“"Be yourself. There are already so many others." - Loesje” – Loesje
In a world filled with social media and constant comparisons, the quest for authenticity is more relevant than ever. Stephen Joseph, a leading psychologist, emphasizes that true authenticity consists of three core facets: self-awareness, autonomy, and integrity in our actions and choices. But what do these facets mean for your daily life, and how can you apply them to live your most authentic self?
In my book 'Hoe was je dag' I invite you to explore your authentic self along with a walking partner. But you can also sort everything out for yourself.
Key 1. Self-Awareness: The Foundation of Everything
Self-awareness is the foundation of authenticity. It is a profound understanding of who you are, including your passions, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. This requires time and reflection. Questions like "What did I enjoy doing as a child?" or "When did I recently feel completely myself?" can shed light on your true nature and desires.
Key 2. Autonomy: Taking Control of Your Life
Authenticity also means being in charge of your own life. This involves making choices that align with your personal values, not those imposed by others. It takes courage to follow your own path, especially when it deviates from the expectations of others. So, ask yourself who has control over your life. Who possibly determines (along with you)? And what do you do to navigate your own course?
Key 3. Integrity: Living in Accordance with Your Values
The last facet, integrity, is about acting in accordance with your values and beliefs. This means staying true to yourself in your actions, words, and decisions. It is the authentic self that comes out in everything we do. So, ask yourself if you are being yourself or do you too often play a role? Do you follow your passions?
How Do You Know You're Authentic?
The path to authenticity is personal and unique. It requires self-reflection, and that's not always easy. Do you want to be confronted with who you are, what you want, or would you rather let sleeping dogs lie? Authentic living also requires an act of courage, not only to get to know yourself but also to stand up for yourself and claim your own authentic life.
Authenticity as a Philosophy of Life
Authenticity is more than a trend; it's a philosophy of life. Embracing the three facets enables you to lead a life that is rich and fulfilling, true to yourself, and resonant with your deepest desires and values.
In our current time, where it's easy to get lost in the crowd and live according to others' expectations, authenticity offers a compass for personal freedom and self-expression. Let us, therefore, strive for a life in which we can fully embrace our authentic selves, thereby cultivating a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us.
How authentic do you live? And what does authenticity mean to you?
Reading tip: Joseph Stephen, Authentic: How to be yourself and why it matters, 2017.