An Authentic Life: High self-esteem – the trademark of an authentic person and how to harness it

When we think of an authentic person we naturally think of someone who knows what they want out of life, someone who knows who they are and is confident in themselves. It then follows that such a person would have a relatively high level of self-esteem. Oxford dictionaries online defines self-esteem as:


 “Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect”


An Authentic Life: Protecting your goals and priorities by using assertiveness

It is one of the most natural things in the world to want to avoid conflict. Often people think that when they express a difference of opinion or decline an invitation that conflict or upset will ensue and whilst that can sometimes be the case, most of the time it is an unfounded concern. The key is asserting yourself in such a way that you are considerate of others feelings whilst communicating what you need to.


As a rule, being assertive has four key steps, being:


  1. Acknowledge what the other person has said
  2. State the facts of the situation in unbiased language
  3. State the impact the situation has had on you
  4. Ask for what you want in future


An Authentic Life: Setting Your OWN Priorities

If we want to lead truly authentic lives it then follows that we first need to be honest with ourselves. Honest about what we want for our lives (our goals) and honest about what is most important to us (our priorities).


When we are honest about what our priorities are we can then organize our time in such a way that it reflects what is most important to us. For example, I have declined a social engagement in favor of working on my writing, as that is what is most important to me. It’s worth mentioning that although I do prioritize writing, I also take time out to see friends, so that I have fun and avoid burn out.


If you find you have a tendency to people please and find it hard saying no (which you will need to do at times if you want a life that reflects your priorities instead of others) please read ‘Sick of over-extending yourself? Learn how to say no’.


Think of it a little like a three step process, being:


An Authentic Life: Identifying Your OWN Goals and Dreams

Have you ever studied something because you were told it was a sensible option? Have you ever pursued a career because the profession was in your family, or even taken up a hobby because everyone else was? You’re not alone. So many of us make decisions based upon others – this doesn’t have to be a bad thing as advice can be useful – but when your decision is solely based upon what others think you should do, you can end up living the life others want for you, as opposed to living the life you truly desire (a mark of any truly authentic life).


An Authentic Life: Diplomatic Honesty

In this series I often speak of being diplomatically honest. What I mean by this is being honest but remembering to word what I say in such a way that it doesn’t cause anyone to be hurt or offended.


Here are some examples of diplomatic honesty in action:


Q:           Do I look fat in this?

A:            I think you have outfits that better show off your shape


An Authentic Life: Integrity

Oxford Dictionary online defines integrity as:


“The quality of being honest and having strong moral principals”


Part of leading an authentic life is not only being honest and presenting yourself as you truly are no matter who you are with but also having well defined moral principals that you live by. Keeping to your word, for example.


Are you an authentic person? Here’s how to tell!

One of the best ways to tell if you are an authentic person is to look at what constitutes an authentic life, what authentic people generally don’t do and the questions to ask yourself which can reveal if you might benefit from being more authentic.


Authentic people generally do:


  • Communicate their genuine feelings, thoughts, opinions and beliefs no matter who they are with
  • Know their goals really well and avoid living by others goals for their lives
  • Know what their own values are and what moral code they want to live by really well
  • Prioritize what is important to them
  • Are assertive and honest.. always, even to the extent of avoiding telling white lies (please read ‘Assertiveness: A Journey Worth Taking’ for a more in depth look into assertiveness)


Authentic people generally don’t:


The many misconceptions about authenticity (and why you need to know them)

How many times have you heard someone be rude and afterwards say they are just ‘keeping it real’? All too often people who are rude hide behind the guise that they are just being authentic or honest. In truth being sensitive to others feelings is in no way linked to being authentic. If you genuinely are thinking something negative about someone and want to be authentic by communicating your opinion there is ALWAYS a way to convey what you mean diplomatically so that you don’t hurt anyone!


What is authenticity?

The Cambridge Dictionary Online defines authenticity as the quality of being real or true. Interpersonally, being authentic means being honest, having a high level of integrity (keeping promises for example) and being true to who you are in terms of expressing your beliefs, opinions, feelings and thoughts.


In reality being an authentic person is more complex, for example, someone who is authentic presents themselves in the same light to everyone and refrains from modifying their behavior around different social groups. This isn’t to say that when at an opera they wouldn’t be more quiet – in some social environments it is entirely appropriate for us to modify our behavior – however it is to say that the authentic person would not pretend to be a different version of themselves entirely.


Augusts Hot Topic: Authenticity


Starting from next Monday we have a new hot topic – authenticity!


Why go to all the effort of becoming your most authentic self? Here are just some of the benefits:


  1. Being accepted and loved for who you truly are
  2. Having a well developed strong identity and sense of self
  3. Having a high level of integrity due to being very honest
  4. Having a high level of self esteem
  5. Living in tune with your own goals, dreams and priorities
  6. This all culminates in a happier, more fulfilled and contented life!


As we explore what constitutes an authentic life and what steps we can take to achieve one we will look at: