At its very core, authenticity means being yourself. It’s about accepting your strengths and weaknesses, and letting go of the social masks that dictate how you respond to life. When you live a life of authenticity, you are guided by your ABCs and have complete understanding and awareness of the things that are most important to you.

Authenticity can be found in the greatest, self-fulfilled leaders. If you wear a mask and behave like a different person to feel empowered or influential, your words and actions will always lack conviction. Doing something that’s not congruent with your abilities, goals and values will only move you further from self-empowerment and self-fulfilment.

You might not feel comfortable with yourself all the time. Life’s obstacles will urge you to create masks you can hide behind. Don’t give in to this temptation, but remember that the process of becoming authentic does not come from following the path of less resistance. A simple piece of coal that can sustain enough pressure over time becomes a diamond. Don’t let yourself become fragmented, uninspired and disempowered. Be authentic, be fearless, be YOU!

Trust your instinct
Do you feel that something is wrong when you’re not being true to yourself? That’s your intuition’s way of telling you that your behaviour doesn’t genuinely align with what you truly believe in. You must be introspective – look into yourself and listen to that feeling inside your heart that is guiding you towards who you really are, and what truly matters to you. Remember the times you talked and acted in a way that deviated from your core values? What was the reason behind those words and actions?

Perhaps your fears and inhibitions influenced your behaviour? If so, how often does that happen? Do feelings of ingenuity and uncertainty have an enduring, firm hold on you? Perhaps this is something you have become conditioned to do to avoid confrontation? Explore the feelings that are holding you back, so you can learn how to face them head-on and unleash your true potential and uniqueness!

Nurture open-mindedness
Be open to new perspectives and experiences. Don’t limit your capabilities with conditioned judgmental ideas. Learn to look at every situation from different sides. Remember that there are always two sides to a story, and a story is often written in many different languages. Authenticity develops and grows when you say goodbye to rigid thought patterns, and foster unbiased thinking with an open and receptive heart.

Understand your highest values
The people with a profound sense of fulfilment are those who live by their highest values. They are level-headed, adaptable and resilient because they always know where they stand. On the other hand, the people who wear masks often project thoughts, ideas and words that are incongruent with what they truly believe in. If you want authenticity and fulfilment in all spheres of your life, accept and understand everything in your life that’s most important to you.

Can you tell me right now what your top 5 values are? Are you sure? If you are not certain, then I recommend identifying those so you may stop living an unexamined life and truly recognize your own truth and potential. (We can help you learn how to identify your top values. Email info@drespen.com for more details.)

To be authentic is, to be honest with yourself. As a leader of your own life and a person seeking self-fulfilment, your behaviour and actions must be genuine and reflect what you truly believe in. Don’t minimize or exaggerate yourself and others. Be comfortable in everything you say and do in your own skin. Be authentic, and accept the things that make you who you are. Because you are extraordinary!