"I'm just being me."

personal development Nov 15, 2021
real is rare in scrabble tiles

What does it mean to be authentic?

I'm not asking for the dictionary definition. Dictionaries aren't as authoritative as they make themselves out to be. They're always catching up to common usage.

Too often, authenticity is conflated with doing whatever you feel like doing or saying whatever you feel like saying. 

That doesn't sound like authenticity to me. That sounds like self-indulgence. What about you?

If your goal is to get attention, acting out and calling it authenticity will probably work. 

If you want to make a difference, saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done, even when you don't feel like it, just might. But that sounds more like integrity to me than authenticity.

So, maybe we're left to look up how the "authorities" define authenticity after all...

Here's the definition of authenticity according to Messrs. Merriam and Webster that seems most often in play: "true to one's own personality, spirit, or character."

And here, at least for me, is the problem with authenticity. It's boring.

I'm much less interested in who you think you are and much more interested in who you are becoming.

And shouldn't we also be a little more considerate about what happens when our authenticity bumps up against someone else's?

Maybe authenticity should be approached less as a static state of being and more like a process? Something we practice from the inside out? Stepping into a better version of ourselves?


Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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