In the last week or two, the topic of authenticity has been coming up in my life. The discussion of authenticity came up a couple times in a class and then it came up again during a therapy session. This led me to sit back and ask myself: What actually constitutes a truly authentic person?
Upon deeper introspection, I came to the conclusion that becoming authentic is a lifetime -- and beyond -- process. It's like peeling an onion and over time as we grow, heal, and love ourselves more and more, we become more of who we truly are.
There can be moments when we are truly expressing our authentic selves and then there are moments that trigger our inner wounds. We then find ourselves acting in a way that's out of alignment with our own inner truth and, instead, acting as a reaction to our wounds being reactivated.
So as I said before, it's a lifelong process, but this doesn't mean that it's something we shouldn't aspire to. Just because it may take time and practice to do a headstand in a yoga class, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't bother doing the work so you can eventually do it with ease.
So here are the 11 signs of a truly authentic person:
#1 - They recognize the emptiness in material things
They're not out buying Gucci with the hope that it will make them happy. While they may enjoy material things, they don't see it as "If I just have this one item, then I'll be happy". They also don't rate other people based on the material items that they have or don't have because they know it doesn't hold much meaning.
#2 - They recognize that experiences make their lives richer
They're aware of how life experiences create more meaning and richness in our lives. They are open to explore and learn, both externally and internally.
#3 - They truly listen to others
They don't listen in order to respond. Nor do they listen to others while being distracted by their phone, the TV or whatever else may be a distraction. They're able to be fully present with another person. They're able to listen to others with a genuine interest and care for the other person.
#4 - They express their true thoughts, feelings and views unapologetically
They don't say things that they don't truly mean. They don't do things that they don't really want to do. They are able to share their own unique thoughts, feelings and views without fear of other's opinions.
#5 - They're not out to please people
They know that by living their lives to please others all the time disconnects them from their own inner experience. The know the importance of being aware, acknowledging, and expressing their own unique thoughts, feelings and views to the world. They know that by expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world.
Click to Tweet: Authentic people know that expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world. via @jenilyn8705
#6 - They see value in giving love to others
They see value in giving love and kindness indiscriminately. They understand that we are all connected and are willing to give others a helping hand. They know that by helping others, they are helping themselves. They allow and encourage others to express their own truth with love and acceptance as well.
#7 - They love themselves
They see themselves as a person of value who deserves love, kindness and support. They provide themselves with adequate care to support their own health and well-being.
#8 - They are willing to see and acknowledge their own faults
They are aware they we are all wounded and may have various prejudices. They don't judge others for their own prejudices, but rather see it as a part of the person's own inner wounding that has yet to be healed. They know that there are aspects of themselves that they don't like either, and they're willing to swallow their ego and acknowledge those parts regardless.
#9 - They understand that we are all unique -- and that's okay!
They know that not everyone is going to agree on everything all the time. They are accepting of differing views and opinions. They don't label themselves as "right" and another person as "wrong" or visa versa.
#10 - They take responsibility for their lives
They don't blame other people for what happens to them in their lives. They take personal responsibility for how they're actions created a certain outcome. They are willing to look at how they influenced each and every situation and act accordingly.
#11 - They're connected to their own inner guide
They've been able to clear their minds of the constant mind chatter in order to hear an inner voice that is greater than them. They are able to act in accordance to their inner guidance with trust and faith, despite not having external validation.
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Out of the list above, are any of these 11 signs of authenticity harder for you to do than others? Do some come a little more "natural" to you? How do you struggle to be authentic in your relationships and life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Jennifer is a self-love coach, writer, spiritual mentor and teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create more loving relationships with themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.