Psychology argues that being true to yourself induces meaning in your life. The drive to be authentic is present in all of us. Still, there is a lot of misconception about being authentic and genuine.
Some people think that having piercings, tattoos, punk hair, or listening to Coldplay makes you genuine, and that would be true if that’s’ who you are.
To be authentic, one needs to be honest with oneself. Self-awareness is the proper way to get to know yourself so you can be honest about what you actually are. If you are self-aware and honest to yourself about what you are, you don’t try to pretend to be something else, you are genuine.
Importance of Self-Honesty
It has been well established that you need self-honesty to be genuine. There are multiple advantages of being self-honest and genuine. For instance, you would not pursue a career as a singer if you simply don’t have the voice for it. You would seek to identify what you are strong in that aligns with your desires and focus your energy accordingly.
Furthermore, genuine people are sincere leaders and more effective. They inspire trust by being vulnerable, and admiration through their actions, not just words. People admire the ones who are self-honest and genuine. You won’t impress people by pretending to be a leader, rather you have to lead in practical and genuine ways. And this comes only if you practice self-honesty.
“Anyone can be a boss and manage with fear. Leaders inspire with honesty and vulnerability by setting people free to express their strengths on their own terms.”
Self-honest people speak in a confident and concise manner. Being aware of your capabilities and weaknesses at the same time makes you more confident by eliminating unnecessary fears of “being exposed”.
A genuine person would never be worry about appearance, style, and skills. They own their strength and are secure in themselves. They are not driven by the need to please people or look good — they genuinely have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of.
Self-honesty makes you open-minded. If you accept yourself as you are, you are receptive to contradicting beliefs, values, and points of view, instead of needing to be defensive. Having a receptive mind is crucial in the workplace for example, where you need to listen to others in order to make some crucial decisions.
This way of being brings greater satisfaction and pleasure in life. When you are honest with yourself you know what you are, and you don’t need to pretend to be anything else. You become inner directed by your beliefs and values.
How to Develop Self-Honesty
You can’t become self-honest overnight. You can try, but you’ll end up disappointed. It is a process that includes a consistent effort to become self-aware in accepting yourself for what you actually are.
“Most of us live our lives based on our aspirational truth. It’s the version we wish to become, instead of the version of who we are. Self-honesty is about being real in the present.”
It is genuinely the hardest task sometimes to admit your flaws, and forgive yourself for having them. It takes serious effort to become self-honest and genuine.
You need to access the elements of your life that speak the truth about you in the here and now. Spend time exploring your feelings and inclinations. Accept your failures and own the reasons behind them. Accept your life as is based on the choices you have made.
“There are no victims of circumstances on the road to self-honesty, there is only truth and acceptance.”
Once you are self-aware and honest enough to be who you are, don’t find excuses to delay what you have to do to bring alignment into your life. Put all your capacities towards being the successful person you are genuinely meant to be.
To bring more life to this topic I invite you to listen to a recent episode of the Rant & Grow podcast, as I speak with Adam Marcus. Adam is an American film director, writer and actor. He is known for writing and directing movies like Jason Goes to Hell, Texas Chainsaw 3D, and Secret Santa. However, Adam has spent most of his adult life as an acting coach.
We spent time on this episode discussing the power of vulnerability, authenticity, and the willingness for people to be honest with themselves in order to become better actors.
Shining stars of the performing arts need strong self-awareness. The same holds true in any profession that deals with the public. If you are an actor, a marketer, a salesperson, a business leader — you won’t want to miss the life hacks shared in this podcast.
Just click on the play button below to listen to the podcast right here.