Over the past few weeks, I have had several clients set one of their therapy goals as “learn to be my real self instead of pleasing everyone else, or I just want to be myself.” There is quite often distress, anxiety, depression and sometimes anger around unfulfilled wishes and aspirations.
What is Authenticity?
Webster Dictionary defines authenticity as being “authentic or true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, sincere and with no pretensions.” Kernis and Goldman (2005, 2006) have conducted years of research on authenticity. They identified four components of authenticity:
- Identify and know your thoughts, emotions, talents, abilities.
- Trusting your motives knowing areas you might fall short.
- What energizes you? Recognize what you like and dislike regarding most areas of life.
- This component is central to the other three.
2. Non-judgmental processing:
- You process the information obtained from self-awareness without judgement or blame.
- You acknowledge and make no comparisons about falling short.
3. Your Core Values and Behaviors Match
- Your behaviors and actions are in sync with what you believe is important to you.
4. Relational Orientation:
- Your deep and internal ways of experiencing yourself in relation to others
- Do you feel connected or disconnected?
- Do you feel there is a hierarchy or power preventing you from being real?
- Do you feel you are falling short most of the time?
Why Authenticity? 4 Benefits of Being Your Authentic Self
According to Kernis and Goldman (2005, 2006), being authentic has great payoffs. More satisfying relationships.They ask whether intimacy can coexist with pretense.
Enjoy a strong sense of self-worth and purpose. They tend to know what they think and say to themselves Cope with life’s challenges and curved balls. Their outlook and attitude to life is more positive.
More likely to follow through on set goals.
3 Tips to Become More of Your Authentic Self
- Mindfully acknowledge your strengths as well as your challenges
Being yourself does not mean ignoring less desirable mannerisms, behaviors and qualities.
Don’t be the jerk or the door mat.
Being mindful comes with acceptance and no self judgement.
State facts not opinions. Remember acceptance does not mean approval.
- Be Mindful of Your Thoughts
What are your thoughts about who you are?
Are those “hand me down beliefs or statements”?
What are you hopes, goals, dreams, aspirations?
What would you do if you dared?
Write them down, make list. Try to complete one thing or part of it!
- Be Mindful of your Actions
Are you pleasing everyone but yourself?
Are you in your career because you’ve been “encouraged” to do it?
Are you longing and dreaming of being and doing something totally different?
What would you do if you would only dare?
Commit to constant self-improvement.
So, Who are You really?
Are you wearing a mask around everyone?
Can you truly be ourselves all of the time? Perhaps. You can strive to be.
You might feel lonely and isolated initially.
Maybe you think it’s not possible. You struggle to fit in but you feel miserable most of the time.
Deep down you don’t like who you appear to be.
You feel you might not be liked if you were your authentic self.
Jumoke Omojola is a Mental Health Therapist in Omaha, Nebraska where she assists adults create healthier, happier lives and nurturing relationships. She serves Bellevue, Ralston, LaVista and other surrounding Omaha and Council Bluffs areas.
I am here to support you discover, support and be your authentic self,
Contact me at 4029816624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.