Philosophy of an Authentic Person:
Being an authentic person and the philosophy that this requires is not an easy thing to be for many people (I’m guilty). This stems from our “tribe mentality” and not wanting to be kicked out of the tribe, for survival purposes. In the “good old days,” getting kicked out of the tribe meant death. Therefore, we learned to “fit in” and “not stand out.”
We evolved to be just like everyone else in our tribe so we didn’t get singled out and potentially kicked out. Our lives depended on being in the tribe and staying there.
Add to this complexity “the pain of rejection” and you have a perfect recipe for not being true to yourself, to protect yourself from pain and death. The death part of this equation no longer exists, but the pain part of this equation most certainly does.
Unfortunately, our brain still thinks death is a possibility and does it’s best to protect us (that’s its job). That’s why your blood pressure rises and it feels uncomfortable for you to stand out.
What does being an authentic person mean? Authentic’ means from the source or origin. You can relate this term to your inner core, or who you are when no one is around:
- What are you thinking about that you would never say out loud?
- Who are you and what about do other people not know?
- What beliefs and opinions do you have, but find it best to bit your tongue instead of express them
- We all know an outspoken person or two in our lives. Outspoken people are the ones that are not afraid to have their voices judged by others and they know that the pain of being inauthentic is greater than any judgment they might receive.
- They have already proven to their brains that their voice being judged is not going to get them killed.
That being said, the more authentic they are with others about their feelings and who they truly are, the easy it becomes (and fulfilling too, not having to hide and suppress how they feel)
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Authenticity is the degree to which an individual’s actions are congruent with their beliefs and desires, despite external pressures. The word authenticity used to based on the understanding of the importance of being truthful with others when dealing with others. Being truthful with others, authentic, was the understanding of this philosophy (Philosophy Now)
This has changed. Being authentic now centers around being true to ourselves. To me, this shift bleeds into itself. If we are true and honest about ourselves, then we are true and honest to others about our beliefs and values. If we were not honest with others about our beliefs and values, we wouldn’t be “being true to ourselves,” would we?
The philosophy surrounding being authentic has changed over the years, but the core remains the same. Honesty. If we are honest about ourselves with others, then we are honest with ourselves.
What An Authentic Person Looks Like
- They are true to themselves
- They are open-minded and treat people fairly (nonjudgmental)
- They are not unrealistic in their perceptions of reality
- They think things through
- They have a great sense of humor (like to laugh)
- They can express themselves
- They learn from their mistakes
- They are proud of themselves (not boastful though)
- They don’t gossip
- They are happy in their own company
- They make the most out of every situation
- They appear confident and comfortable in their skin
- They don’t complain
- They enjoy the little things in life
- They don’t hang around mean or judgmental people (or people that gossip)
- They don’t get upset when someone doesn’t like them
If you are not living an authentic life, then you are living a lie. If you are not being open and honest about yourself with others, then you are lying to others and yourself. Here’s the coolest part about living an authentic life:
- You will get kicked off some tribes
- You will be accepted into others
Not only will you be accepted into other tribes, but you will bond deeper with people that have the same core values you have. Imagine being in a tribe where nobody judges you for who you are because they share those same characteristics and beliefs (or, at the very least, they value your difference instead of judge you).
Being Authentic Is Liberating
Living an authentic lifestyle, if you ask someone whose doing it, is an incredible way to live your life. If you aren’t, then you aren’t being true to yourself which can lead to:
- A feeling like you “don’t belong” (you are in the wrong tribe)
- Being judgmental (we have to keep up that “front” and insure our “fake friends” believe we think like them, so we judge others that are “not like us”…..or “not like us supposedly.
If you are not 100% authentic with yourself and to others, you probably have one of the concerns mentioned above, and you might even have a few more.
