Authenticity – it’s a quality we all admire, but it can be hard to define or recognize.
When someone is genuine, they stand out.
They’re true to themselves, their values, and they don’t pretend to be anything they’re not.
But how do we identify these authentic individuals in a world where many people are just trying to fit in?
In this article, we’ll dive into the key traits that authentic people commonly exhibit.
So, get ready as we explore and unfold the characteristics of an authentic person.
This isn’t just about recognizing authenticity in others; you might also discover some of these traits within yourself.
Let’s get started.
The first trait on our exploration of authenticity is honesty.
Authentic people are a beacon of truth.
They don’t shy away from expressing their true thoughts and feelings, even when they’re uncomfortable or inconvenient.
They’re open, transparent, and they don’t play mind games or manipulate others.
Honesty is their default setting, not because they’re trying to prove a point, but simply because it’s a part of who they are.
And this honesty isn’t just directed outward; they’re also honest with themselves, acknowledging their strengths, weaknesses, and areas where they need growth.
They know that truth is the foundation of authenticity, and they’re not afraid to embrace it.
Next up on our list is consistency. Authentic people are reliable in their behaviors, values, and principles.
They don’t change their personality or beliefs based on who they are around or what situation they find themselves in.
They remain true to themselves, keeping a steady course even in the face of opposition or popularity.
They are the same person in public as they are in private, and they stand by their convictions with unwavering consistency.
This level of dependability and steadfastness makes them trustworthy, further reinforcing their authenticity.
Another standout trait of authentic people is empathy.
They have a genuine ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
They can put themselves in other people’s shoes and see the world from different perspectives.
This allows them to connect with people on a deeper level and to build strong, meaningful relationships.
For instance, consider my friend John. He’s one of the most authentic people I know, largely because of his empathetic nature.
When a mutual friend of ours was going through a tough breakup, John was there for him. He didn’t just offer clichéd advice or hollow platitudes.
Instead, he really listened, tried to understand what our friend was going through, and offered support without judgment or unsolicited advice. His empathetic response provided genuine comfort during a challenging time, and it’s just one example of how his authenticity shines through in his interactions with others.
Authentic individuals display a strong sense of resilience. They are capable of weathering life’s storms, learning from their experiences, and bouncing back stronger than before.
While they are not immune to hardship, they face obstacles with courage and determination, viewing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable setbacks.
For example, let’s take Jane, another authentic person in my life.
Jane faced a major professional setback when a project she had been leading for several months was abruptly cancelled. While disappointed and frustrated, she did not wallow in despair.
Instead, she took it as a learning opportunity, reflecting on what could have been done differently and how she could improve in the future.
She bounced back with renewed determination, using the experience to fuel her motivation rather than dampen her spirits.
This resilience under pressure is a testament to her authenticity, demonstrating her true character in the face of adversity.
Moving forward in our exploration of authenticity, we arrive at open-mindedness. Genuine people are always open to new ideas, perspectives, and experiences. They don’t stubbornly cling to their beliefs when presented with contrasting viewpoints.
Instead, they’re willing to consider different angles and adjust their opinions if they find them compelling.
Authentic individuals thrive on learning and growing. They understand that their knowledge and experiences are limited and there’s always room for expansion. They don’t shy away from challenging conversations or situations that might push their boundaries. Instead, they welcome them as opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the world and themselves.
This open-mindedness doesn’t mean they lack convictions or easily sway with every new thought. Rather, it’s a sign of their self-confidence and their faith in their ability to adapt and evolve. Their willingness to keep an open mind truly marks them as authentic.
As we progress on our journey, we come across another crucial trait of authentic people: self-awareness. People who are authentic have a deep understanding of themselves. They are mindful of their thoughts, feelings, and actions, and understand how these aspects influence their interactions with others and the world around them.
Self-awareness also means recognizing their own strengths and weaknesses. They’re not afraid to admit when they’re wrong or when they don’t know something. They know where they excel and where they need to improve, and they’re continually striving for personal growth and self-improvement.
7) Respect for others
Finally, authentic people show a deep respect for others. They value human dignity and individuality, treating everyone they encounter with kindness and consideration. They understand that each person has their own unique journey, experiences, and perspectives, and they honor these differences.
Authentic individuals listen attentively when others speak, showing genuine interest and providing thoughtful responses. They avoid gossip and judgment, focusing instead on positive, meaningful interactions. This respect for others is not just a trait of authentic people, it’s a fundamental part of their character.
Rudá Iandê on authenticity
Rudá Iandê, a contemporary shaman, holds authenticity as a cornerstone of self-discovery and personal evolution. He encourages us to peel away the layers of societal expectations and exterior identities to uncover the truth of who we are.
According to Iandê, each of us is like a voice blooming from the soil, a blend of ancestral memories and elements of nature. Our souls dream and seed the future, connected to the mystery of life that words can’t reach. This deep connection with our roots, nature, and the mysteries of life is a fundamental aspect of our authentic selves.
He prompts us to question our definitions of success, victory, and accomplishment. Are we playing someone else’s game, following rules we didn’t write? Iandê suggests that true accomplishment is a journey to the core of our own being, a personal voyage where we honor our essence and utilize our innate resources. In this journey, we don’t just succeed—we succeed on our own terms, following our own rules, creating a life path that is authentic and purposeful.
Iandê emphasizes that we often construct an intricate web of myths, concepts, and ideologies from our imagination, which we call reality. This web, while sustaining us, can also imprison us if its threads are made of false myths and concepts that limit our true nature. Since childhood, we are given a social mask to wear and a role to play, leading us to deny and struggle against our real nature. The key to authenticity, then, is to free ourselves from this web and embrace who we truly are.
In a nutshell, Iandê’s wisdom encourages us to journey towards authenticity by embracing our true nature, questioning societal constructs, and walking our own unique path towards self-discovery and personal growth. By doing so, we can peel away our social masks and return to the essence of our beings, stepping into a more authentic existence.