This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. That means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read more here.
Are you an authentic person? Many people have a hard time answering this question. They try to be themselves but often find that they are putting on a persona to please others, fit in, or be liked. True authenticity is rare nowadays, but it is something that is highly valued in friendships, relationships, and careers.
In the business world, authenticity is a buzzword frequently used by human resources departments of big corporations looking for the next leader to take their company to the next level. But what does it mean to be authentic?
In a world where people are constantly trying to one-up each other on social media, authentic people are happy simply being themselves and doing what is right.
Let’s explore more about what it means to be an authentic person and you can read these 7 examples of what it means to be an authentic human being.
Of course, every personality trait has its counterpoints and character foils, so if you want to know more about what’s the opposite of genuine people like this you can read this post about the traits and habits of toxic people.
What do we mean by authentic?
In general, when talking about someone who is authentic, we mean that they are genuine, honest, and real.
An authentic person is someone who is comfortable in their skin and doesn’t feel the need to put on a front to fit in and be accepted by others. They know who they are, and they don’t hide it.
They understand their purpose and follow their life’s passion. They don’t chase after money, status, and possessions and are not immorally competitive, for they are not fearful of anyone.
However, this doesn’t mean they don’t live a wealthy life and enjoy nice things, but they define and strive for success to their own standard.
In fact, many authentic people are highly successful and extraordinary leaders because they are genuinely themselves. The money and/or status they acquire is a byproduct of their efforts, not the ultimate goal.
If you want to know if you are truly authentic, look for these seven signs!
7 Signs You Are an Authentic Person
1. You are accepting of yourself and others
Only when you are at peace with yourself – that is, love all the good within you and forgive all the shortcomings, as all humans have – can you be authentic.
Accepting yourself doesn’t mean you don’t want to change or better yourself. It means you are okay with who you are and appreciate your own company. You also know that you’re good enough just as you are.
This authentic self-acceptance allows you to be more compassionate and accepting of others, as you no longer look for faults in others – because you know from the bottom of your heart that no one is perfect.
2. You have a healthy Ego
A healthy ego is a basis for how you interact with the external world. When you are authentic, you have the confidence to resist societal pressure and are not overwhelmed by your drive for short-term satisfaction, instead following your resolve and choosing decisively what is truly important to you.
The opposite is a weak ego, which is characterized by impulsive behaviors, chasing immediate gratification, and hiding a sense of inferiority.
People like that are always chasing money and material possessions, driven by an insatiable materialistic drive to always have more. You can read more about this personality type and how it wastes money through emotional spending in this blog post.
3. You have a realistic perception of reality
The authentic person has an undistorted sense of reality and self.
You are not a dreamer but also not a cynic. You have your feet on the ground and know what works in the world and what does not. You know that you can trust certain people while being cautious with others who may want to take advantage of you.
4. You accept mistakes (and learn from them)
A vital quality of an authentic person is the capacity to learn and grow from their mistakes.
You are open to acknowledging and learning from your missteps and from your observation of the errors/missteps of others. You see life as a learning experience and always aim to better yourself.
This humble quality of learning from valuable experiences (as mistakes are costly) sets you apart from others and allows you to be successful and achieve more.
5. You are emotionally mature
Being authentic means you can both understand and control your emotions. You have the ability to remain calm and level-headed no matter how difficult the situation, which allows you to make better decisions.
People trust you and feel comfortable around you. They know you are kind and sincere and have no hidden agendas. You mean what you say and keep to your words.
However, the emotional maturity of an authentic person encompasses more:
- they are empathetic to others
- they are not afraid of showing vulnerability
- they can clearly and freely express their emotions
6. You are Considerate towards others
An authentic person is kind, generous, and considerate toward others.
You have the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes and see the world from their perspective. You can easily find common ground with others, regardless of how different they are from you.
People feel safe around you and are more comfortable sharing their vulnerable side with you.
You respect everyone, even if you disagree with them. You know that everyone has something valuable to offer and that we can learn from each other.
You see the good in others, even when they cannot see it in themselves. Authentic people are often drawn to helping others because they understand what it feels like to need help themselves.
Hence, authentic people make great leaders and are highly sought after in business, politics, and spiritual realms.
7. You don’t feel threatened by others
Successful or intelligent people are not a threat to you but rather an inspiration.
You are not threatened by smart people who could exceed you, but you embrace the potential to achieve more together. As a leader, you help others in your team to maximize their potential, and you evaluate your own success by the number of people you have supported or promoted.
Because you are self-confident, you walk with your shoulders relaxed and chest open, feeling no threats from the world around you. Which makes you approachable to others, as they feel a sense of security knowing they can trust you to not judge them.
Being authentic is not about being perfect but honest with yourself and others, living in alignment with your values, and expressing your genuine thoughts and feelings. It’s also about having the courage to accept who you are, even if that means being different.
Authentic people have qualities that show a healthy non-defensive posture, psychological maturity, and are more likely to be happier people because they are content with who they are.
Hence, only if you come out of the hiding and show your true self will you realize your full potential as a person, artist, scientist, parent, leader, etc.
If you are looking for more ideas on how to be more authentic, check out these blog posts: