How Being Authentic Helps – From Someone Who’s Done It

Being authentic is a valuable characteristic that allows us to have deeper, more meaningful connections with those around us.  Let’s talk about what it means to be authentic, ways to be more authentic, and why it’s so important.

Being authentic means we show our true selves to others, not facades to gain likes and friends. It means aligning our behaviors with our morals and values, and expressing them consistently in our actions, in our choices, and through our personal and business relationships each and every day.

Have you ever felt like you don’t really know people?  Maybe someone told you something about himself or herself but then acted completely differently?  We’re going to discuss how authenticity can be developed to improve your life online as well as offline.

What is Authenticity?

Authenticity is projecting a genuine version of ourselves through our thoughts, actions, behaviors, and in the ways we treat others. It provides a sense of confirmation of what someone believes and how they act. Often, with authenticity, what you see is what you get.

Authentic people aren’t easily influenced by others and have a deep connection with themselves that doesn’t need to be validated. Authenticity is being trustworthy and having thoughts and beliefs consistent with behaviors and actions. It requires being comfortable and confident with what makes you unique.

What Does It Mean For Something to Be Authentic?

Simply put, authentic means real or genuine, not counterfeit.  We could be referring to many things like food, antiques, and even people.  If something is authentic, it’s the real deal.  For example: authentic Mexican food is just that-a dish that is genuinely made in Mexico and routinely eaten by its residents.  You want authentic things because they are worth more, they work better, and they give you a good feeling inside.

Authentic Mexican dish in Mexico - How Being Authentic Helps - Gone Minimal
Authentic Mexican dish in Mexico

What Things Are Authentic?

This might surprise you-it’s not just tangible items.  They can be found everywhere around you!  Emotions like surprise and embarrassment, spontaneous smiles, the feeling of joy, and even tears.  Authentic can refer to feelings, belongings, beliefs, as well as people.

What Does It Mean to Be an Authentic Person?

Authentic people don’t pretend to be someone else.  They are always true to themselves, and they align their behaviors with their morals and beliefs.  Authenticity also refers to consistency in ones words, beliefs, and actions.  They practice genuineness at all times, even online and in social media.  You can trust authentic people to always be themselves, even when it’s not pretty.  

What Makes Human Life Authentic?

Human life is authentic due to human nature.  We experience feelings and emotions that others may or may not identify with or even understand.  As humans we inherently experience changes within and without that can change who we are, which we can see in retrospect.  We may not like change, but we do in fact change over time!

What Is an Example of Authenticity?

An example of authenticity is being true to yourself.  You develop your own values and morals, honesty, and trustworthiness and stick with those qualities.  These values are consistent with your true self and do not contradict your beliefs.  Then you always do what you say you are going to do.

Is Being Authentic a Good Thing?

It is the best thing to be authentic because others will trust you and develop relationships that are more meaningful with you.  You will not experience internal conflict if you align your behaviors with your morals, which is definitely a good thing!

What Is the Importance of Being Authentic?

A big part of this is consistency.  If we are authentic and our true selves, we develop trust and meaningful friendships and relationships.  Development of trust is instrumental to relationships and is difficult-if not impossible-when we are not practicing being authentic.

Is Authenticity a Skill?

Authenticity is a critical skill because it defines who you are, as well as demonstrating your true self to others.  It’s what makes leaders excellent leaders.  It’s also what makes relationships stronger over time-because it’s truth and honesty with each other!

How Does Being Authentic Help You to Build Trust and Gain Respect?

If you are authentic with others, you consistently use good intentions and kindness in a way that helps develop trust.  When you are authentic, you treat others with respect who then in turn treat you with respect.  This consistency will help build trust and gain respect over time, making you a good friend, coworker, and leader.

What Is Authentic Trust?

When we are open and honest with others consistently, we develop authentic trust.  It is defined by trust in ourselves as well as trust in others.  Trust is developed and broken, and being authentic can assist in regaining broken trust.  It’s like that old saying goes, “Honesty is the best policy”.

Why Be Authentic?

Why Being Authentic Is Important?

It’s important to be authentic because this means you are true to yourself, you trust in yourself, you trust your own judgements and decisions.  In turn, this helps others trust you for the same reasons.  This also leads to development of integrity, or adhering to your own moral code.

Is Authenticity Attractive?

Absolutely authenticity is attractive!  You’ve seen people who only share the good things, the positive things, and hide the rest.  It’s when you find those hidden characteristics that you may find something unattractive.  This is an example of “behind closed doors”.  You want people to know your authentic self, including those things most people hide.  This makes you more genuine and in turn, more attractive in personality as well as behavior.

