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Be Authentic: 14 Tips To Be More About You
Most people play some roles.
They are afraid to show the real you.
They hide their feelings. They don't say what they really think. And they do what others ask of them.
But deep down they are unhappy.
It is basically very easy to be yourself:
You don't have to learn to be authentic. You just have to BE. It is solely a decision!
Yet most people are scared of it.
With my 14 tips I will take this fear away from you. After reading the article, you will really feel like being authentic!
Bonus:Download the free Being Authentic Challenge. With this I support you for the next 30 days on your way to more authenticity and inner freedom.
Table of Contents
108 tips for a strong self-confidence
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Be authentic: why is it so difficult?
Being authentic is actually very easy. You don't have to learn. Everyone is automatically authentic when they are alone.
But we already begin to pretend to be with our partner, friends or parents.
Why are we doing this Why is it so difficult for us to just be ourselves?
The main reason is fears:
- the fear of hurting others - if, for example, you tell your partner that you no longer love them
- the fear of disappointing others - For example, the parents when you drop out of business studies to become a rock musician
- the fear of being rejected - For example from the buddies, when you don't feel like going around the houses with them in the evening
- the fear of being ridiculous - because you might combine your favorite bright red dress with comfortable cowboy boots while everyone else is wearing jeans and a T-shirt
- the fear of being noticed (unpleasantly) - when you start laughing out loud as soon as you feel like it
All of these fears have one thing in common:
You BELIEVE that others expect you to behave in a certain way. You are trying to meet these expectations. Because you THINK that otherwise you will no longer be loved and recognized. And then you put on a mask and start playing some roles ...
The problem with that is this:
You are unhappy when you are not yourself.
You feel that you are lying to yourself. Your true personality cannot develop. It's just like putting a plant in the basement and covering it with a sack to prevent it from growing or blooming!
What happens sooner or later? Correct: it comes in!
If you've had enough of hiding your true personality now ... if you want to make your real self bloom ... then here are a few tips for you on how to get rid of your masks:
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14 tips for more authenticity in everyday life
1. Find out who you actually are:
Before you can be yourself, of course, you have to know who you are.
Therefore, pay attention to the following points for a few days and maybe make a few notes about them:
- When do you play a role and when do you not?
- How are you when you don't pretend (for example when you are alone)
- With which people or in which environment can you be completely yourself? And how exactly are you then?
- What were you like as a child before you were “brought up”? Rather calm and shy or loud and wild? The further back you can remember, the better. Feel free to ask your parents or other family members.
With these questions you get on the track of the real you.
If you want to go a little deeper into self-discovery, I have the right article for you here (including a personality test): Self-discovery: 18 tips to find out what you really want
You are probably already feeling that you no longer want to hide your true self! So let's get straight to point 2:
2. Decide to take off your masks
This point is very important, but is often overlooked:
Make a conscious decision !!!
Perhaps you are now thinking "Yes, I am reading the article here and I want to be more authentic ..."
Stop! Stop! Do you notice something?
That sounds just as wishy-washy as "Yes, I want to do sports more often and eat healthily ..."
Are you doing it No!
That's why nothing will change at all as long as you don't make a clear and precise decision! Take responsibility for yourself and your life. Don't say "I want ..." but "I will ..."!
Now tell yourself (out loud if you like):
"I decide that from now on I will show the real me more often!"
Further down in the article, I've prepared a small challenge to be authentic (including a checklist to print out). So you get started right away and throw your masks in the bin in record time.
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3. Don't make it unnecessarily difficult for yourself
You've probably played your roles for years. Everyone around you is used to it. They don't know you any other way.
It is therefore completely normal for you to be afraid of suddenly behaving very differently ...
Make it easier for yourself and start where you can relax and be yourself:
- be authentic where nobody knows you (e.g. in a restaurant where you honestly tell the waiter that the meat was too dry and the vegetables too mushy)
- travel alone and just do what you feel like doing
- surround yourself with people with whom you don't have to pretend - for example in Facebook groups or at seminars that match your interests
- always be authentic when you meet new people and tell yourself: "Either they accept me now as I am or they can stay stolen from me."
If you are yourself in these "simple" situations, you will feel how GOOD it feels! You also realize that nothing bad is happening and you lose your fear. Then more and more often you dare to be authentic in your usual everyday life.
4. Stop the comparing bullshit
Comparing yourself to others is utter nonsense.
