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  • Writer's pictureEric Fisher

Why is authenticity important for us to pursue?

An authentic portrayal of clouds blocking the sun.

Authenticity. One word with much meaning.

A word we can approach with caution.

A trait we can hold with humility.

Many mental health professionals have spoken about the importance of authenticity. It’s also been known as the true self, the authentic self, and, for those undergoing a salvage operation from substance use, the recovery self. Pursuing authenticity is crucial for us in our lives.

You might ask yourself why pursuing authenticity is essential.

  1. Authenticity connects us with ourselves.

  2. Authenticity connects us with others.

  3. Authenticity connects us with a higher power (e.g. God, nature).

  4. Authenticity helps you maintain consistent boundaries.

  5. Authenticity helps you not bend to someone else’s expectations.

  6. Authenticity helps cultivate humility and vice-versa.

  7. Authenticity allows you to be yourself without censoring who you are.

  8. Authenticity allows you not to be a slave to a particular perception.

  9. Authenticity allows someone to know a lot more precisely what is inauthentic.

  10. Authenticity allows someone to feel emotional pain organically. Being inauthentic often causes someone to push away from the pain, manipulate the situation, or project the pain onto someone else.

Authenticity will be challenging to pursue. Grasp too hard, and you risk seeming rigid with the authentic self. Hold on too loosely, and authenticity may slip away due to lack of effort.

One perspective on authenticity is that it is not static but an ongoing process. Since we change throughout our lives, we discover different events that allow us to dial into our authenticity. There are opportunities, internally and externally, to show our authentic selves. This doesn’t have to be seen as false pride. It is more so the journey of authenticity exemplified in our lives, which brings me to another point.

Through adversity, we gain the opportunity to embody authenticity. Most of us find it easy to be authentic as a process and a trait when situations are docile and unchallenging. When something arises that ruffles our feathers, that is when the refinement of authenticity occurs.

We need to allow ourselves to experience life events genuinely. Not being genuine lends itself to wanting to control the situation, blaming someone else for issues, suppressing our feelings, etc. We can experience a situation without our willingness to control the outcome aggressively. Sure, if in a burning building, we need to take action. That is authentic. What would be inauthentic would be not doing an action I need to do for my safety, as that betrays the desire to survive.

In closing…

Your authentic self does not need to rely on someone else’s wishes or happiness.

Your authentic self is a process that is constantly evolving. In that, there is genuineness.

Your authentic self connects you with yourself, others, and something significant, such as a purpose or a life mission.

Your authentic self does not believe in harshness towards the self. That goes against the genuine need to treat yourself like you treat others around you: with kindness and respect.

The authentic self awaits discovery even if you have done much internal work. Authenticity is a single word that says so much about us. Let us continue to pursue what it means to feel and portray authenticity in our lives. Be the author of your authenticity.


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