, it can come back to bite us.” ― Alison Levine
Whether it’s a janitor or a CEO, a sincere person will see every person as what they are — another human on planet earth, deserving of their basic respect and kindness.
Other people might only use respect as leverage to get what they want from people above them on social or career ladders.
But genuine, sincere people understand that respect and kindness is something everyone deserves.
It’s not something to be used as a currency in a game of social poker. Instead, it’s something you give out whenever you can because you aren’t going to run out of it any time soon.
6. They give without expectations
“Giving without expectations is the ultimate secret source of abundance.” – Debasish Mridha
Authentic people stay true to the meaning of charity.
They do things because they want to, not because they get to reap some feel-good brain chemicals from it.
Genuine people do things without being told because they want to stay true to their values.
They show compassion and kindness even when no one’s looking or when no one else wants to show up.
They act independently of what people might feel or think; they give without expectations, freely, and compassionately.
Authentic individuals know that charity is not just a transactional exchange of good deeds for personal rewards.
Instead, they give from the heart, without expecting anything in return.
They don’t do good deeds to boost their own ego or to get recognition from others, but because they genuinely care about making a positive impact on the world.
7. They are non-judgmental
“I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.” – Paul McCartney
Nobody’s perfect, and this is something authentic people know about themselves and others.
And because they’re aware of this fact, they’re slow to judge others, if at all.
Nowadays, it’s so easy to pass judgment on something or someone, especially if you’re looking through the lens of social media. All too often, we forget that there’s a real being behind that post.
But authentic people understand that everyone has their shortcomings and we’re all just out here in the world doing our best.
This may make them more compassionate and more forgiving towards others, even when it’s hard to do so, and that’s one of the unmistakable traits of an authentic person.
The bottom line is this:
Authentic people understand the complexity of the human experience and that everyone has their own unique story.
This is also why authentic people can be considered “noble”. If you want to learn more about people who live with integrity, check out our video below on 10 traits of noble people.
8. They don’t live to please others
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Authentic people know that not everyone is going to like them, so why live trying to please everyone?
No matter what you do, there’s always someone rooting against you.
Instead of trying to change their mind, authentic people focus on their own happiness rather than trying to gain approval.
They live their life as they decide, not what society or someone else determines is the right way.
This is because they live for themselves, and those who genuinely want to be in their life will understand their position.
They’re bound to ruffle some feathers, but they won’t lose sleep over it.
What matters is that they’re living a life that genuinely makes them happy.
9. They see insecurities as opportunities
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Authentic people understand that crossing the bridge of insecurities is the first step to exploring the possibilities that life has in store for them.
People with authentic personalities enjoy evolving and learning – even if they risk looking like a fool in the eyes of everyone else.
They know that everyone has insecurities, but these things shouldn’t hinder them from living their lives and owning up to the things they’re unsure about.
People might find it difficult to socialize with authentic individuals because their deep and genuine personalities cannot be easily categorized or put into a stereotypical box.
However, despite this initial discomfort, others often come to admire and respect their authenticity and unique perspective on life.
Authentic individuals have broken free from the constraints of societal expectations and live their lives on their own terms.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
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With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.
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