How do we remain true to ourselves in a world full of rules and societal expectations?
How do we block out the opinions of others while keeping our inner compass alive?
If you ever find yourself compromising on your personality, dimming your light to fit in, or allowing others to persuade you, this article is for you.
We’re exploring the unique qualities that stand out in people on a quest to find their truest selves.
So, if you want to become more authentic, these are the 8 character traits you should work on building.
We can only become our truest selves if we know who we are on a soul level.
That’s why every person trying to live up to their potential is on a continuous self-discovery journey.
They constantly seek to learn more about who they are by observing their actions, words, and thoughts and ensuring they align with their values.
For example, a self-aware person can spot when they are dimming their personality to fit in or pretending to be someone they are not to be accepted.
Another part of self-awareness is to reflect on and learn from your mistakes.
So, someone trying to reach their potential will see their failures as opportunities to improve.
They don’t beat themselves up about their mistakes. Instead, they possess this trait…
No one is perfect; we are all works in progress. So, as long as you’re trying, you’re doing it right.
When someone is focused on personal growth, they know they have good intentions and their heart is in the right place.
So if they slip up, they don’t make themselves feel bad about it. They accept that they will always have flaws and focus on self-improvement rather than self-punishment.
As well as embracing their weakness, authentic people accept all the weird and wonderful quirks that make them unique.
This type of person doesn’t downplay their personality when meeting someone new. They are proud of who they are and are not afraid to show up fully.
Living authentically feels freeing and liberating. But do you know what doesn’t feel that way?
Research proves that holding grudges harms our emotional and physical health. When you cannot forgive, you might notice anger, bitterness, and resentment building up within you.
This chronic state of emotional tension can then manifest in the body, increasing inflammation and cortisol (the stress hormone) and hindering immune function.
Moreover, a 2014 study concluded that holding grudges can negatively impact your perception of difficulty. Researchers found that the study participants who held grudges had more difficulty completing a fitness test because they perceived the hills to be steeper than they were.
In contrast, research on forgiveness found that letting go of grudges brings many benefits to health and wellbeing, including:
- Lower levels of depression, anxiety, and hostility
- Reduced substance abuse
- Higher self-esteem
- Greater life satisfaction
While authentic people are good at forgiving themselves for their mistakes, this doesn’t mean they don’t take responsibility for their actions.
In fact, becoming your most authentic self involves holding yourself accountable (taking full responsibility for your behaviors without shifting the blame onto others).
Genuinely authentic people are those who have detached from their egos.
So, a real sign that someone lives authentically is swallowing their pride and admitting their faults.
Authentic people don’t boast about their achievements, just as they don’t deny their wrongdoings. They accept responsibility when things go wrong and remain humble when they’re winning.
Plus, accountability is a crucial aspect of self-awareness and personal growth.
When you’re accountable for your actions, you’re more likely to reflect on what happened and take steps to do better next time.
Research confirms this to be true.
A 2018 study published in ScienceDaily found evidence that making mistakes helps you learn better by improving your memory (hence why we never make the same mistake twice).
And what goes hand in hand with accountability?
Accountability is about accepting responsibility for your mistakes and ensuring you do what you say you will do.
Integrity is your underlying values that make you tell the truth and live ethically.
When you have high integrity, your internal moral compass ensures you always stand up for what you believe is right.
You are fearless in speaking up, going against the grain, or standing out in the crowd.
You never agree with others to keep the peace or fit in. Instead, you always stay true to yourself, constantly living by your highest values.
So, an easy way to spot someone on a quest for their true self is to observe how they react in debates and disagreements.
If they always stand their ground even if it causes backlash, this is someone who knows and honors who they are on a soul level.
To be truly authentic, you must learn to be comfortable with being vulnerable.
What does this mean?
In her book Daring Greatly, Brené Brown describes vulnerability as emotional exposure involving uncertainty and risk.
Basically, it means being totally honest about how you feel to others rather than minimizing or downplaying your experience.
When you choose to be vulnerable, you opt to share your feelings rather than hide them or keep them to yourself.
Brown goes on to explain how “vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, and creativity.”
But one of her fundamental teachings is that vulnerability is not a weakness at all.
Instead, it is a measure of courage, another trait of individuals seeking their truest selves…
Authenticity is not just about accepting who you are. It’s also about having the courage and self-confidence to share your unique gifts and talents with the world.
So, one thing you will notice about people on the quest for their truest selves is their willingness to take risks and try new things.
They are the type of people who regularly try new hobbies rather than stick with the same one forever.
They are also much more likely to make a drastic career change, go back to university, or start a new business.
Being authentic also allows us to tap into our intuition and creative potential. We’re more likely to experiment and take risks when we trust our instincts.
However, if you’re not being authentic, you will struggle to trust your own thoughts and ideas.
You might have contrasting voices in your mind, causing a permanent state of indecisiveness. And as research has found, indecisiveness leads to procrastination and inaction.
So, to move closer to your potential, you must learn to trust yourself and face your fears.
Connecting to your truest self involves uncovering your gifts and living a purposeful life. To do so, you must approach everything with intention.
This is why people living aligned with their most authentic selves carefully plan their days.
They will likely use time management methods like The 4 Ds to identify their priorities and ensure they don’t waste time on unimportant tasks.
Another aspect of intentionality is delegation.
Living authentically means being aware of your strengths AND weaknesses.
So, as Dr John Demartini teaches, to live an intentional, purposeful life, you should do the following:
- Prioritize the tasks that utilize your strengths
- Delegate the tasks that use your weaknesses.
For example, let’s say you’re a yoga teacher who wants to build an online course. Your strength is clearly teaching yoga, but perhaps you’re not tech-savvy.
In that case, it would make sense to outsource the task of building the website/ membership portal to an expert, allowing you to focus on what you do best.
It’s not always easy to stay real when surrounded by conformity and comparison. But if you continue prioritizing your inner work, you will move closer to your most authentic and fabulous self.
Uncovering your true self is essential to live a life of fulfillment and purpose. When we fully know who we are and what we stand for, we can step into our power and make our unique mark on the world!