What Makes Authentic People Attractive?

This is often highly individualized, but it depends on who the person is.  Authentic people put everything out there for the world to see.  There’s nothing hidden, there’s honesty, there’s humility.  We all have our bad traits, and being upfront and honest about them makes people authentic and many see this as attractive.  

A woman being her happy authentic self - How Being Authentic Helps - Gone Minimal
A woman being her happy authentic self

How to Be Authentic

How Do You Tap Into Your Authentic Self?

It’s most important that you look inside and figure out who you truly are.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are your likes and dislikes? 
  2. Who are you as a person?
  3. What do you believe in?
  4. What are your fears?
  5. What do you value?
  6. Are you taking care of yourself?
  7. How are you being present for others?
  8. How do you take time for yourself each day?

Once you address these questions, you can start tapping into your authentic self.  Do take the time to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, meditation or yoga, and in turn, you’ll be more present for others.

How Do You Behave Authentically?

First, look back at the previous questions.  Then practice the following:

1. Be aware of yourself, your beliefs, your morals, and your attitudes. 
2. Identify any discrepancies between what you believe and what you do.
3. Treat others with kindness and respect. 
4. Always be present and listen. 
5. Stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your morals.
6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and apologize.
7. Share everything-the good and the bad.
8. Take time for yourself, and encourage others to do the same.

How Do You Show Authenticity?

Consistency is key to authenticity.  Do what you say you’re going to do.  Make decisions based on your judgements and don’t compromise your beliefs or your moral code.  Own up to your mistakes and ask for forgiveness.  Always stay true to yourself and don’t conform to what others want.

How Do You Live an Authentic Life?

Again-consistency is key.  Don’t participate in activities that don’t align with your beliefs and moral code.  Be humble.  Demonstrate kindness and understanding.  Don’t be afraid of change or making mistakes.  Out of change and making mistakes comes personal growth, which can only add to living an authentic life.  It helps you learn who you are throughout life.

How Do You Demonstrate Authentic Leadership?

The definition of authentic leadership is building honest relationships with coworkers, valuing their input, and practicing ethical behaviors in all things.  Authentic leaders are positive, truthful, and value the input and openness from coworkers.  Authentic leaders also lead with purpose, values, heart, excellence, and self-discipline rather than with goals, selfish agendas, egos, and authority.

How Do You Become Authentic When Dating?

Be authentic BEFORE dating.  Develop and use your authenticity in order to meet someone who aligns with your beliefs and morals.  Then be yourself and ONLY yourself.  Be genuine in your responses-don’t pretend to like something or behave in a certain way to attract someone.  You want someone to be attracted to your genuine self.  This can only lead to a deeper, more meaningful relationship.

How Can I Be Authentic at Work?

Do what you say you’re going to do.  Engage in open, honest discussions with coworkers.  Encourage sharing ideas, feelings, and even concerns for better productivity and relationships with your coworkers.

Authenticity Online

The digital world offers ample opportunity to present ourselves in different ways. It can be easy to simply add up new thoughts, though it’s important to also consider the message, the audience, and how ones self might be represented. Let’s explore some more about authenticity online.

How Can I Be Authentic Online?

In order to be authentic online, you must be YOU.  Don’t pretend to like someone, to be an expert at something, or only share the positives in your life.  Be the same you online as you would be with someone face to face.  If you change your behavior, you are no longer being authentic.

Why Is It Important to Be Authentic Online?

Nobody has a perfect life.  Yet everyone can pretend to online.  Think about it-how often do you post pictures of your wrecked car or share your raw, negative emotions about a bad day at work?  So many people portray only the good in their lives, making it seem as if their lives are perfect.  However, they are not and we know this, deep down.  

Can You Be Authentic on Social Media?

Yes, you absolutely CAN be authentic on social media!  In fact, it’s so important to be authentic on whatever platform you use.  If your goal is to meet someone special, don’t put up a façade to impress him or her only to disappoint them in person.  Being yourself is so much easier than trying to maintain a fabrication for likes and subscribes!

Why Is It Important to Be Authentic on Social Media?

Is it, though?  Are famous people consistently authentic on Instagram?  I think not.  There is overuse of filters and editing software that leads to misunderstanding as well as depression.  Seriously, though-it’s important to be authentic to others online because of that age-old saying: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive”.  

