How do you cultivate and embrace authenticity? Is that even something that’s important to you?  Perhaps authenticity is just a current buzz word to you.

20 years ago, as I researched for one of my Psychology papers, authenticity was considered one of the pivotal building blocks for emotional intelligence (EQ).  Now leaders understand that fundamentals of EQ, such as empathy and authenticity, are how they create more connected relationships within their teams, organizations and at home.


Being authentic means being true to yourself, your values, and your beliefs. It involves expressing your thoughts, feelings, and actions genuinely and honestly, without trying to conform to societal expectations or pretending to be someone you’re not.

Why Be Authentic?

Authenticity is essential to feeling fulfilled, being effective as a leader and cultivating personal growth.  Here are some additional reasons why being authentic is important:

  1. Self-Acceptance: Authenticity allows you to accept and embrace who you truly are, which promotes self-confidence. When you are authentic, you can acknowledge your strengths, weaknesses and imperfections while also feeling worthy of love and acceptance.
  2. Meaningful Connections: Authenticity fosters genuine connections with others. When you are authentic, you attract people who appreciate and accept you for who you are and those that are based in honesty, mutual acceptance and deep connectedness.
  3. Emotional Well-Being: Authenticity contributes to emotional well-being. When you suppress your true self and constantly try to fit into societal expectations, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and a sense of disconnection.
  4. Inspiring Others: When you are authentic, you inspire others to embrace their own authenticity. By being true to yourself, you give others permission to do the same.
  5. Creativity and Innovation: Authenticity fuels creativity and innovation. When you embrace your unique perspectives and ideas, you bring fresh and original insights to the table.

While choosing authenticity may not be the easy option, there are clear benefits to embracing your authentic self that extend past the individual. Not only do you foster a greater sense of mental and emotional well-being by practicing authenticity, it benefits your relationships at home and at work by doing so.


The Pitfalls Of Inauthenticity



When you don’t decide to cultivate your own authenticity you’ll be prone to:

  • people-pleasing
  • comparison
  • imposter syndrome
  • low self-esteem
  • self-doubt
  • judging others
  • dysfunctional relationships
  • not being humble
  • low empathy

It’s easy to fall into any of these patterns of behaviour when you don’t cultivate authenticity in your everyday life.  The reality is that any of these pitfalls will sabotage your best of intentions.


How To Cultivate Authenticity

If you’re struggling with being authentic, start here:

  1. Define your strengths and embrace them.  Take time to really look at who you are, identifying what elements are your strengths.  When doing this, you also must look at your weaknesses so that you have an inventory of where you’d like to improve.  Remember not to judge those aspects.
  2. Take some time to really think about who you are and what’s important to you.  What do you value?  What are your priorities?
  3. Explore your motivation:  Think about conditioning, expectations and peel back those layers like an onion.  Who were you before society conditioned you to be someone?  Get clear on external vs internal influences.
  4. Define your boundaries and start saying “no” to shift away from people pleasing.  Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and a clear understanding of who you are.  The also provide delineation between where you end and someone else begins so as to avoid unhealthy relationship dynamics such as codependency.
  5. Begin to develop a self-compassion and self-love practice through affirmations (“I am enough” or “I love myself” or “I am learning to love myself”).  Understanding who you are is the beginning, and letting  go of self-judgment in that process is essential.
  6. Do mirror work – Sounds funny, but look directly in your eyes in the mirror several times a day and tell yourself you love yourself.
  7. Celebrate the things you do like about yourself and keep a running list of these things that you read daily.
  8. Ask yourself what is missing in your relationships.  What component would enrich your relationship and how can you make that happen? Is it emotional intimacy and a feeling of being connected? If so, practice being open, honest, and direct in your relationships.
  9. Notice and name your emotions.  Pushing down a feeling or shrugging off intense reactions is never healthy and not a sign of emotional regulation.  Take the time to fee things, understand what that emotion is and regulate those feelings.
  10. Practice mindfulness by journaling around your emotions and generating self-awareness.
  11. Take daily actions towards being more authentic such as speaking your truth or conveying an unpopular opinion.  Navigate the path of your life by your values and live your life based on these truisms.


Final Thoughts

Confidence does not come by conforming to societal standards or expectations, but by being comfortable in your own skin and accepting who you are. By taking the time to explore and understand yourself on a deeper level, you’ll discover what makes you uniquely you.

Embracing your imperfections can actually feel freeing.  Nobody is perfect – that’s what makes us human, but remember that your flaws do not define you.  Challenge that negative self-talk and don’t believe everything your mind tells you. Positive affirmations, self-care and self-compassion can go a long way in counteracting that negativity.

Finally, remember that authenticity is a personal journey, and it may require courage and vulnerability to fully embrace your true self.  Authenticity not only deepens the relationship you have with yourself but also with others.  Feeling comfortable in your own skin is a lifelong process. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the progress you make along the way.  Being authentic means something…it actually means everything.

If you’d like to have a conversation around how my coaching can help you discover your authentic self, let’s connect here.

Katrina Murphy

Katrina Murphy

Katrina Murphy is a Professional Intuitive Mindset and Confidence Coach in Ontario, Canada, serving clients across Canada and internationally. Katrina helps professionals to change the relationship that they have with themselves so they can reconnect both in their relationships and at work. She’s been featured in various publications and is the creator of the Power-Passion-Purpose Framework.

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