Do you know what makes you tick? What makes you happy and upset? Can you admit to and face your fears? Do you know what your gifts are and have a desire to share them?
…If you have answers to these questions, that is fabulous! You are on your way to satisfying your most basic and very unique intrinsic needs.
Do you have the ability to gauge both your strengths and your weaknesses? Do you follow your gut instincts? Are you able to set realistic goals for yourself that are also challenging? Are you capable of engaging in self-reflection objectively, without making excuses for your perceived flaws?
…If you are able to provide answers to these questions, again, that is wonderful! Being able to look at yourself with objectivity suggests that you are self-aware and in tune with who you are.
Do you have a willingness and an ability to act in accordance with your values? Do you stand up for what you believe in, even if it may be uncomfortable to do so? Are you able to reconcile the conflicting sides of yourself, tending to what seems most pertinent at the time?
…Again, if you are able to answer these questions, good for you, as it is rather likely that your actions are well-aligned with your core values.
Finally, are you able to foster honest and sincere relationships with the people in your life? Are you comfortable revealing all sides of yourself, in some way or another, even though doing so may feel vulnerable? Are you in touch with your emotions enough to express them to other people?
…Answering “yes” to these questions suggests that you allow yourself to be known by others because you know and are more or less comfortable with who you are. Consequently, it is likely that you encourage others to reveal themselves to you as well.
Each one of these categories of questions addresses the four most basic facets of authenticity. Authenticity means that you know and trust yourself well enough to let your guard down and reveal your most true self to yourself and others. Being authentic means that you recognize that the self is complex, dynamic, and evolving and you are willing to adapt to life as you know it and accept yourself, for better or worse. Essentially, it means that you prefer to just be you.
Think for a moment about how authentically you live your life. How comfortable you are in your own skin. How in touch you are with your values and belief systems. How accurately you can assess not only your strengths, but your weaknesses as well. How easily you can expose your true heart and soul to other people, as well as yourself.
How genuinely do you live your life? If you feel that you are an authentic individual, my heart smiles for you. Because if you feel that you are true to yourself, you are so much more likely to feel happy. To feel fulfilled and rewarded in this life. You are much more likely to live freely, because you feel free to be yourself.