Everyone seems to be searching for ways to be more authentic these days. For whatever reason, phony has become the new normal and authentic the new higher standard.
Why is this happening?
Why has it become commonplace for people to pretend to be something or someone they are not? Usually, in social situations, people act differently than they do with their close friends and family. Although this behavior may feel convenient at the time, over time it can become dangerous. You can start to feel like you are losing yourself. Not to mention the strain that this puts on your mental well-being.
It’s more important to stay true to who you are, i.e., to be your authentic self.
It’s natural to want to be accepted but the key to staying true to yourself is not worrying too much about what others think or believe. People should accept you for who you are. Don’t waste your time on people who don’t. This takes courage, but you can do it. With a little practice and mental housekeeping, you can get quite good at it. If you or someone you know and love are struggling with the allure of being fake, here are 7 tips to help you get started.
- Realize that you can’t live up to that person you are pretending to be: If you aren’t being your authentic self, you will falter at some point. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Did you ever notice that people who lie, often tell a different version of the story later? This is because they don’t remember the whole original story so they have no choice but to make up new details. If you are pretending to be someone you are not, this is essentially the same as living a lie.
- Know who you are: “To thine own self be true”. It’s important to be true to yourself, however, this requires you to know yourself. This may seem like an obvious statement, but many people don’t know who they are. Dig deep to discover the subtle aspects of your life that you tend to ignore or keep hidden. There is no need to hide your true personality because that is who you are. Instead of creating an outlandish persona in your head, try taking a few simple personality tests. Learn about yourself. Celebrate the nuances of your personality. God knew exactly what He was doing when he created you. You can make adjustments along the way to improve your personality, but at your core, you are who you are. Learn to love who you are and be kind to that person, especially as you make changes.
- Stop trying to be someone else: Everyone has people they look up to and admire. However, looking up to someone and trying to be them is not quite the same. It may be worthwhile to emulate some of their desirable traits, but make sure you aren’t stepping outside of who you are deep down and taking on their persona. That even sounds creepy.
- Don’t compromise on your values: Create a value system that you can live by. If you believe in something, stand firm. Sometimes, you’ll have to make some compromises, but don’t cave in if others go against your beliefs. You must live with these choices. You want to be able to sleep at night. When you refuse to compromise you become stronger and being authentic becomes a lot easier.
- Don’t accept negativity: You won’t get far with negativity. If you consider yourself a negative person, this is not who you truly are. Remember, you don’t come out of the womb being negative. It’s something that you learn. It’s time to unlearn it.
- Conquer the fear of Rejection: If there is one limiting belief you want to conquer, it’s the fear of rejection. This one holds more people back than you can possibly imagine and it’s one of the key drivers behind phony living. For the record, no one likes to be rejected, even the strongest personality types. But here’s the thing, no matter how amazing you are, there will always be someone to reject you. PERIOD. It is a fact of life. It’s almost like it’s their job to reject you! So with that being said, understand that people-pleasing is overrated and it doesn’t work because what you do to please one person will cause another to reject you.
- Keep a Journal: Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to figure out “who you are”. People often find that it is easier, to be honest when writing down their thoughts. A journal will allow you to reflect on who you are, and then you can act accordingly.
Establishing new habits that result in lifestyle changes can be overwhelming. Below I’ve included 3 actionable steps that can help you ease into the changes that you want to make to become a more authentic version of yourself.
3 Actionable Steps to Support the Process of Becoming More Authentic:
- Brainstorm a list of values that you truly believe in. Focus on the values that you feel/believe very strongly. This list will become your “core values”. Consider these the values you will never waiver on.
- Strive to be more positive by finding affirmations to use. These affirmations should revolve around the idea of being your authentic self. If there is an aspect of your personality you are struggling to accept, then focus your affirmations there. For example: “I am a positive person and I see the best in others”.
- To be your authentic self, you sometimes need to stand up to others. This takes courage. To increase your courage, try unrelated activities that are outside your normal routine. Commit to meeting a new person every month. Also, try physical activities like zip-lining or skydiving. Your courage in other areas will strengthen because of these challenging activities.
Becoming your authentic self is a personal development skill that takes a lot of practice. We are living in a world that is constantly bombarding us with images and messages on what we should do or be. Being authentic is becoming more and more of a challenge. This is a journey that will take time and patience. As you embark on your personal journey towards authenticity you will feel happier, calmer, and more at peace with yourself and others. It’s a challenge that is worth its weight in gold.
Trust me, in time, you will become a better version of your beautiful self!
You got this!
Be well + prosper,
Read this next: How to Trust Your Authentic Self at Any Age