11 signs you’re an authentic person, according to psychology

You know, we often hear people throwing around the word “authentic”.

But do we really know what it means to be truly authentic?

Believe it or not, being an authentic person isn’t just about being honest. It’s about being real, genuine, and embracing who you truly are.

Let’s dive into the 10 signs that show you’re an authentic person, all backed up by psychology.

1. You’re Not Afraid to Express Your True Feelings

The first sign of an authentic person? They don’t shy away from their feelings. Instead, they’re open and honest about them.

You see, authentic people understand that emotions are a natural part of being human. So they don’t pretend to be happy when they’re sad or calm when they’re actually angry.

Instead, they’ll tell you exactly how they’re feeling – in a respectful way, of course. They know it’s healthier to express their emotions rather than bottling them up inside.

So if you’re someone who doesn’t shy away from expressing your true feelings, congratulations!

You’ve got the first sign of being an authentic person down pat. And who knows, your openness might just encourage others to do the same.

2. You Stay True to Your Values

Being authentic also means sticking to what you believe in, no matter what. Authentic people have a clear set of values and principles that guide their actions and decisions.

You won’t find them agreeing with something just because it’s popular or easy.

They won’t compromise their values to fit in or please others. They stand firm, even if it means standing alone.

If you’re someone who stays true to your values and isn’t afraid to stand up for what you believe in—even when it’s tough or unpopular—then give yourself a pat on the back. You’re showing another strong sign of being an authentic person

3. You’re Not Scared of Making Mistakes

Guess what? Authentic people aren’t perfect! They understand that mistakes are a normal part of life and an essential part of growth.

Instead of fearing mistakes, they see them as opportunities to learn and improve.

I used to be terrified of public speaking. The thought of messing up in front of a crowd was paralyzing.

But then I realized that everyone makes mistakes, even the most seasoned speakers.

So, I started stepping out of my comfort zone and taking risks.

Yes, I messed up a few times—more than a few, actually. But each mistake was a lesson that helped me become a better speaker.

If you’re like me and see mistakes as stepping stones to becoming better, then that’s another tick on your authenticity checklist!

Remember, it’s not about being perfect; it’s about being real and embracing the journey, mistakes and all.

4. You’re Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Authentic people embrace their uniqueness. They don’t feel the need to conform to societal norms or fit into certain stereotypes.

They’re comfortable being themselves, with all their quirks and idiosyncrasies.

According to Harvard Health, individuals who accept their authentic selves experience higher levels of positive emotions and have better psychological health.

Simply put, being comfortable in your own skin not only shows authenticity but also contributes to your overall well-being!

If you’re someone who celebrates your individuality and doesn’t try to blend in with the crowd, you’re showing yet another sign of authenticity.

5. You Practice Empathy and Understanding

Authentic people have a deep capacity for empathy. They’re not quick to judge or criticize; instead, they strive to understand others’ perspectives, feelings, and experiences.

Being authentic means recognizing that we all have our stories, our struggles, and our triumphs. It’s about seeing the humanity in others and treating them with kindness and respect.

It’s not always easy. We’re human, after all, and we have our moments.

But if you find yourself consistently trying to understand others, to walk in their shoes and see the world from their viewpoint, then that’s a clear sign of authenticity.

Remember, being authentic is about more than just being true to ourselves—it’s also about connecting with others in a genuine, heartfelt way.

So keep practicing empathy and understanding. It not only makes you more authentic; it makes the world a better place.

6. You’re Not Afraid to Say No

Authentic people understand their boundaries and are not afraid to say no when something doesn’t align with their values or if they simply don’t have the capacity.

A few years ago, I was the kind of person who would always say ‘yes’, even when I didn’t want to or didn’t have the time.

I thought that saying ‘no’ would make me a bad friend or colleague. It wasn’t until I became overwhelmed and stressed that I realized the importance of setting boundaries.

So, I started to practice saying ‘no’. At first, it was uncomfortable, but over time it became easier.

Now, I can confidently decline requests that don’t align with my values or time constraints, without feeling guilty.

So if you’re someone who understands your limits and can say ‘no’ when needed, give yourself some credit!

This is a strong sign of authenticity. It shows you respect yourself and value your time and energy. 

7. You Own Your Flaws

Authentic people are no strangers to their flaws. They don’t brush them under the carpet or pretend they don’t exist. Instead, they acknowledge their weaknesses, own them, and work on improving.

They know they’re not perfect, and that’s okay.

Perfection isn’t the goal here; authenticity is. And being authentic means embracing the whole package — strengths and flaws alike.

It takes courage to look in the mirror and say, “Yes, I have flaws. Yes, I mess up. But that’s a part of who I am, and I’m okay with it.”

So if you’re someone who acknowledges your imperfections instead of hiding them, you’re on your way to being truly authentic.

It’s all about being honest with yourself and accepting that you’re a work in progress, just like everyone else. 

8. You Don’t Seek External Validation

Authentic people don’t rely on others to validate their worth. They understand that their value doesn’t come from external praise or approval but from within..

If you’re someone who doesn’t constantly seek approval from others and can appreciate your own worth, you’re showing a big sign of authenticity.

Keep reminding yourself that your worth comes from within, and that you are enough just as you are. 

9. You’re Not Afraid of Change

Change can be scary. It’s all about stepping into the unknown, and that can be really uncomfortable.

But as an authentic person, I’ve learned to not just accept change, but to embrace it.

You see, I used to resist change. I liked my comfort zone and didn’t want to leave it. But then I realized that change is a part of life and often leads to growth.

It’s not always easy and sometimes it can even hurt, but in the end, it usually brings about something better.

If you’re someone who embraces change instead of running from it, that’s a powerful sign of authenticity.

Remember, life is constantly changing and evolving, and so are we. So keep embracing change, even when it’s hard. It’s all part of being authentic and true to yourself

10. You Live in the Present

Authentic people live in the present. They don’t dwell on past errors or obsess over future uncertainties.

They acknowledge that the past can’t be changed and the future isn’t guaranteed.

Here’s some raw honesty for you: Living in the present is hard. It’s so easy to get caught up in regrets about the past or worries about the future.

But authentic people understand that life is happening right now. This moment, this second, this breath — that’s all we really have.

11. You’re Kind to Yourself

Lastly, but certainly not least, authentic people are kind to themselves. They treat themselves with the same compassion and understanding they extend to others.

Let’s be brutally honest here: We can often be our own worst critics. We berate ourselves for our mistakes, compare ourselves to others, and put ourselves down.

But authentic people know that this kind of self-criticism gets us nowhere.

If you’re someone who practices self-compassion and treats yourself kindly even when you stumble and fall, then hats off to you!

This is one of the most significant signs of authenticity. Keep being kind to yourself, because you deserve it just as much as anyone else. 

If you see these signs in yourself, then congratulations — you’re living an authentic life. And if not, don’t worry!

Remember, authenticity is a journey, not a destination. So keep being true to yourself and embrace your authentic journey. 

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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