Authenticity (Series)

How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Four

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

4)  Be diplomatically honest

 

Become mindful of when you tell white lies and start practising being diplomatically honest. Being totally honest honours our authenticity by showing our genuine nature and consequently allows us to retain a high level of integrity. For guidance on how to be diplomatically honest, see part two of this series under ‘Blocks to Authenticity’ – Kind vs. Honest.

 

This also means not editing or tailoring what you say to suit the type of persona you want to portray to certain groups of friends and choosing to rather be your same self to everyone you know!

 

5)  Express your true thoughts, opinions, beliefs and feelings

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How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Three

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Benefits of Living an Authentic Life:

 

Authenticity offers many benefits. There is a feeling of fulfilment that comes from being genuine and being accepted for who you truly are. When you are authentic your self-awareness increases and you develop a strong identity. You have a high level of integrity due to your honesty and your self-esteem increases as a result. Decisions are easier to make because you know what your core values are and what fits in line with them. You take your own needs seriously and consequently do what really matters to you, living in tune with your goals and dreams. All of these advantages translate into a happier more contented life, a life with an abundance of meaning and passion.

 

6 Steps to Living an Authentic Life:

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How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Two

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Blocks to Authenticity:

 

There are several blocks to living an authentic life. The top three are worrying about what others think of us, an inability to say no due to the desire to people-please and the common concern that honesty is sometimes hurtful and unkind. But let’s break them down further and see how we can overcome these obstacles to authenticity.

 

1)  Worrying about what people think of you (and how to stop it)

 

Being worried about what other people will think of us and whether we will face rejection as a result of honestly expressing ourselves, is a very natural concern. Although this is a possibility, it is worth remembering that when we honestly and diplomatically express a difference of opinion, it can actually lead others to respect us more as a result of the integrity we have displayed. Furthermore, I would argue that those who reject us because we have a different opinion to them are quite controlling and narcissistic by nature, whereby their approval is conditional upon us conforming to their worldview – certainly not the type of friend I would want to seek out! Once you come to this realisation you too are likely to be much less worried about what people may or may not think about you when you express yourself honestly.

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How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part One

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

I am quite an authentic person; I am open about my faith and I express my opinions in a diplomatic fashion, even when they differ to my friends. I am honest about my feelings.  I am open about my breakdown back in 2009. I am honest about the fact that I see a therapist and am actively working on being my best self.

 

In spite of this, when I sat down to write this article I asked myself some confronting questions. Questions like ‘Do I tell white lies?’ and ‘Do I sometimes keep quiet rather than disagreeing?’ Once I realised that I do sometimes tell white lies, and that occasionally I do keep quiet rather than entering into a debate, I discovered that there was still some work to do when it came to my being completely authentic.

 

But wait, I had skipped the most important question of all! What constitutes an authentic person? The psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis define authenticity as “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise.” True authenticity involves complete honesty but contrary to popular belief that doesn’t have to mean being hurtful, there is always a way to be diplomatically honest and sensitive to others feelings.

 

Authentic people are also honest with themselves and are very aware of what their strong points and weak spots are.

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