Well - because the others probably all wear a mask too!
- The perfectly styled colleague might prefer to come to work in a comfortable T-shirt - but she plays the role of the Hollywood diva.
- Your boss might have preferred to become a rock musician - but he plays the role of the successful top manager.
- And the super mother with the perfectly brought up children, who is involved as a parent spokeswoman and shakes three homemade cakes up her sleeve at every opportunity, may have buried her career dreams and drinks too much wine in the evening to numb her grief.
You only see the roles these people play. If you compare yourself to that, you will ALWAYS draw the short straw.
So stop comparing yourself.
Rather present your uniqueness to the world!
You are a unique individual and the world needs more people like you! People who show the real you instead of being the millionth copy of a perfect mom, career guy, or Hollywood beauty.
Be yourself - everyone else is already there
5. Take an example from children
The most authentic people in the world are children:
They show their feelings loud and clear. They do what they want. And they are ruthlessly honest.
At least until they have learned to adapt to the expectations of their environment ...
If you want to be more authentic, you should take an example from children.
Now of course you shouldn't throw yourself on the floor screaming in front of your boss if you don't get your raise. But you don't have to put up with it without contradiction either. Just say honestly that you are disappointed and cannot understand the reasons for it. Your boss may even be impressed because he was not used to your being so brave and determined!
Please do not take this point as a call to “I can do what I want.” Of course, as adults, we always have to bear the consequences of our actions. At the end of the article you will also find an extra section on this.
6. This is how you show your true feelings
To be authentic also means that you stand by your feelings and show them. You cannot be true to yourself if you are constantly hiding what is really going on within you.
Hence my advice:
Allow your feelings!
When you're sad, cry. If you're upset, speak up. If you have to laugh, laugh - as loudly and for as long as you want.
You can practice this for yourself first.
You may find that it is difficult for you to let in your feelings. It is completely normal. As children we often learn that we should be "brave" and that we shouldn't show our anger. Even childlike joy is sometimes thwarted with words like “Now don't be so overdriven”.
So be patient with yourself. The more you allow your feelings, the easier it will be for you.
Over time, you will find that it is completely okay to stand by your feelings. Then you can extend this openness to other people as well.
(Of course, you shouldn't shed tears or have a fit of rage at work. But talk about it when something worries or upsets you.)
7. Take off the "impressive mask"
We always put on the "impressive mask" when we want to impress others. We pretend we're happier, more successful, or better than we really are. Inside, however, we feel weak or think that others think we are boring. The reason for this is poor self-esteem.
But believe me one thing:
Nothing is as impressive as your authentic personality! Because you are unique. There is no other person in the world like you.
So stop trying to fool others. Much rather show yourself the way you really are. It's way more exciting and impressive than any role you could play.
And if you still need tips to strengthen your self-esteem, you've come to the right place: Strengthening self-esteem
8. Why you should laugh at your mistakes
People who can laugh at their own "mistakes", weaknesses and mishaps usually come across as very personable. On the other hand, those who try hard to want to be perfect appear fake and artificial.
Behind this is mostly the fear that OTHERS could laugh at you. However, this fear is completely unfounded: Other people never laugh at YOU, but only at certain situations.
With a certain amount of time, you can even do it yourself! I'm sure you have some embarrassing stories from your life ready that will have the laughs on your side at every party.
So if something stupid happens to you and you can laugh about it later anyway, why not right away?
Just give it a try. You will notice that you can then deal with your "mistakes" in a much more relaxed manner.
9. Get more freedom through clear boundaries
Being authentic also means not always having to put up with everything.
Inside, some things may have bothered you for a long time, but you've never said anything before. You pretended everything was fine ...
You patiently cleared your partner afterwards, took over the work of your colleague in silence or had your parents question you about your relationship status.
But not anymore!
From now on you can say if something bothers you. You draw clear boundaries and defend them. Of course, you don't need to offend anyone. Here you will learn how to say NO in a friendly, yet firm manner: Setting boundaries: How to learn to say NO (instructions)
10. Dare to step out of your comfort zone
To be more authentic, you have to change. At least if you have hidden the real you well so far.
Change requires courage and the willingness to leave the comfort zone from time to time.
Regardless of whether you say what you think more often or more often do what you feel like doing - you will be a little afraid of it every time. This is completely normal. After all, you have always behaved differently so far and will now first attract attention with your "new" personality.
