Tag Archives: be true to you

11 Signs of a Truly Authentic Person

In the last week or two, the topic of authenticity has been coming up in my life.  The discussion of authenticity came up a couple times in a class and then it came up again during a therapy session.  This led me to sit back and ask myself: What actually constitutes a truly authentic person?

Upon deeper introspection, I came to the conclusion that becoming authentic is a lifetime — and beyond —  process.  It’s like peeling an onion and over time as we grow, heal, and love ourselves more and more, we become more of who we truly are.

There can be moments when we are truly expressing our authentic selves and then there are moments that trigger our inner wounds.   We then find ourselves acting in a way that’s out of alignment with our own inner truth and, instead, acting as a reaction to our wounds being reactivated.

So as I said before, it’s a lifelong process, but this doesn’t mean that it’s something we shouldn’t aspire to.  Just because it may take time and practice to do a headstand in a yoga class, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother doing the work so you can eventually do it with ease.

So here are the 11 signs of a truly authentic person:

#1 – They recognize the emptiness in material things

They’re not out buying Gucci with the hope that it will make them happy.  While they may enjoy material things, they don’t see it as “If I just have this one item, then I’ll be happy”.  They also don’t rate other people based on the material items that they have or don’t have because they know it doesn’t hold much meaning.

#2 – They recognize that experiences make their lives richer

They’re aware of how life experiences create more meaning and richness in our lives.  They are open to explore and learn, both externally and internally.

#3 – They truly listen to others

They don’t listen in order to respond.  Nor do they listen to others while being distracted by their phone, the TV or whatever else may be a distraction.  They’re able to be fully present with another person.  They’re able to listen to others with a genuine interest and care for the other person.

#4 – They express their true thoughts, feelings and views unapologetically

They don’t say things that they don’t truly mean.  They don’t do things that they don’t really want to do.  They are able to share their own unique thoughts, feelings and views without fear of other’s opinions.

#5 – They’re not out to please people

They know that by living their lives to please others all the time disconnects them from their own inner experience.  The know the importance of being aware, acknowledging, and expressing their own unique thoughts, feelings and views to the world.  They know that by expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world.

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Click to Tweet: Authentic people know that expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world. via @jenilyn8705

#6 – They see value in giving love to others

They see value in giving love and kindness indiscriminately.  They understand that we are all connected and are willing to give others a helping hand.  They know that by helping others, they are helping themselves.  They allow and encourage others to express their own truth with love and acceptance as well.

#7 – They love themselves

They see themselves as a person of value who deserves love, kindness and support.  They provide themselves with adequate care to support their own health and well-being.

#8 – They are willing to see and acknowledge their own faults

They are aware they we are all wounded and may have various prejudices.  They don’t judge others for their own prejudices, but rather see it as a part of the person’s own inner wounding that has yet to be healed.  They know that there are aspects of themselves that they don’t like either, and they’re willing to swallow their ego and acknowledge those parts regardless. 

#9 – They understand that we are all unique — and that’s okay!

They know that not everyone is going to agree on everything all the time.  They are accepting of differing views and opinions.  They don’t label themselves as “right” and another person as “wrong” or visa versa.

#10 – They take responsibility for their lives

They don’t blame other people for what happens to them in their lives.  They take personal responsibility for how they’re actions created a certain outcome.  They are willing to look at how they influenced each and every situation and act accordingly.

#11 – They’re connected to their own inner guide

They’ve been able to clear their minds of the constant mind chatter in order to hear an inner voice that is greater than them.  They are able to act in accordance to their inner guidance with trust and faith, despite not having external validation.

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Out of the list above, are any of these 11 signs of authenticity harder for you to do than others?  Do some come a little more “natural” to you?  How do you struggle to be authentic in your relationships and life?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

When the New “Cool” Becomes Getting Married and Having Kids

I’m 28 years old. Single and childless.

And even though I’m currently in a relationship, marriage and children are hardly on the top of my list of “things to accomplish in the next 5 years”.

With just a simply glance at my Facebook timeline, it’s apparent that I’m part of a minority, as it appears that the majority of people around my age are heavily immersed in weddings, anniversaries, and babies.

When the whole “wedding fever” began when I was in my early 20s, it honestly used to really bother me. I’d have friends who I was once really close with now rarely have time to hang out because they’d “like to be home” with their husbands. And even when I would hang out with my married or soon-to-be married friends, the conversations mostly evolved around weddings, decorating new homes, and who was getting pregnant.

I felt so, well, confused.

My first thoughts when this “wedding fever” began was something like, “Wait, so we’re all just graduating college and getting married now? Why? Isn’t there anything else we all want to do?”

But, alas, the weddings continued and became even more frequent as time when on.

These initial feelings of confusion quickly turned into feelings of feeling left out. It was as if I were trying for the varsity volleyball team and, despite all my hard work and effort, I just didn’t make the cut.

I dated quite a bit and had a few more serious relationships, but I was hardly ever able to get into a relationship that was capable of more long-term stability. Communication, boundary, and simple “he’s just not that into you” issues were abound.

I wanted to do the new “cool” thing like all my friends were so we could talk wedding and marriage stuff and I could feel like I was a “part of the group”, but it just wasn’t happening. And I had no idea why.

Then, around the age of 24, I decided to stop trying to make things work that weren’t going to and I decided to move… halfway around the world.

So I moved to South Korea with the intention to teach English for a year then move back to the Midwest. Needless to say, one year turned into a year and a half and rather than moving back to the Midwest I found myself moving to the West Coast to go to grad school.

When you go through that many changes in your life due to traveling, it’s hard to continue to be concerned about the same things that were once really troubling you while you were in your old culture. You’re constantly changing and growing because your outer world is always changing. Anything that just really doesn’t effect us very much in our current environment, simply falls away and becomes hardly a concern.

That is the interesting thing about travel — when everything in our external world is shockingly turned upside down there is much less room to worry about “fitting in”, so the main focus becomes “Who am I?”

Essentially, the only thing that becomes the same in your world is you…

You at the very core of your being…

You that is unchanging regardless of time, age, and location…

You as your own truth self.

So I got out of the “I need to fit in” mentality. I stopped caring about the fact that everyone was getting married and having babies. I stopped caring about what other people thought.

Instead, I did my own thing…

…enjoying the life of traveling and taking up hobbies of painting, photography, and writing. In doing so, I gradually became more and more in-tune with me… the real me. The me that has always desired to explore and learn about the world and, simply, enjoy the beauty and love of this world fully and completely. The me that is fascinated about about psychology and what makes people tick.

As I became more in-tune with my true self and allowed the part of me that was so worried about “fitting in” with the marriage culture to dissipate, something else happened. Something that, at that point, I wasn’t expecting to happen…

I finally found a stable and loving relationship.

It has never been about getting a stable job, a house, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence with your spouse by the age of 30 in order to “keep up with the Jones’s”. Nor has it ever been about judging others for not getting married and having kids or for getting married and having kids.

What it is about, and always has been about, is being true to yourself.

It’s about doing what you know in your heart is true for you regardless of what everyone else around you is doing. After all, they’re not who you need to live with for your entire life. The most important person you have to learn how to live with is you.

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Click to Tweet: The most important person you have to learn how to live with in this world is you. via @jenilyn8705