Authenticity is a vital quality in many brands, leaders, companies, and employees. It helps build strong relationships and trust—whether it’s between you and your team or your brand and your customers.
In today’s world, authenticity is what many customers look for in a brand so it’s important that you bring it into your business—and it begins with you. What some people do not realize is that authenticity isn’t something that you can fake—it seems like common sense but you’d be surprised.
Here is how to start living a more authentic life.
Observe Yourself Objectively
It’s important to take the time to notice how you react in different situations. Authenticity is about being aware of the difference between your emotions and your actions.
“Learn to observe yourself like a fly on the wall. Watch yourself as you live in the present moment, observing how your “Adaptive Self” behaves, what it believes, how it reacts under pressure, and how it responds to challenges.” – Psychology Today
As a leader, it’s important to be careful about disclosing everything you think and feel especially if it’s unproven. Consciously observing your emotional response to pressure will help you learn whether acting on those emotions is about being productive and authentic or about being right just for the sake of it.
Make Transparency a Habit
Authenticity requires you to be open to yourself and the people around you. It can be easy to brush aside your feelings on a bad day under the idea that you need to ‘be professional’ but being open about those feelings will actually benefit everyone.
“Being open and honest is always in everyone’s best interest. Openness creates a sense of loyalty and makes your business stand out as one that employees want to work at. They feel like they can turn to you for support and you, in turn, can rely on them for guidance – it’s a win-win!” – Cameron Herold
By consistently making a point of being open and honest it will eventually develop into a habit. It’s already a mentality that’s ingrained in many people, that in order to be professional you need to remove any emotions that could get in the way. When in fact, by removing those emotions you remove your most authentic self.
Do Things Your Own Way
People who are truly living authentically won’t try to fit into a mold. They’ll go about a job the way they feel they can do it best, not the way everyone else is doing it. Authentic people aren’t afraid to break the status quo.
“Authentic leaders go much deeper than their life story, what they have been through, or the issues they have. They embrace their true self and their ethical values along with their weaknesses and use their strengths to their advantage without worrying about what others think.” – Inc.
People living authentically know their values and act based on those, not based on other people’s opinions no matter how common they may be. Make sure you understand what you value most in yourself, your life, and your work.
Focus on Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is the most important way to understand who you are—which is what authenticity is all about. You need to be able to look inside yourself, not just at the people, behaviors, and values around you.
“Self-reflection puts you in a state of personal harmony, causing you to experience less anxiety. You aren’t worried about another person’s position because you’re confident enough to focus on your own. You have nothing to hide, which allows you a freedom to be yourself that followers do not experience.” – Business Insider
It’s nearly impossible to be authentic without truly understanding and being comfortable with yourself All you’ll be worrying about is the opinions of people around you, which will make you unfairly devalue your own.
Living authentically is important for everyone to work on, especially leaders. People are drawn towards authenticity because authentic people are the foundations of a successful company that everyone wants to work at. So practice authenticity every day—it’s just as important to you as an individual as it is to your business.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!