So that this fear doesn't keep you from taking off your masks, I have an extra article for you: Leaving the comfort zone: 11 simple and immediately implementable strategies to overcome your fear
11. Don't follow the mass flow (and don't fall into the defiance trap)
If you want to be more of yourself, watch out for when you mindlessly follow the crowd:
- Do you only go to yoga because it's IN?
- Do you let yourself be persuaded to drink at parties because otherwise you'd be the only one drinking water?
- Are you going to buy the latest XY brand shoes because everyone is wearing them now?
To find out if you are following your own desires or the crowd, listen to your feeling:
As soon as you only do something because everyone else is doing it, you feel an inner resistance: you have to force yourself to do yoga every week. You don't really enjoy the party. You hardly put on your shoes.
You are only really happy if you are true to yourself and do what you really want deep down.
So if you find that something is not really making you happy, ask yourself, “Am I doing this because I want it? Would I do it too if I were alone? "
And if the answer is NO - don't do it!
Attention trap !!!
Be careful not to just do the opposite of what everyone else is doing out of spite. Then you are not authentic either.
12. This is how you free yourself from emotional dependence
Free yourself from the fear that others will no longer love you when you show the real you. This fear causes you to constantly deny yourself.
Just ask yourself the following questions:
Do I even want to be loved by people who only love my mask? Who only love me when I am who they want me to be?
Wouldn't it be much nicer if you loved my unique personality and I no longer had to constantly pretend?
Remember one thing:
Those who love the real you will be happy when you show it.
If you don't, you will make room for people who love and accept you for who you are!
If you have problems breaking free from emotional addiction, read the following article right afterwards: Solving emotional addiction - 8 tips for more independence
13. Self-love: The key to authenticity
If you find yourself stupid inside, you might want to hide your personality from others.
Therefore, self-love is an important step on the way to more authenticity.
You don't have to love everything about yourself with all your heart. You can still work on your weaknesses or find your nose too long.
It is important that you accept yourself for who you are in spite of everything. And that you don't always just look at your supposed "mistakes", but are also aware of your strengths!
Instructions for developing more self-love can be found here: Self-love - Learn to love yourself
By the way, Charlie Chaplin described what it means to be completely in harmony with yourself and your life in a poem on the occasion of his 70th birthday. You can find it here: When I began to love myself ...
14. This is how you let go of what you no longer need
The more authentic you become, the more often you may have to part with people, behaviors, or things. Because they don't suit you anymore. Or because you notice that they are not doing you any good.
At the same time there will also be people who do not get along with your “new” self. They may then part with YOU.
This can be very painful at times.
Please don't make the mistake of falling back into your old mask mode just so that these people stay with you. That would make you unhappy in the long run. (see also point 12).
Instead, use the letting go technique to quickly resolve your negative feelings: Learning to let go: In three easy steps
How to start With the authentic-being-challenge!
That was a lot of tips and you might be wondering:
How the hell do I get started now?
Don't worry - I'll help you!
It took me several years myself to be able to stand by myself one hundred percent. So I know:
The only thing that really moves you forward are taking a lot of small steps!
You cannot completely take off all masks overnight - that would overwhelm you and your environment. You have to get a little bit more authentic every day.
The most important thing, however, is that you stick with it. Changes take time and unfortunately we quickly fall back into our old patterns in everyday life.
That's why I've prepared a little challenge for you. It supports you on your way to yourself for at least 30 days. (Of course you can repeat it as often as you like.)
Bonus: Download the Free Being Authentic Challenge down. With this I support you for the next 30 days on your way to more authenticity and inner freedom:
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Learn 7 simple tricks you can use to instantly increase your confidence. Just enter your name and email address below and off you go!
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7 important reasons for more authenticity
It's not always easy to be authentic. You will have to face the above fears from time to time. There will be days when you'd rather put your mask back on ...
Then make yourself aware again and again of the advantages of being completely yourself:
- You are more confident: Those who are authentic do not pretend. Authentic people show who they really are. They laugh out loud when they feel like it. They talk openly about their feelings. They stand by their strengths as well as their weaknesses. And don't think about what other people think about it all the time. THAT is true self-confidence! (You can get a lot more practical tips for a strong self-confidence here: 10 practical tips for immediately more self-confidence)
- Better handling of feelings: You learn to accept your own feelings instead of suppressing them. This also makes it easier for you to deal with negative feelings. Because feelings don't go away if you ignore them or cover them up. They dissolve if you allow them to.
