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“A small group of psychologists from England published a study in the prestigious Journal of Counseling Psychology. The study empirically examined the effect of authenticity on people's lives. The researchers (Alex Wood, et al) asked people from different walks of life about the their authentic qualities: self-awareness, communication style, and openness to others' feedback. These authentic measures appeared solid (e.g. they did not correlate with any other likely confounds like the Big 5 Personality traits or social pleasing). But what was really amazing was that the researchers found that, in general, the more a person acted authentically, the more likely he or she were to be happy and experience subjective and psychological well-being.”

-Rom Brafman,

Many people don’t really know who they are for different reasons, I’ll name a few below but everyone would have their own:

  • They’ve been fitting into what they think they are “supposed” to be

  • They’ve been told they are something else and they fully accepted it

  • They’ve never really thought deeply about it

  • They’ve never placed value in questioning things, so they’re comfortable with status quo

Do any of these apply to you?

What behaviors do you display that are contrary to your true principles?

If people ONLY KNEW the “real” you….your hidden self…what would they know?

How much of that information are you willing to share with them?

If you won’t share it all, what makes you keep some of it private?

What would life be like if you shared OR eliminated the things about yourself that you’re ashamed of?

For example, sometimes we have goals that we don’t share, but perhaps the people you share your goals with can point out something you don’t see (blind spot), which could catapult you into success.

Another example, maybe you have a dark, embarrassing habit or lifestyle….what if you worked on eliminating that from your life…what would life look like once it’s gone?

What is authenticity to you?

For me, authenticity is knowing who I am, continuing to learn more, and being myself in every situation without conforming to others’ expectations when they conflict with my convictions

For example:

I believe in God, and Jesus is my Lord and Savior. If I’m in an environment with different beliefs, I accept and respect them, but if I’m asked, I won’t be scared or shy about sharing my faith just to be accepted

I like to be nice to people…so if I’m in an environment (let’s say a meeting) where people are uptight, but I feel like complimenting someone…I will. I’m not going to join the negative energy even if it makes me stand out and look weird to them

I like to learn, so I ask questions and share my thoughts when appropriate. A lot of times, I’m in settings where people are more quiet and they don’t ask or share, but I don’t stay silent if I’m really interested and would like to know or share something. Most of the time that opens the door or breaks the ice and others begin to speak up.

I’m not rebellious, disrespectful, or rude, I’m just not big on conforming to what people expect of me. I’d rather demonstrate what you can expect of me and then you can change your expectations/assumptions as you learn who I am. Again, this isn’t to be rude. I like to respect people and rules, and if I’m wrong about something, I want to correct my errors…I’m far from perfect, and I do want to be liked and accepted….I’m just not going to contradict my personal values and principles in order to receive acceptance.

This is my view….but again I ask, what is authenticity to you?

Are you authentic?

What prevents us from being our authentic selves?


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