For some people, the desire to be valued, accepted, and validated eclipses almost all other needs.
With the rise of social media, it seems like more and more people are like that.
On the other side, we have those who value authenticity over approval from others. They stand in the middle when everyone is left or right.
Are there some things we can learn from them? There definitely are!
So join me and find out what traits they possess.
1) Impact over impressions
Authentic people prioritize making a positive impact on others and the world at large. They focus on contributing meaningfully instead of seeking validation or admiration from others.
That’s why you don’t see many genuine people posting and boasting on social media.
What’s the point of that, really?
If you want to update your friends and family, you’ll do it directly – in person or via messaging apps. Broadcasting what you’re doing to the whole world is getting kind of old, if you ask me.
In fact, people are quitting social media left and right because of privacy concerns, invasive ads, and feeling that they’re wasting time (which they are).
One study reported that people who quit social media improved close relationships. Now, that’s a step in the right direction if you ask me.
While people who prioritize authenticity over approval from others hold strong values, they are open to different viewpoints and ideas.
They don’t let their authenticity turn into rigidity. Instead, they engage in thoughtful conversations and consider alternative perspectives.
This is something most people nowadays aren’t ready to do. They’re in their own little bubbles with other like-minded people parroting the same “facts.”
That’s why today, genuine people are so easy to recognize. They have an open mind to all sides and opinions.
These people also resist societal pressures to conform. They embrace their uniqueness and are unapologetically themselves, inspiring others to do the same.
This is something we see more and more people doing. For better or worse.
But yes, keeping it real entails not looking for approval from your friends, family, co-workers, bosses, etc.
For most of my life, I had “normal” jobs and was incredibly unsatisfied. It wasn’t until I started pursuing more creative projects that things really clicked in my mind.
I was the first in my family to pursue such ventures, and they couldn’t understand or even wrap their heads around what and why I was doing.
If I fell in line, I’d never have this fabulous life I have now, but would continue to be miserable as, let’s face it, most people.
Another trait authentic people have is a deep understanding of their values, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations.
This self-awareness helps guide their decisions and actions in a way that is consistent with who they truly are.
If I had this self-awareness earlier in my life, I probably wouldn’t be so unhappy for (too) many years.
The truth is, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. Plus, I never wanted to face the music and put my strengths and weaknesses on paper.
And I sure as hell didn’t want to work hard to improve myself and my position in society.
5) Playful spirit
This. This is one of the most important things you can learn from many genuine people and should change or adapt to fit your life.
You see, they often retain a sense of playfulness and childlike wonder. They do things purely for the joy of it, without being overly concerned about how others perceive them.
Above all, they don’t take themselves too seriously. They embrace their quirks and imperfections with a sense of humor, recognizing that being human means having both strengths and weaknesses.
Integrity is the key to authenticity, and these people live by their principles and values, making decisions aligned with their beliefs, even if it means making sacrifices.
I’ve often faced situations where my true feelings differed from popular opinion. That meant I was standing alone in my viewpoint.
I won’t lie to you. Many times in the past, I’ve stayed hush and didn’t express my true opinions.
It wasn’t until I stopped caring for approval from others that I finally came out of my shell, even if that meant being alone and in the spotlight.
7) Spontaneous adventures
Another thing authentic people who don’t seek approval from others do is stay curious and willing to explore new experiences, hobbies, and interests that align with their true selves.
Even if they deviate from the mainstream.
Embracing unplanned adventures perfectly aligns with their sense of spontaneity and curiosity.
They simply seize opportunities to explore new places, encouraging a spirit of adventure that resonates with their true selves.
But they also have the following trait.
If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling life, you must embrace your entire self, including your strengths and imperfections.
There’s no point in hiding them or pretending to be flawless, which creates a sense of discomfort in your own skin.
Self-acceptance is the cornerstone of authenticity. There are no ifs, buts, and maybes about it.
I mean, have you ever met a genuine person that’s uncomfortable in their own skin?
People like that are also honest not only with others but also with themselves. They don’t pretend to be someone they’re not and are upfront about their thoughts, feelings, and intentions.
What you see is basically what you get.
For example, when criticized for their choices, they respond with honesty and grace, recognizing the criticism while standing firm in their convictions.
They also openly embrace their unique interests and life choices, even if they aren’t mainstream, proudly sharing their passions with others.
Which brings us to this.
10) Artistic expressions
Authentic people often find expression through creativity. They find ways to express their thoughts and emotions through art, writing, or other forms.
Their art is an extension of their inner world, reflecting their authentic thoughts and emotions.
For me, this is obviously writing.
But it’s a sad fact that many artists are under fire these days, and their livelihoods are threatened by the A.I.
Until this year, humanity thought that artistic expression would be the last thing that gets automated and that this is one of the main things making us human.
However, it turns out we’re more replaceable by robots and artificial intelligence than we first thought.
11) Eclectic fashion sense
But one thing A.I. and robots can’t take from us is weird, interesting, and eclectic fashion sense.
It’s something many people who prioritize authenticity over approval from others incorporate.
Their style is often a blend of different influences that resonate with them, creating a unique fashion statement that reflects their individuality rather than conforming to trends.
It’s also one of the easiest ways to stand out and even connect with other like-minded people.
Being authentic requires being vulnerable. How comfortable are you sharing your feelings, experiences, and insecurities?
And did you know that being open to vulnerability promotes genuine connections and encourages others to do the same?
Of course, expressing your deepest thoughts doesn’t mean you’re seeking their validation or approval. There’s a good reason why you’re doing it.
For example, an athlete discusses their recovery from a career-threatening injury, sharing moments of doubt and vulnerability during their journey back to the top.
Why would they share that deeply personal experience?
By openly sharing their struggles and challenges, they inspire others going through similar experiences.
Their story of overcoming obstacles can serve as a source of motivation and hope for those facing adversity.
As you can see, they aren’t aliens. They have the same issues you and I face all the time.
However, people who prioritize authenticity over approval from others have learned not to be swayed by outside factors and people.
They have forged their own path they religiously follow.
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.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
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.