Authenticity, or being real, a big subject both in the realms of personal coaching and business coaching. Very often we can feel deeply unhappy if we feel we are going through the motions and not being ourselves. Or we generally just feel unhappy but we are not sure why.

Starting with the foundations

For me, authenticity is really getting to know how you are and what drives you first. Very often those core elements, stay the same. They may modify over time due to life experiences and changes in life, but generally the core of who we are stays pretty much the same. Once we understand what I call our ‘internal sat nav’, then we can look at how that shows up in our lives by:

  • the way we view the world
  • the way we view others
  • the way we view ourselves

In addition to:

  • the decisions we make about how we spend our time and our money
  • who we allow into our life, the types of people
  • our hobbies, our holidays
  • and many other areas

Then once we know a little about how we tick, perhaps we can look at role models. Who do we admire, who do we look up to? And who do we not like? These do not have to be famous avatars, but people in our everyday lives. What was it about that leader, manager, relative, or celebrity that really resonated with you?

Then starting thinking, okay, so which areas of my life are my priorities? Start to ask yourself:

  • How am I showing up in these areas?
  • How do I want to show up?
  • Therefore, what might I want to modify?

For those important areas, set goals. This is a huge subject which I don’t have time to cover in this article, but will help you to later focus on what’s important within the priority areas of your life.

Okay so, so far you have:

1. Identified what makes you tick as a person, often called your ‘values’.
2. Understood who you look up to and why – role models.
3. Identified the priority areas of your life.
4. Started to put down some goals on paper.

This should start to alleviate any discomfort about where your life is heading and who is at the steering wheel and you will start to feel more authentic as you are living what is often termed ‘life on purpose’ (i.e. your purpose, or meaning).

Housing this in authenticity

So as a person, be that in your personal life, or as a manager, or in your business life, what are the traits of authenticity? Here is a summary – it means in essence building your interactions and relationships with others around the following elements:

  • Understanding yourself – covered above.
  • Trust – yourself and others.
  • Original – being yourself.
  • Genuine – from the core of who you are.
  • Being present – just being, and experiencing each moment.
  • Accepting ourselves, including our faults and that others may not like us.
  • Being genuine about our intentions in situations and with others.
  • Recognising and appreciating your qualities.
  • Dealing with fear.
  • Minimising judging.
  • Seeking the truth.

How does it feel to be authentic?

When you are being authentic yourself, you will worry less about what other people think and generally be happy with yourself, at peace, and not take criticism too personally. Of course, we all have times where we may feel “hmm I could have handled that better and that’s fine” – life is very much about evolving and learning as we go along, right?

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