Authenticity and Rejection
I want everyone to like me. If someone doesn’t like me, I feel rejected. rejection sucks. So, I ensure everyone likes me! How? I use the “mirror” technique. The mirror technique is used in sales. The way it works is:
- Your potential client sits down and crosses their legs – so you sit down and cross yours
- Your potential client laughs after they say something – so you laugh after you say something
In a few short minutes, you have your potential client thinking you are “just like them.” They like you! People are more likely to buy something from someone they can trust. Who are you more likely to trust? Someone just like you (pretty sneaky)
I’m not in sales, but I adopted the mirror technique (I think I made it up) and I used it. Only, I don’t mimic what other people did, I mimicked what other people said. I could have a conversation with someone and have them think I am just like them (believe the same things, feel the same way, etc) and turn around and have the complete opposite conversation with someone else. Both people love me and relate to me! I have 2 friends!!
The Problem With Being Inauthentic
The problem is, I didn’t have any “friends.” I had two people that “liked” me and they didn’t even know who I was. To me, this was better than having both people, not like me and ending up without any “friends.”
When I traced this back to my earliest days, I relieved why I did this. I had an older brother and the other kids in the neighborhood were a little older than me too. My brother and his friends used to “leave me out” all the time. I felt lonely. I was the outcast. They used to make up reasons why “I wasn’t allowed to play” when I wanted to join them. I was a little kid and they didn’t want me “hanging around.”
This affected me. They didn’t like me for who I was, so I learned to be someone people liked. How? By being just like them! I became a chameleon.
Being An Authentic Person and the Philosophy Behind It
Eventually, I began to understand the importance of being me and realized that if someone didn’t like who I was – that was their problem, not mine. However, it isn’t as easy as understanding this philosophy and implementing it. After all, I was deeply rooted in this behavior. The behavior had to change, but how?
Changing behavior is possible, but replacing one is much easier.
How To Change Your Behavior
In this case, we are going to be talking about changing our behavior as it relates to being an authentic person and using a new philosophy to support it. Here’s what we are going to do:
- Take out a sheet of paper:
- Draw a line down the center.
- On the left side, at the top, you are going to write the word: AUTHENTIC
- On the right side, at the top, you are going to write the word: INAUTHENTIC
- Then, you are going to give your authentic self a name (write it below the word AUTHENTIC)
- Then, you are going to give your inauthentic self a name (Write it below the word INAUTHENTIC)
- Write down 20 characteristics in each category that represents that particular person’s (the name you gave that characteristic) behavior.
- They should be opposite of each other.
- Now, every time you act like Ursula (or whatever name you gave your inauthentic self) you are going to tell this person that she or he is not needed today…and you are going to revert to the characteristic of the authentic you (or whatever cool name you gave your awesome self for this exercise)
This is about being aware. Once you are aware of your problems, or deficiencies, you can correct them. All too often, our behaviors are so ingrained in us that we are on autopilot. When we are on autopilot, we behave the way we behave (or have behaved our entire lives) without thinking about it.
We need to “call ourselves out” and become aware of the behavior, in this case being inauthentic” so that we can stand a fighting chance of overcoming it, or changing it!
There is no set time frame on changing, or replacing I should say a behavior. You will continuously call yourself out by name (whichever name you chose) and become more and more aware of the inauthentic behavior you are exhibiting and replace it with the authentic one. In a few days, you will begin to see progress. There is no “end date.” Use this technique until you realize one day that you no longer live an inauthentic life.
Change Is On the Horizon
Uh oh. All the people that have no idea who you are, the people that “think they know who is,” are going to be raising their eyebrows for sure. When you start expressing yourself and not “going with the flow” anymore, they are going to think that your water supply has been tainted. So what.
That’s the point of this entire article. So what!
So what if you lose a few people in your circle. If you lose people in your new circle (or tribe) they didn’t belong there anyhow! Make room for the new by expelling the old! You don’t need to choose who stays and who goes, they will make that choice for you. The important thing to remember is that you have to live your life.
You have to be you, nobody else can do it!
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Author: Philip Isaac
Philip Isaac is the founder of Electrified Mind. He is determined to reach the highest level of personal development as humanly possible by interacting with other world leaders through the Electrified Mind Podcast and absorbing all the knowledge they have to offer (you should join him). His overwhelming desire to make other people feel how he feels about life, drives him.