Being authentic is being your true self regardless of whom you’re with. If you change how you behave because you’re trying to please others or seeking approval from others, then you’re not being authentic. What drives inauthenticity is a fear of not belonging — so someone shifts how they are coming across to “fit in.”

How authentic are you?

To be authentic requires self-awareness and self-knowledge — as well as self-acceptance. Once you understand — and then accept — yourself in your entirety, you are able to lead from a strong sense of self. That strong sense of self allows you to stand firm in your beliefs and values and be sincere in your interactions. Mindfulness, self-reflection and forgiveness are all important practices that lead to authenticity.

This week’s Challenge: This week, I will notice when I give up on something important to me to “fit in” and I will reflect on how that makes me feel.

Avoiding being Transparent (overuse): Transparent in this context is sharing too much information. Being authentic may mean staying true to yourself, but it doesn’t mean sharing your deepest thoughts, transgressions and feelings with people whom you don’t know well. The driver for overusing authenticity is the same as not being authentic — the fear of not belonging. Often people will over-share because they are searching to make a connection or deepen the intimacy of a relationship. Once again — it’s the striving that is the issue; so, the solution is the same — self awareness, self knowledge and ultimately self acceptance.

Commendable Trait: Authentic
Underused: Superficial
Overused: Transparent
Strength: Trust
Quadrant: Humanity

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