Being your authentic self can feel risky now in our screen-obsessed world. We’re just trying to fit in, be liked, and be accepted by other human beings. And as a result, the image we present (on our social media profiles and IRL) have become mere presentations of who we think we should be and not reflections of who we really are. So how do we take off the mask we’ve been wearing and start to live a life of authenticity?
How To Develop Authenticity
Being authentic means that you act in ways that show your true self and how you feel. Rather than showing people only a particular side of yourself, you express your whole self genuinely. That means to succeed in being authentic, you first have to know who your true self actually is. And this requires self-awareness, mindfulness, and self-acceptance.
Why Authenticity Matters
After spending the last year researching and writing my new book, Outsmart Your Smartphone: Conscious Tech Habits for Finding Happiness, Balance, and Connection IRL, I’m now convinced that it’s harder for us to be our true selves now, in the technology age. We are constantly bombarded with media that tells us who to be, what to want, and how we “should” express ourselves. All of these influences slowly chip away at our ability to be our authentic selves.
But by being someone you are not, you are telling yourself that who you really are isn’t okay. So hiding or suppressing who you really are can end up leaving you feeling lonely, disconnected from others, or even worthless. (Check out this well-being quiz to get a sense for how these things may be affecting you.)