But what does that really mean? The dictionary says " true to one's own personality, spirit, or character, genuine". All of that seems pretty straightforward, huh? I mean when someone annoys you or betrays you or behaves in a way that you don't think is right, it's completely fine to "be authentic" and give them what they have coming to them, right? Whether it's a piece of your mind, or your own brand of truth or candor or calling it for what it "is".
Eh...no. That's not authenticity. That's asshole-icity.
And that's where you sell out and it all goes to hell in a hand-basket. Speaking your mind is NOT living an authentic life no matter how much you might argue for some of that stuff. You and I both know that some of the stuff that's "on your mind" needs to stay there. I know, I know, I can hear you indignantly justify yourself from here but stop and think for a moment.
Who are you? No really. Who ARE you? What are your greatest attributes? How would you describe your greatest self? Loving? Accepting? Compassionate? Supportive? If we take the case that at your very core there really is a greatest self. The person you are when you are a contribution and a power to be reckoned with, at your most alive, your most expressive. Your authentic self.
Being authentic is when you rise, when you reach for your greatest influence, your best self at times when every cell in your body is screaming reasons, excuses, justifications and revenge. Being authentic is when you look back on those moments with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that you did not betray the one thing you need to hold dearest. Yourself.
Go ahead. Try it out. Be your greatest self in a situation where your worst self is ready to explode. Be authentic. Be you. The true test in life is not how you deal with others but rather how you deal with yourself when dealing with others.
Be fucking great.
Needed this today, thank you!
I love your definition of being authentic "Being authentic is when you rise, when you reach for your greatest influence, your best self at times when every cell in your body is screaming reasons, excuses, justifications and revenge. "
Authenticity is the constant striving of cultivating and being the very best of Self.
I like this view of authentic. I’ve found myself at times using authenticity as an excuse to withdraw, check out; as an excuse for poor behavior or a bad response. You’re right. That’s crap and a cop out. If I’m buying in to my thoughts as being my authentic self, then I may be living my life based on lies. This will take some time to unpack – to separate the lies from the real truth of who I am. Leaves me wondering who am I really. But, in a hopeful way.
I never really thought about thiught about how being one’s best self is being in authentic to your own self. I am the type of person that defaults to ‘hey, just keeping it real’ or ‘people ask my opinion because they want the brutally honest truth’. But deep down I always wish I could handle the experience differently and but then I would feel fake. But I see that’s a violation of what I KNOW I should be