How to be authentic

In our modern day and age it seems more and more difficult to be your authentic self. Searching for the “true you” can be more overwhelming than anything, and can lead to several wrong turns such as contemporary narcissism, a.k.a. excessive taking of selfies.  However, even people who are not prone to the self-worship fad, still have a hard time finding themselves and discovering the authenticity within their unique nature.

Here are some useful tips on how to be the true YOU:

 

   1. Take off that mask.

I know, you know, everyone knows, that we are all wearing these “social masks” which serve us for both protection and amiability. We definitely feel more appreciated when we behave a certain way, when we portray a certain character (real or imaginary), that is at least partly not us.

For some reason, we still tend to keep our real expressions and emotions covert, which only leads to our body language being perceived as stiff and fake; not only that, but we also hide our sincere opinions and true tastes, fearing that we might be misunderstood or deemed “weird”, “crazy” or simply “boring”. Which brings us to our next point:

 

   2. Avoid any trends.

I know this one sounds painfully obvious but it could be tricky. The reason is that you can fall too easily into the dangerous paws of the “mainstream”. Believe it or not, pretty much all trends are doomed to become mainstream sooner or later. It always starts with a group of people who want to be perceived as different and innovative (and better) with their contradictory beliefs and tastes in music, art, fashion, behavior, etc.

However, too many other people who also desperately want to escape the same old mainstream join this group, adding new unnecessary flavors and rules to the trend. So what happens is that in their intense striving to be different and unconventional, they drag the whole trend into the popular category again. Just think of the hipster craze which boomed several years ago: it made people feel different, smarter and more stylish at first, but after everyone started doing it, it became a mess. People began to hate on it and be sarcastic about it, and today you can hardly find an “original hipster” who is not ashamed of his/her phoniness.

Speaking of phoniness, that’s exactly what trends do: they make you overall phony and unauthentic; with an exception of course, i.e. if you are not that much into the given trend – you just appreciate the style, but the messages and the behavior alterations don’t go into your head too much.

So think twice before you count yourself as a member of a certain group and don’t be afraid to enjoy a song that’s “mainstream” or a popular movie that’s just stupid. It doesn’t really affect your authenticity, neither does it make you “boring”. However, discarding your true tastes could create a compulsion to fully escape the mainstream, in the form of a trend, which is the fastest path back to it.

 

   3. Be sincere to the people around you.

This is a great way to not only being perceived as an authentic person, but also to really becoming one. The right path to authenticity includes rightfully expressing your truthful intentions, avoiding deception as much as possible, and showing to the people around you that you can indeed be trusted. Once you cultivate this wonderful quality, you will be highly valued as an honorable and authentic person on both personal and business level. Your love relationships might also flourish, so do give it a shot.

Bonus tip: Drop a unique and sincere compliment or two to the person you’re talking to; you will be amazed by the wonders it could do to your communication and/or relationship. As the wise Maya Angelou once said, “people will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

    4. Be sincere to yourself.

This is probably the most important (and difficult) step of them all. Being true to your heart is not only challenging but it could take years for some people to even grasp the basics. Starting with what your inner voice is telling you to be and to do, is a great way to gradually become in tune with both your authentic self and the universe. I am sure you have heard this before, but it’s only after you are fully immersed in it, that you can experience the benefits.

Haven’t you noticed that the more you deviate from (what you perceive as) your true purpose, the more obstacles you encounter? This is the universe telling you to step back and return to your right path. Follow your intuition in real time, make small steps towards your true purpose every day, take time to meditate and reflect on what’s making you excited about your life and what you truly want to achieve, apart from what everybody else is telling you. The key to discovering your authentic self is actually finding the authentic voice within yourself, which always knows where to leads you.

The truth is that we all desire to be unique, original, more efficient and definitely more authentic than others. Go for your own authenticity in a respectful and sincere manner; don’t get too solemn, laugh about it and pretend as if it was a game (because it is). Don’t take yourself too seriously either, but take your inner purpose seriously because that’s what’s truly authentic about you.

Raya Petrova

I decipher the hidden beauty of language.

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