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Being your authentic self can feel risky now in our screen-obsessed world. We’re just trying to fit in, be liked, and be accepted by other human beings. And as a result, the images we present (on our social media profiles and IRL) have become mere presentations of who we think we should be and not reflections of who we are. So how do we take off the mask we've been wearing and start to live a life of authenticity?

How to Develop Authenticity

Being authentic means that you act in ways that show your true self and how you feel. Rather than showing people only a particular side of yourself, you express your whole self genuinely. That means to succeed in being authentic, you first have to know who your true self is. And this requires self-awareness, mindfulness, and self-acceptance.

What Does Self Authenticity Mean?

Being true to yourself means that your actions, thoughts, and feelings align, and you express them with integrity and confidence.

However, many people struggle to strike this balance and have truly genuine existence. When the different aspects of your personality (parts of self) are out of sync, you may feel like you’re not being yourself in some areas of your life. For example, you could be putting on a false persona to impress others, like pretending to be more confident to win over a potential partner.

Here are some ways in which authenticity can manifest itself:

  • Honesty: If you’re genuine, you’re honest both to other people and yourself, and you don’t feel the need to modify your behaviour to conform to other people’s expectations.

  • Self-sufficiency: An authentic person makes decisions and acts on them independently, unbothered by outside influences. They rely on their inner strength in challenging situations.

  • Self-love: You accept that you’re not perfect and love yourself regardless of any shortcomings you may have. You don’t feel the need to keep up appearances because you know that you’re enough, just the way you are.

  • Ease: Authentic people are comfortable in their skin. Because they aren’t bothered by what the world expects of them, they are unburdened and free to live fulfilling life.

  • Fulfilling your potential: You know your strengths and develop in areas that need work. This makes you more likely to tap into your full potential and grow as a person.

However, being authentic isn’t about being rigid and impervious to change. It also doesn’t mean that you believe that you’re perfect and beyond reproach. People naturally grow and transform to respond to the changing circumstances in their lives, so the way you express your authentic self will reflect this too.

For example, you may have started as a shy child and teenager and developed more outgoing traits as you entered adulthood. Expressing this freely doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped being true to yourself. Instead, your personality has been through a shift and you naturally behave in line with this.

What Makes A Relationship Authentic?

There may be different levels of authenticity in a relationship:

  • You can be your genuine self. You accept each other the way you are, without the need to change the other person to fit your expectations. You give each other support and room to grow without impediments.

  • You’re honest with one another. You’re able to express your thoughts and feelings freely, without fear of judgment or rejection. You feel safe opening up to your partner and trusting them to understand even the things that make you most vulnerable.

  • You don’t let outside pressures influence your relationship. You’re sure of your relationship regardless of what others think or do.

Why Is It Important To Be

Inauthenticity can take a toll on a relationship. For example, you may be consciously hiding your true colours from your partner. You could be unwilling to express your deepest fears and insecurities because you think that this will drive them away. You may worry that showing who you are will scare them off. This is common for people who have an anxious attachment style and fear rejection from their partner.

In a different scenario, you may be attempting to change to match your partner’s standards. For example, if you know your partner prefers being the leader, you may be taking the back seat to pander to them. This way, you could be stifling your natural affinities and losing confidence. This may cause you to feel resentful and jeopardize the relationship.

On the other hand, a genuine relationship doesn’t require either partner to hide or pretend. Instead, it allows you to be unapologetically yourselves, with your feelings, thoughts, and actions working in unison.

How Can I Become More Authentic In My Relationship?

Establishing a genuine connection is what most people aspire to. Here are some things you can do to have more authenticity in your relationship:

  • Have a sense of independence: It’s not a good idea to rely solely on your partner for happiness. If you put all your eggs in one basket, you may lose your individuality and become too caught up in making your relationship work at all costs.

  • Talk to each other: Share your feelings and thoughts with your partner and encourage them to do the same. Show understanding and compassion when they’re feeling vulnerable and expect the same in return.

  • Expect reciprocity: There needs to be mutual respect and understanding between the two of you. A healthy relationship provides a safe space where you can both feel seen and heard.


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