Authenticity, Living Authentically

Authenticity. What is it, really? It’s become one of those buzzwords that seems to mean different things to different people. I was surprised to read the variety of meanings authenticity had for different people in this post called I Am Not Authentic.

In spite of all the definitions of authenticity, I am a fan of living authentically.

My definition of living authentically has to do with being true to yourself – which, in turn results in you being truly yourself with others.

Sometime it’s easier to define what it isn’t than what it is.

What it Isn’t

It isn’t showing all your emotions all the time.

It isn’t saying how you really feel about something at the inappropriate time.

It isn’t dumping your guts to someone who barely knows you – unless they are a counselor, therapist, etc.

It isn’t being one thing with one person and somebody else with another person.

It isn’t saying something just to please someone.

It isn’t avoiding conflict.

It isn’t living to make someone else happy.

It isn’t being responsible for someone else’s emotions.

It isn’t saying you’ll do something and not do it.

What It Is

It is being true to yourself.

It is being you with those around you.

It is being real with those around you at the level that is appropriate.

It is using wisdom when sharing how you really feel about something. For example, I will be more blunt and honest with a close friend than with an acquaintance. It’s not that I’m not being authentic with the acquaintance, it’s being real at the depth that’s appropriate for the relationship.

It is completely losing it with someone close to you in a healthy way that gives you the impetus to move on.

It is taking time to ponder, evaluate, reflect on what’s important to you and how you want to live.

It is helping others within the gifts and passion inside of you.

It is stirring things up when needed.

What about you? What’s your definition of authenticity? How do you live authentically?


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