Once when rehearsing for a play, I was told that I was a bad actor. Of course I worked hard to improve my acting skills – learning how to play a specific role in different scenes, but I failed almost all the time. It was like a paradox. The more I tried, the worse I got. So, at some point I gave up trying.
Unless you’re Meryl Streep, pretending to be someone else is tiring. And these days, when so many lives are seen through a filter, authenticity becomes a rare commodity, but so much desired. So don’t be afraid to show your true self instead of constantly trying to live up to the expectations of others. Each of us is a unique individual with our various personality traits, which are beautiful the way they are.
Learn to know your true self to actually be that person
Who am I? Such a simple, but often complex question to answer! In a society where many of us wear different masks for different settings, we sometimes lose sight of who we truly are. People change; they continuously develop – and that’s normal – but their core stays the same. So peel your onion and crystallize who you are. If you cannot answer that to yourself, it’s hard to be authentic to the outside world.
Always remind yourself about who you are and why you do what you do. Typically remembering your roots – where you grew up and what you value – helps you to understand your core self better. In the end you want to be presenting that side of yourself to those who matter to you.
Get confident with your own imperfections
It’s actually so funny to see all our efforts at looking good to the outside world. The fact is most people don’t really like to see such a perfect looking persona, because that makes them feel inferior and plays up their jealousies and insecurities. As a result, they like you less.
So, if you want to be authentic, you should get comfortable with your imperfections. Instead of hiding your blemishes, do the opposite – proudly showcase them! And when you finally manage to do it with ease, you experience a sense of relief, even euphoria. No more play acting. Imperfections make us feel and look more like humans.
Remember, it’s okay if not everyone likes you, so don’t waste your energy trying to satisfy everyone. It will never happen. Rather, work on your confidence because it shines like a diamond in a world of fakes!
Authentic people apologize when they are wrong
Since authentic people know they are not perfect, they are also not afraid to admit when they are wrong. When that happens they modify their opinion and apologize, if necessary. Nobody knows everything and nobody is right all the time.
Authentic people who apologize don’t just say, “I am sorry!” and move on. They reflect on their behavior and articulate where exactly they were wrong. This makes their apology real and they are more likely to receive forgiveness.
No need for expensive material things
A Lithuanian man wonders why Dutch people drive such small and simple cars? “I thought they lived better…” Well, while there are many economic reasons why indeed the majority of Dutch people don’t invest in expensive cars, it is also related to their ‘show-off avoidance’ culture. Authentic people tend to be more values driven rather than slaves to fashion and material things.
Money makes the world go round and you can buy a lot with it, but it won’t necessarily make you happy. So authentic people, who always give off great vibes with their sincerity, invest their money into meaningful experiences instead of temporary material things. They are like “millennial fashionistas” who are conscious of who they are and what they want to leave as their footprint on this planet.
So, put on your confidence jacket as you put on your winning smile and don’t be afraid to show people who you truly are. It’s sexy these days!