8 Tiny Habits Of Truly Authentic People

Ideas to help you become the truest version of yourself.

Authentic girl smiling with her eyes closed Ivan Nadaski | Canva

I struggled to be what people call "authentic" for a long time because I didn’t know who I was, nor did I often trust who I was. I was in my head, second-guessing my decisions and behaviors. This came across as a little awkward, and sometimes I’d force things. I’m still frequently awkward, but my life is far better because I understand what it means to realize your authentic self.

Here are 8 tiny habits of truly authentic people:

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1. They live honestly

This doesn’t only mean being honest around the people we come across. It’s about being honest in those quiet moments behind the scenes when no one is watching. It’s about being honest with ourselves. We can’t always be perfect, and sometimes we slip. But you must move in the direction of integrity. This means doing what you committed to doing because you honor your commitments.



2. They don't force things

Social interaction isn’t all about proving to the world how nice you are. I used to exert myself by smiling and laughing in an attempt to appear cool, happy, and normal. I ended up with a strained face and low-key depression. Don’t force it. Relax yourself and listen. Respond how you want. This inspires others to be themselves too.


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3. Their actions are in line with their values

Beyond acting in line with their intentions, they follow their value system too. This needn’t be complicated. Values are derived in the gut. “Morals" may be a man-made construction, but this doesn’t mean you can follow your instinct of good and bad. This requires judgment. You know when something is off. If you didn’t, this world would be an even bleaker place than it could be. Follow what you know is right. If you close off to this, who are you?

4. They're not always in their heads

Authentic people can get in their heads, but they are also often present, using their senses. This is a practice and can take time to get better at if all you’ve known is overthinking. Listen to people deeply when they talk to you. Have faith that things will be ok when you let go of your thoughts for a moment. Take in the colors of life. The sounds and the textures. You become more effective and more yourself when you do.

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5. They have emotional control

If something bothers an authentic person, they act on it. This doesn’t necessarily mean flying into a wild rage when triggered. There must be emotional control here. They take a breath. They act appropriately in the environment they are in. But if they feel anger, they use it for good. Maybe they turn that torrent of energy into a creative endeavor. They don’t bottle it in. They are in touch with their senses and say what needs to be said if an injustice requires attention.

6. They say it straight and avoid fluff talk

Deviating from what you really mean in an attempt to avoid hurting others’ feelings might seem empathetic. But often, we skirt the truth to protect ourselves — namely, our egos. We don’t want to invite criticism based on a false sense that we have something to lose. Authentic people don’t worry so much about looking imperfect and being hurt because they have a firm sense of their worth. What they communicate is not polluted by fear. They say what needs to be said without the additional crap, and this is refreshing in a deeply insecure world.

7. They are willing to look bad for the sake of honesty

People talk a lot about the need to be "vulnerable." But what does this mean? We’re essentially talking about being willing to appear imperfect. To reveal our flaws and idiosyncrasies. When we hide what makes us unique, we deviate from who we are. This goes for how we appear, think, and behave. If we’re truly authentic, we can’t possibly be without flaws — and yet this is what so many of us are striving to hide. We choose a dishonest life to appear perfect. This will eat you up from the inside, cause anxiety, and distance yourself from others.


8. Their work goes beyond fending for themselves

Doing work that contributes to improving the state of affairs of the world around us can be enlivening. You’re no longer merely getting by or doing something primarily for your own needs. Your work means something more. Being on a mission awakens something in us that energizes us and helps us connect with who we are. Authentic people are on a mission that aligns with what they consider important in the world.

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Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.