I’ve recently defined authenticity as living a life that is in alignment with your values, believes, and personality. I believe that living an authentic life is essential for finding serenity and meaning as well as increasing your well-being. But living authentically can be difficult. Here are a few reasons why:
Fear of Other People’s Opinions
We often fear living authentically because we think that hiding who we truly are is the only way that other people will like us. Nothing seems more catastrophic than showing our authentic self only to be ridiculed and shamed for it. Thus, we often try to hide our authentic selves and suffer for it.
Attention, Validation, and Directionlesness
We crave the attention, compliments, and validation of others, leading us to act inauthentically to secure them as rewards. This leaves us vulnerable because others will always tell us, to live how they think we should live. But, if we follow their advice, we will often veer from our authentic path.
Influence of Peers, Society, and False Gods
Lastly, the influence of society, our peers, and our family may lead us to place too much importance on values that are not our own. Then, we spend our days chasing money, status, and fame too busy to realize that none of these will fill the hole that our unmet authenticity has created.
Fear, the influence of others, and directionlessness are many reasons why it’s difficult to live authentically. One solution to this would be to withdraw into solitude and many, now famous, people have done so. But we can’t live a life of service and help others if we’re retreating from the world.
But, now that you’re equipped with the awareness to see the obstacles for an authentic life you can change course, make adjustments, and pivot when you encounter them. This will ideally help you to live a more authentic life.