Being authentic has become somewhat of a catchphrase for people, but what does it mean? What is it to be authentic as a person? Authentic is something that is real or genuine. It is easy to create a completely fake or misleading life on social media and carry that over to your actual life with people who do not know you intimately. Being authentic means that not only do you not present a false face to the world, but you are comfortable and happy with yourself as you are. Being authentic means having the courage to be yourself regardless of what people will think about you or what they will say behind your back. Authentic people are easily spotted by their traits, their actions and the way that they interact with the wider world.
Here are ten traits among truly authentic people:
1. They Are Self-Reflective
They spend time looking at themselves and really trying to understand who and what they are, what they want out of life and what kind of person they want to be along the journey. They study their mistakes without obsessing over them and try to use those experiences as a springboard to being a better person.
2. They Are Not Judgmental
Because they look at themselves and their mistakes on a regular basis, they do not judge others for theirs. They understand that mistakes are to be learned from and are a very valuable tool for growth and change. They take others as they are regardless of color, orientation, national origin, religion or anything else.
3. They Live in the Present
They do not dwell on their past, their regrets or mistakes. Likewise, they do not spend all day fantasizing about the future either. They live in the present and they take things day by day. Someone who is authentic understands that everyone changes and that life is a day by day struggle to make the most of our short lives here.
4. They Are Focused on the Long-Term
While they live in the present, they have a plan for the future. They are focused on long term goals and not on the short term gains they could make by lying to, cheating on or stealing from others. They invest their time for long term benefits and do not follow the mercurial crowd of trend chasers. They know who they are and what they want and so make a plan to achieve that in a reasonable amount of time.
5. They Have Character
They value their character, or their honor to put it another way, more than they value making a fast buck. They will do what they said they will do and when they said they will do it. They are dependable and honest. You can count on someone who is authentic because they hold themselves accountable for their actions.
6. They Listen
If they are talking with you, it is because they want to hear what you have to say. Otherwise, they would not waste their time. You can tell because they are not just waiting to reply with their own thoughts or opinions but are actually trying to digest what you are telling them. They pay attention to the little things you say because they are trying to understand what you are telling them.
7. They are Consistent
Because the authentic person spends time reflecting on their own actions and hold themselves accountable for their actions, they are much more emotionally consistent. They know what they want already. They know who and what they are. They are on the path they have set for themselves and so do not chase ephemeral things like wealth or status. They are grounded in the here and now while they make their way into the future they have planned for themselves. There is no flip-flopping or indecision because they have already decided where they want to be in life.
8. They Are Honest
Because they are honest with themselves about what they want out of life and who they want to be, the authentic person has little choice but to be completely honest with everyone. They don’t hold back. They call them like they see them. They are open and honest about their opinions and thoughts. They see no need to deceive others about their intentions because they are not insecure about themselves or in competition with them. The only thing that drives them to excel is themselves.
9. They Respect Themselves
Because they are honest with themselves and spend time in self-reflection and value their character, they respect themselves. Many of the things that they do revolve around making sure they can still respect themselves afterward. They won’t compromise their beliefs because they wouldn’t be able to look at themselves in the mirror the next day. They respect themselves and hold themselves accountable for their actions which gives them integrity and strength of character, which they value more than money.
10. They Are Courageous
They have the courage to be themselves and to be true to their ideals even when those things are not popular. They have the courage of their convictions and the strength to stick to their guns even when the whole world is trying to shout them down and bend them to their will. They do not succumb to societal pressure and instead march to their own drumbeat. Authentic people stand out because they refuse to conform to what others think they should be doing. They have the courage to be the unique individual that they are.