Habits of authentic people, another article by Travis Bradberry. I yearn to be authentic. Living authentically is a real challenge. You must own your actions and insure they align with your beliefs and needs. This can be difficult when external forces pressure you to do something you’re not comfortable with, or be someone you’re not.
Studies show that when people fail to behave authentically, they experience a heightened state of discomfort that’s usually associated with immorality. People who weren’t true to themselves were so distraught that they felt a strong desire to cleanse themselves physically.
It’s clear our brains know when we are living a lie, and like all lies, being inauthentic causes nothing but harm. But how do you start living authentically?
Authentic people are deeply in tune with who they are and what they want. Their ability to live in harmony with their true selves comes from some clearly discernable habits that any of us can study and add into our own repertoire.
They help others to be their authentic selves. Authentic people don’t expect others to play a role either.
They let go of negative people. Authentic people have too much respect for other people to try and change them (staying positive is a constant fight for me).
They express their true feelings and opinions, even when they’re not popular. Authentic people don’t live a go along to get along lifestyle. They simply aren’t capable of living that way, even if there are repercussions. They prefer not to lie to other people, and they especially can’t lie to themselves. (ME: some people go out of their way to make a show of voicing their own contrary opinions, even when it’s not necessary. That’s not being authentic, that’s being a jerk, putting yourself ahead of others for no reason).
They are confident. Much social anxiety stems from the fear we have of being “found out.” We’re afraid that somebody is going to discover that we’re not as smart, experienced, or well-connected as we pretend to be. Authentic people don’t have that fear. Their confidence comes from the fact they have nothing to hide. Who they appear to be is who they are.
They prefer deep conversations to meaningless chatter. Eleanor Roosevelt said “great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” You won’t find authentic people gossiping about others or giving their opinions on the latest celebrity scandals. They choose to talk about things that matter. (Hear, hear. Still, sometimes my mind drifts away and I lose interest).
They don’t take anyone’s advice without evaluating it carefully first. First they make sure it makes sense for them.
They don’t complain about their problems. Complaining is what you do when you think the situation you’re in is someone else’s fault, or that it’s someone else’s job to fix it. Authentic people are accountable. They understand that they are responsible for their own lives, so there’s no point in complaining.
They’re internally motivated (i.e. motivated by God).
They make the best of any situation. Authentic people have a very firm grasp on reality. When things don’t go their way they don’t get trapped in denial (or try to BS their way out of it), and they don’t sit around whining about how things should be different. They simply take stock of the way things are and, if there’s nothing they can do to change the situation, they figure out a way to make the best of it (my reality is colored by my sensitivity and introversion).
They don’t get stressed or upset when someone doesn’t like them. Authentic people don’t have that anxiety because they would never try to change themselves to influence someone else’s opinion (not really a big concern to me).
Summary: living authentically is a perpetual challenge that yields great rewards. It is a noble path that you won’t regret following.