- You live your dreams: If you stand by yourself, you will never again do anything that OTHERS think is right. No - you are looking for what YOU enjoy. And you have the courage to go your own way. If you do what you love, you will too muchmore successful be! (And if you don't really know what your right path is, you can find help here: Self-discovery: 18 tips to find out what you really want)
- Be more popular: Most people believe that they are only popular and impress others if they play some role. But exactly the opposite is the case: there is nothing more attractive than a person who is completely with himself. Someone who expresses their true self has a very special charisma. Because no matter how well you play a role - others can feel when you are not real.
- You don't care what others think of you: Authentic people don't always wonder what other people think of them ... Can you imagine how incredibly liberating that is? When you can just say and do what you feel like doing? When you don't care what others think of you? (You can find a lot more tips here: I don't give a shit what others think of me)
- You make decisions faster: As soon as you stop pondering what everyone else is going to say about your decision, you can make a decision much faster. You only need to ask yourself: “What is it that I really want now? What is the best for ME? ”Then you decide. Zack, done.
- You are more relaxed: Not having to constantly pretend is extremely relaxing. You no longer have to worry about who to impress and how best ... whether what you are saying is right or wrong ... Not being yourself is basically a lie. And lies create stress because you are tense inside. You always have to make sure that others don't see through your lies. If, on the other hand, you are authentic, then you are honest - with yourself and with everyone else.
- You are happier: As soon as you are completely yourself, you no longer have to bend over to please everyone else. You don't do anything anymore that you don't really feel like doing. You follow your true desires and needs and are in tune with yourself. This is real happiness! (I have more tips for a happier life here for you: Instructions for being happy: 11 tips for immediately more happiness and zest for life)
So you see - it pays to be authentic!
Frequent questions and problems with being authentic
My environment does not accept my change
As soon as you change, sooner or later you will encounter resistance as well.
First, try to understand this!
Your environment must first adjust to the fact that you are changing. You may have been wearing your mask for years and everyone is used to it. Now you suddenly start to speak your mind, set limits or break new ground. The others didn't expect that and are of course irritated at first.
And there will always be people who don't like it when you change. This can have several reasons:
- some people have one personal disadvantage through your change, because you no longer "dance to their tune"
- others have anxietyto lose yourself (e.g. your partner) because you are suddenly breaking new ground
- some people basically have one Problem with changebecause they are too easy to adjust to new things
- and some are just plain enviousbecause they would like to be more authentic themselves, but can't do it
As you can see, all of these reasons ultimately have nothing to do with you. It's THEIR problems and fears.
But no matter what the reason - don't let that stop you!
Keep going your way and be aware of the following:
Those who really like you will get used to your change sooner or later and will even find it good in the end.
You can even serve as a role model and show others how great it is to show the real you.
Whoever only liked the role that you played, can stay stolen from you anyway! You're not born to be anyone's puppet!
Also, feel free to take another look at the benefits of being authentic. Do you think that it does someone harm when you are happier, more relaxed, more confident, and more successful? I do not think so…
I can't just do what I want
Let us now come to the most common argument against being authentic:
"You can't just do what you want."
To make it short:
But. You can.
You can tell your boss he's a stupid asshole ... you can ring your pretty neighbor's doorbell and hug her as soon as she opens the door ...
The only question is: do you WANT this?
Because of course everything you do has consequences. You are not alone in the world.
Being authentic doesn't mean turning off your brain and just following your inner urges. Rather, it is about thinking about what will make you happy in the LONG-TERM!
Let's stick with the example of your stupid boss. There are tons of ways you can act:
- You can put on your mask, driving to work every day frustrated and trying to avoid your boss as much as possible. Does that make you happy? Are you authentic then? No.
- You can really give him your opinion and risk that he'll throw you out afterwards. You might even find a much better job afterwards. Are you ready to take the risk? Maybe.
- You can seek an open conversation with your boss and speak honestly about anything that bothers you. If it changes after that, you may feel comfortable at work again. Would that be authentic? Definitely!
- But you can also ignore your boss and look for another job or start your own business. Is that authentic? Yes.
So you see:
There are a number of ways to be authentic. Without offending anyone or risking consequences that you don't want to face.
And as long as you stay true to yourself, something good will always come out of it!
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