If you could meet yourself from another perspective, how would you treat you?
Would you treat you like a friend? Perhaps an archnemesis that you love to compete with?
Because authenticity is more than just a buzzword. It’s the key to feeling fulfilled in your life, no purchase required.
And it requires you to meet and grow an unbreakable trust with yourself.
Are you up for the challenge?
Here are 11 behaviors that are keeping you from being a truly authentic person.
If I could describe authenticity as a feeling, I would say that it’s a sense of oneness with yourself.
And everytime you second guess yourself, you’re putting up a wall in between.
We tend to sell ourselves short and self-sabotage through perfectionism.
So I don’t mean that you should believe in everything that you think or feel. Rather you should give yourself a chance to explore them without judgment.
And while it feels like you’re protecting yourself from failure, it really just keeps you from figuring out what you truly need and want.
2) People pleasing
Along with feeling connected to yourself, authenticity is about how you interact with other people.
When you ignore your own needs in order to prioritize other people, it creates an imbalance in the relationship from the get go.
Especially if you’ve just met this person, people pleasing puts a level of intimacy that might not be appropriate.
And overly catering to others can put pressure on them to do the same. So conversations might seem forced or at the least remain extremely surface level.
Not to mention, trying to make everyone happy is impossible.
Which only ends in you feeling like you failed every time a relationship doesn’t go as planned.
3) Trying to control everything
A fear of intimacy can be disguised as an obsessive need for control.
The truth is, human beings aren’t perfect! And the best relationships aren’t found, they’re made.
That means making mistakes so you can take accountability for them is a part of showing up authentically.
It’s what helps us grow in the best ways – and that takes time.
This fear can show up in indirect ways every time you don’t allow yourself to be helped, or allow people to get close to you.
Either because you don’t feel like you deserve to be cared for, or because you don’t believe anyone could truly help you.
Or perhaps you’re scared that people will abandon you if they found out who you truly are!
These are all the ways how fear can trick us into thinking it’s being logical when it’s not.
You don’t have to jump in the deep end, just start noticing them and calling them what they are: fears, not reality.
4) Mistaking attachment for connection
A fear of your true self will create a void within you that demands to be validated by everyone but yourself.
When you’re unconscious of this, you might operate from a place of lack.
Meaning you choose people based on how they fit in with your triggers, rather than how well they truly understand you.
It makes sense right?
How can you tell if someone is good or bad for you if you don’t know what’s good or bad for yourself?
The right people will make you feel comfortable, but the key here is that you don’t rely on others to make you comfortable on your behalf.
Which means if you want to start making better connections, you must invest more time getting to know yourself.
5) Avoiding spending time alone
That could mean a lot of different things, from being happily single, to happily living alone!
Or perhaps they have a meditative or creative practice where they dedicate time to exploring themselves.
A lot of people want to find authentic love. But what they don’t realize is that it’s more than finding someone to love.
It’s about finding someone who can love you as you are. And how can that happen if you can’t do that for yourself?
It’s like leaving your love life up to chance!
You’ll only run into people who run away from the parts of you that you can’t accept.
Forget relationships! Not being in touch with your authentic self can cause you to leave your entire life up to fate.
6) Leaving things up to fate
In other words, not taking charge of your own life through intentional actions!
When I used to live in fear, I remember how I used to rely on other people to create my circumstances.
So I’d always be responding to my reality, instead of creating it.
Allowing your circumstances to dictate your life doesn’t automatically make you fake. But if you feel like you are lacking authenticity in your life, it’s worth reflecting on.
Really ask yourself, am I where I want to be?
Or, why am I where I am?
See yourself as the mystery you want to solve! It’s what will keep the spark alive within your own life.
7) Staying in your comfort zone
And I like to think of my life as an entity. Someone who wants the best for me.
Which is to grow and learn new things!
The human mind is also constantly absorbing new information, making patterns and connections.
So does it really make sense to stay the same when everything around you – including you – is changing?
Exiting your comfort zone is a way for you to meet who you are inevitably becoming.
Do it for you and no one else because that’s a good enough reason to go after what makes you happy.
Besides, fighting change is so exhausting…
8) Neglecting your physical health
We’ve touched upon how all these different forms of self-sabotage can affect your mental health.
In addition, your moods and perception of your capabilities can be influenced by your physical health too.
Make sure you take it seriously and don’t wait for a condition to get worse! Especially if you’re young, it’s so easy to feel invincible.
When I didn’t take care of my body, I had a certain idea of myself because of how lethargic I felt all the time.
It made me feel like a failure and I remember how badly it affected my self-esteem.
Which of course affected how I showed up in my life.
Bonus tip: staying disciplined and having a routine will also improve your confidence because it demonstrates dependability to yourself.
9) Focusing too much on the past and the future
Speaking of discipline, try making a list of what you have control over.
Focus on those things for a month – I promise you, your perception will change.
Authenticity requires you to be grounded in your present reality.
It’s the only thing you can truly control and change. Even if you want to influence your future, it all starts in the here and the now.
By radically accepting what you’re capable of, you’re taking your power back.
And by directing your energy with more intention, you will naturally bring purpose into your life.
10) Taking things too personally
The first step to creating a stronger sense of identity is detaching yourself from other people’s perceptions of you.
What happens to a lot of us as kids is that we unknowingly convince ourselves that we are responsible for other people’s actions.
We might subscribe to certain adjectives like stupid, crazy, or lazy because of the lack of patience and compassion we were shown.
It’s more common than you’d think because if it wasn’t your parental figures, it was someone from school, work, anywhere.
They don’t call it a generational curse for nothing!
But the world has changed drastically since the last generation were children. So does it really make sense to believe in these falsely created narratives?
So if you want more authenticity in your life, start questioning things! Allow yourself to define who you are on your own terms.
11) Not allowing yourself to be creative
Art isn’t just for artists! It’s for anyone who wants to enjoy life instead of surviving it.
It’s also a great way to practice thinking outside the box. To question and find solutions that don’t require you to compromise what matters most.
Start by finding ways to incorporate creativity into your life by finding comedy in the mundane.
And then follow your instincts from there and see if any creative practices call out to you!
For example, cooking can be a beautiful way to heal your relationship to food if you were raised to view it solely as a source of nutrients.
This will also benefit your inner children – we all have one or several. Tapping into them might help you find a piece of yourself that you felt like was missing.
Authenticity naturally happens when you stop comparing yourself to how you think you should be.
It’s a process of discovery as you untangle yourself from all the lies you’ve been sold.
And it isn’t enough to say goodbye to these behaviors.
Becoming your authentic self means you have to break up with your inner critic. Like any break up, it will be hard and fill you with doubt.
But do it anyway and see the fear for what it really is: a sign that you’re human, that you’re still alive.