Growing up, I always had a fascination with people who seemed to radiate a sense of genuine authenticity.
It felt like they had some sort of magic – a magnetism that drew others to them, as if they were a human lighthouse guiding everyone to safe shores.
But the harder I tried to be authentic, the more I failed. My desperation to look “authentic” only made me more apprehensive about how people perceived me.
We all want to be authentic, to be true to ourselves and to others.
However, in a world full of superficiality, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between genuine and fake personalities. And this makes it even more difficult to be authentic. This is why we’re exploring the true signs of authenticity in this article, and also how you can learn to be more authentic as well.
1. They Have a Strong Sense of Self
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you’re around someone with a strong sense of self, you can feel it. They don’t need to impress anyone or seek validation from others because they’re secure in themselves.
They’re not afraid to speak their mind or stand up for what they believe in, even if it’s not the popular opinion.
Having a strong sense of self also means being comfortable with who you are. You don’t feel the need to pretend to be someone you’re not, or to hide your true self in order to fit in.
You can embrace your strengths and weaknesses, quirks and all, without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. It’s like wearing a perfectly tailored outfit that fits you like a glove – you feel comfortable, confident, and authentic.
And, according to research, having a clear and stable self-concept is associated with greater well-being and happiness.
2. They Live with Purpose
A few years ago, I found myself feeling unfulfilled and directionless.
Like most people my age, I was going through the motions of life, but I didn’t have any real purpose or passion driving me forward.
It wasn’t until I took the time to reflect on my values and priorities that I began to develop a clearer sense of purpose.
Once I had a sense of what was truly important to me, I was able to start setting goals and taking actions to pursue them.
I found that having a sense of purpose gave me a renewed sense of energy and motivation, and I began to feel much more authentic and true to myself.
When I look at others who are living with purpose, I can often see that same sense of authenticity and drive.
Whether they are pursuing a career that aligns with their passions, volunteering for a cause they believe in, or simply living their life with intention and mindfulness, these individuals radiate a sense of authenticity that is hard to miss.
3. They Usually Have a Sense of Humor
When someone can effortlessly crack a joke or make a witty comment, it often signals that they’re comfortable with themselves and not trying to put up any kind of facade.
It means they’re confident enough to let their guard down and show their true colors, even if that means being a bit silly or goofy.
Think about it – have you ever met someone who seems uptight or overly serious all the time?
It can be hard to connect with them on a deeper level because you’re never sure if they’re really being themselves or just trying to impress you.
But when someone has a good sense of humor, it can be a real icebreaker and make you feel like you’re getting to know the real them.
They’re able to laugh at life’s absurdities and roll with the punches, which, according to research, is linked to greater psychological resilience and overall well-being.
4. They Are Comfortable with Silence
“Silence is a source of great strength.” – Lao Tzu
Authentic people don’t feel the need to fill every moment with chatter. They’re at ease with silence, embracing it as an opportunity for reflection, connection, or simply enjoying the present moment.
This comfort with stillness often reflects a level of emotional intelligence and self-awareness that allows them to be fully present, both with themselves and with others.
5. They Don’t Seek Validation from Others
When you’re truly authentic, you don’t need external validation to feel good about yourself. You’re secure in your own beliefs, values, and identity.
You’re not afraid to express your true thoughts and feelings, even if they’re different from the norm.
On the other hand, people who constantly seek validation from others are often trying to fit into someone else’s idea of who they should be. They might be afraid of being rejected or criticized, so they try to conform to what they think others want them to be.
But when you’re solidly authentic, you don’t need to conform to anyone else’s expectations. You’re happy being yourself, even if that means going against the grain sometimes.
You trust your own judgment and don’t need someone else’s approval to feel good about yourself. As Oprah Winfrey once said,
“The greatest success is being yourself, no matter what anyone thinks.”
6. They Are Consistent
Have you ever met someone who just seems to have it all together? Like they’re always saying and doing the right things, no matter what the situation is? It can be pretty impressive, right?
Well, one of the signs that someone like that is solidly authentic is when they are consistent.
Think about it like this: authentic people are reliable. They don’t just put on a show for certain people or in certain situations. They are who they are, no matter what. And that’s a pretty solid foundation to build trust on.
Now, that’s not to say that being consistent means someone is perfect. We all have our off days and moments when we might not live up to our own standards.
But when someone is consistently true to themselves, it’s a good sign that they are solidly authentic.
7. The Authenticity In Being Vulnerable
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” – Brené Brown, Rising Strong
It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable, to admit that you’re not perfect and that you have flaws. But it’s that very imperfection that makes us human and relatable.
Authentic people aren’t afraid to show their vulnerable side. They’re willing to open up about their fears, insecurities, and struggles, understanding that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.
Bringing It All Together
Here’s a quick recap of the seven signs of an authentic person:
- Strong Sense of Self: Knowing who they are, what they want, and what they believe in.
- Living with Purpose: Intentional in actions, driven by values and passions to make a positive impact.
- Sense of Humor: Comfortable in their skin, able to laugh at life’s absurdities.
- Comfortable with Silence: Embracing stillness and being fully present in the moment.
- Don’t Seek Validation: Confident in their own skin, not reliant on external approval.
- Consistency: Dependable, with actions that align with their words and values.
- Vulnerability: Willing to share fears, insecurities, and struggles; fostering deeper connections.