How to Live as an Authentic Human Being

By: Relena Juliet

Philosophers and psychologists describe a “good life” as consisting of authentic expression of self, a sense of well-being, and active engagement in life and work — as emphasized in a study from the University of Waikato. While everyone’s experiences and living situations are vastly different, we’re all in pursuit of variations of that idealized life. Obviously, no one wants to live an unhappy life, and every day we make certain decisions to ensure that.

However, a “good life” and an authentic one may not be as aligned as we think it is. We may think of wealth, fame, and success as trappings of a life that looks good, but is not necessarily a true and happy one. The Gifts of Imperfection by author Brené Brown, Ph.D. talks about living a wholehearted and authentic life, and the importance of embracing and appreciating the imperfections in our lives from living truthfully. Today, we’ll go over some of the ways we can approach authenticity and be one step closer to am imperfect, but still good life:

Develop the courage to be disliked

Most people are geared towards pleasing other people. They have a point — after all, who wants to go around upsetting other people? While it’s a great feeling to please others around us, some people get lost in doing it. This often results in an unhealthy habit that revolves around compromising your authentic and true self, all in the name of pleasing and impressing others. In The Courage to Be Disliked, the book notes that self-forgiveness, self-care, and mind decluttering can liberate your way of thinking. In line with living authentically, the authors emphasize the importance of ignoring your self-imposed limitations, taking responsibility and ownership of your life, and navigating life without placing blame on outside sources. In short, to live an authentic life, you have to own up to it — even if it goes against what other people want from you.

Build up your support system
While your authenticity journey should be about staying true to yourself, it doesn’t have to be a lonely road. Having a solid support system is key to living a good life. After all, the things worth celebrating in life are best shared with those you love and treasure. A positive support system should be a group of people you can be your authentic self around, without lying and pretending. Like what we’ve talked about above, this Psychology Today feature insists that your support system should consist of people you don’t have to compromise your morals for in order to please. At the end of the day, surrounding yourself with people who like you for you is what will help propel you towards a better, happier life.

Practice positivity

An authentic life involves seeing little imperfections and accepting that not everything goes our way, but part of that authenticity is being able to gracefully navigate the negatives in our lives by promoting joy — even when times aren’t so good. We discussed this in our recent post titled, Habits that Promote Happiness, and how looking at the good aspects in every scenario, no matter how bad, can lead to happiness. The pursuit of happiness starts with positive habits, in which you prioritize yourself and your loved ones, while also practicing kindness and being considerate of other individuals. Don’t be mistaken, however, in thinking that these practices can be faked or forced. The positive impact you can have on your life and those around you will only be felt when you are authentic about them.

Exclusively written for

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