Here’s a helpful video that provides valuable insights into reflecting on ourselves, and our individual authenticity:

Important Venues for Authenticity

1. Personal Relationships – Use the following tips to demonstrate authenticity in your personal life:

  • Sharing your true thoughts, fears, emotions, hopes, and dreams will bring great things to personal relationships. 
  • Use open and honest communication with your friends and loved ones to be your authentic self.  This will create trust and lasting relationships.
  • Don’t hide things or adapt to meet what others want.  This will prevent inner conflict and maintain your self respect.

2. Work – These tips should be used to be authentic with your coworkers as well as create and maintain a healthy work environment:

  • Set clear expectations.  This way there is less confusion and your coworkers know what to do.
  • Don’t talk about others behind their backs.  If you wouldn’t say something to them, don’t say it at all. 
  • Set the example.  Use effective communication skills.  Smile and ask how you can help.  Show up on time and don’t leave early!

3. Online – Think of these not as a way to win a popularity contest, but to win self respect and respect of others:

  • Be yourself.  Share the good, the bad, and the ugly.  No one lives a perfect life.
  • Don’t use filters or photo editing software.  Let people see who you really are.
  • When in doubt-don’t post it.  If it’s too personal or is directed at someone in a negative manner, don’t use social media to share it.

4. Business Dealings –You can be authentic in business if you utilize the following:

  • Effective communication skills and methods are most important. 
  • Make eye contact and be aware of your nonverbal communication.
  • Follow up and follow through.

Helpful Insights

  • Be the example for others.  You can do this by being positive and open in your conversations with others.  Stick to what you believe in, even if others don’t. Being your authentic self may encourage others to do the same!
  • Use honest communication.  Speak your truth, mean what you say, and respect others.  Practice effective communication skills and emotional intelligence (realize your emotions can affect others).  Not only will you get things done more efficiently, but you’ll maintain your integrity.
  • Never assume anything.  Be open minded and non-judgmental with others.  This will enhance communication, relationships, and trust.

Being authentic is a highly beneficial trait one should pursue in personal life, relationships, friendships, work, and even online.

My coworker told me one thing and then did something opposite – what’s the best way to approach them about it?

Effective communication can salvage work relationships and productivity!  What do I need to confront and what should I over look? How can you talk through being more open and trusting. Often, with some genuine, positive, collaborative (non-accusatory) dialogue, a solid working relationship can be nurtured.

Does Authentic Mean Original?

Authentic can mean original, genuine, and real.  This can refer to recipes, scripts, antiques, and even people.  When referring to people, it means someone’s real, true self and not a front to please others.

Is Being Authentic a Strength?

Being authentic can be seen as a strength, and authenticity requires staying true to your morals and values in the face of adversity and conflict.  Strength of character is needed for authenticity.  So yes, being authentic is a strength.

Benefits of Authenticity

Self-Respect is maintained when you practice authenticity. Staying aligned with your morals and values, practicing consistency, and honesty can all help preserve self-respect.

Trust is developed and sustained when you practice authenticity with others. When you keep your word, follow through, and practice honest communication you carry out authenticity and strengthen trust.

Respect of Others is demonstrated when you practice authenticity. Open communication and genuineness create trusting relationships, which is not only a benefit but a by-product of authenticity.

Help in Developing Authenticity

Center for Authentic Living

  • Holistic center for mental health helping people enhance their lives and relationship with peace and balance
  • Offers therapy, counseling, and classes to increase self awareness, form healthy relationships, and promote healing

  • Academy for authentic relating for leaders, teams, and individuals to learn free expression and interaction
  • Offers online as well as in-person training for authentic life and communication skills

Circling Online

  • Relational practice and transformational facilitation to promote development of authenticity with self and others
  • Offers group training in the Circling method for improved teamwork and relationships

Circling Facilitator Training

  • Free training and mentorship in facilitation of authentic relating games, practices, and Circling events
  • Helps you develop and use authentic leadership skills in training others in Circling events

Authentic Relating Games

  • Thought provoking, relationship and communication building activities done one on one or in small groups to improve authentic relating
  • Games include Noticing, Curiosity, Truths, and Watermelon and use scripted, fill in the blank sentences to help individuals be “in the moment” and share authentically
  • Available from

Facilitating Academy

  • Online academy for facilitators to learn how to promote community, authenticity, and transparency in group settings and teamwork
  • Offers on-demand learning and coached classes
  • Available from

Other Resources:

In conclusion, being authentic is a highly beneficial trait one should pursue in personal life, relationships, friendships, work, and even online. If you look inside yourself and identify what is most important to you, what your morals and values are, and base your behaviors on those things, you can start to develop your authentic self. There are many resources available to help you develop authenticity, and if you’ve read this article, you’re on your way to being authentic!

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