In today’s vast social media culture, it is extremely easy to put on a front and show to the world only the exceptionally best parts of oneself. We present to others only what we think will be attractive.  All too often the people we know in real life share things to the world that do not reflect who we know them to be or who they truly are. They declare versions of themselves that conform to societal pressures or expectations.

But what would it look like if each one of us were to live an authentic life; on social media, the workplace, in friendships/relationships and most importantly in ourselves? What would it look like to accept your values and simply own it?

Most often, lying is due to fear of the unknown. It is being afraid to face the pain or joy head on. When you lie to yourself, you aren’t being your authentic true self. You pretend to be someone you’re not and lying to yourself makes things just that much easier, because if people don’t like the fake “you”, then you avoid pain.

Living an authentic life means staying true to your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. It means not feeling the need to conform to someone else’s set of standards or proving something to someone to feel worthy. It means standing your ground without swaying to the pressures of society and culture.

Are you someone who feels the need to dress to impress in order to feel worthy? Or prove your worth when someone told you they didn’t believe you? Anything that isn’t authentic will temporarily give you a high and make you feel like you won but that feeling of victory will eventually dissipate and that temporary fulfillment will quickly fade because it is inauthentic.

If you’re at a point where you have made a decision to start being authentic but don’t know where to start, here are a few values to embrace. The first and foremost is to accept yourself for who you are and start being honest with others when situations arise.

Start living a life of integrity. Do only what you say you are going to do, and say only the things you are going to do.

Learn to be compassionate toward others. Place yourself in other people’s shoes as often as possible and make sure your words and actions come from a place of kindness.

Stay humble and grounded. No matter the amount of heights or success you are bound to reach, remember where you came from.

Choose to be courageous even when everyone around you isn’t. Go after your dreams and put hard work in to achieve them. Take great risks to gain great rewards.

In a world full of people wearing masks, it’s hard to distinguish real identities anymore. Being authentic means not having to worry about your image but rather sticking to what you believe inwardly and being brave enough to express those feelings and opinions without fear.

As Andre Gide once said “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”

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