8 signs that you live with genuine authenticity, according to psychology

Living authentically means living a life that’s true to who you are and what you want.

But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? To live an authentic life that’s true to who you are and what you want?

Especially when modern life forces us to do things we might not feel like we were destined to do. Like working in an office over making sandcastles on the beach. Or supermarket shopping over growing your own…

But even though these things may not be what we truly want, we can still live a genuinely authentic life in the modern world.

Why? Because living an authentic life is more about how we act than what we do with our lives.

Let’s look at these 8 signs you live with genuine authenticity, backed by psychology.

1) You tell the truth when it matters

I’ll be honest, I’m not such a big fan of people who tell the truth all the time! My brother does this and honestly, it just comes across as a little rude sometimes…

But aside from telling someone you don’t like their haircut, honesty is a good trait in a person. It’s integral and it’s also highly authentic.

The kind of honesty I’m talking about is when you tell the truth when it matters. Like when you admit to things that you know you could get away with.

Say your partner thinks you hung up their towel this morning (when they’ve just forgotten that they did it). You could take the credit, but it wouldn’t be very integral.

Just like you could get away with being rewarded by your boss for your hard work on a project, even though you weren’t involved in that project at all.

But speaking up, being honest, and telling the truth in these situations takes courage. And it’s something a person with genuine authenticity will absolutely do – no matter what they’ll miss out on in the process!

2) You keep your beliefs no matter who you’re with

Of course, everyone is entitled to change their minds at any time. If you’ve decided you no longer want to believe in a cause you used to stand by, that’s fine.

But if you change your beliefs depending on who you’re hanging out with, this isn’t the same as genuinely changing your mind.

People who live with authenticity stand by their views no matter who they’re with.

Say you like Star Wars, you’ll still tell someone who doesn’t like Star Wars that you like it. You wouldn’t flex your interests just because you’re around someone who won’t agree with them.

When your beliefs are a bit more controversial than liking Star Wars, you wouldn’t argue with someone for the sake of standing by them.

You might stay quiet if you know it’ll cause a debate, but you won’t act like you don’t believe in it for their sake.

3) You do the right thing when no one sees

Let’s say you’re in a clothes store. As you walk past the sale rail, you knock at least three shirts onto the floor.

You could easily walk away. No one saw you and it isn’t really your job to pick up the clothes you drop. But you pick them up anyway, hang them back on the rail, and get on with your day.

This is the definition of being authentic. Why? Because you’re doing the right thing even when no one is around to see it.

And you do it in all aspects of your life when you’re this kind of person!

You even do it when you could get in trouble for doing the right thing. That’s just how genuine and authentic you are.

4) You own your past and your mistakes

If someone apologizes in these ways theyre not genuinely sorry 2 8 signs that you live with genuine authenticity, according to psychology

Say you cheated on an ex-partner years ago. You know this doesn’t look good to potential new partners. But even so, if a date ever asked you why that relationship ended, you’d tell the truth – no matter how it looks.

You’d own your mistake and admit to the fact that it caused the relationship to break down. And (hopefully) you’d know that you never want to do it ever again.

This takes a whole lot of bravery, I know.

It’s so easy to forget the past, draw a line under it, and pretend it never happened. Especially with things like the above, where your new partner may never find out about what happened if you don’t say anything!

But if you did that, it wouldn’t be authentic. It also wouldn’t be very fair.

So if you do things like this, tell the truth about your past even when you know it looks bad (and they might never know otherwise) you truly are an authentic person.

5) You say no when you want to

Naturally, you don’t say no to your mom when she asks you to unload the dishwasher in the name of being “authentic”. You also don’t say no to your boss when she asks you to send an email you don’t really want to send!

But other than to your boss and your mom (and any other authority figure), you say no to things you don’t want to do.

If a friend invites you somewhere you can’t afford or really won’t enjoy – you don’t go. If someone asks you out on a date and you feel bad rejecting them – you do it anyway, because saying no now will hurt less than saying no in three dates time!

6) You “go first”

If you’ve ever watched Brooklyn 99, you’ll probably remember the scene where Jake and Amy are arguing over his mattress and her mom.

Long story short, Jake won’t buy a new mattress for Amy and Amy won’t tell her mom that she’s dating Jake. They’re both at a standstill – waiting for the other to “go first” and commit to the relationship with both feet in.

I can kind of relate to this, in honesty. I used to do it in past relationships, waiting for the other person to show they were committed to me before I committed to them.

But when you’re a genuinely authentic person, you won’t play “games” like this (even though I know protecting yourself isn’t really a game).

When you love someone, you’ll say it – even when they haven’t said it back yet. In the same way that if you want to commit to someone, you put yourself out there first.

Basically, you stay true to your feelings – even when you’re unsure what the consequences of doing that might be!

7) You apologize when you’re in the wrong

It sounds so easy to apologize when you’re in the wrong. But I know more than anyone that it really isn’t!

Admitting that you’ve done something wrong or made a mistake doesn’t feel good.

“The No. 1 concern people have is that they’re going to be embarrassed or that people are going to think they’re stupid,” Professor Adam Fetterman nicely puts it about why it’s so hard to apologize.

“Admitting that you’re wrong, even to yourself, you have this fear that you’re going to be rejected by your fellow humans.”

But a fact we all know is that apologizing really does make you the bigger person.

It takes strength, courage, and a whole lot of bravery. Not to mention, of course, authenticity – especially when you know you’re in the wrong about something.

8) You appreciate the small beauties in life

Living an authentic life isn’t just about what you say and how you act. It’s also about how you think about the world around you.

There’s so much beauty in life, especially in the small things. Like the way the leaves blow across the sidewalk and how your mom checks in on you all the time.

Some people get frustrated by these things. They find it annoying how quickly the drive gets clogged up and how often your mom calls just to say, “Hi”.

But when you live a truly authentic life, you value all the little things that make your life yours. You appreciate that leaves falling, blowing, and finding their way onto your home is just part of life. And your mom checking in is just how she shows she cares.

And everything else in life, especially the things that most other people find a problem, you cherish, value, and deeply appreciate.

Final thoughts

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say”.

Paul Coelho said this very famous line, and he was right. You have to spend your whole life with you, so you need to make sure you’re happy!

But remember, being true to yourself isn’t just about doing a job you feel is rewarding or living a life that’s more in line with what nature intended.

It’s mostly about how you act in everyday life and respond to the challenges of the modern world.

If you recognize most of these behaviors in yourself, you’re already living a life that’s true to you.

If you’re still working on them, or striving for these things, that’s just as good, too. After all, life is all about the journey, not just the destination!

Picture of Amy Reed

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

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