Authenticity is one of the most important qualities that a person can have. Of course, being kind, courageous, optimistic, and loyal are important too, among so many other things. However, all of these tend to lose their value if they’re not backed by genuine authenticity.
Social media presents a huge challenge to remaining authentic in today’s world. Sometimes it can feel like a big competition that you’re constantly losing, trying to compare your messy, imperfect life to someone else’s perfectly curated, aesthetically pleasing Instagram™ photos. Authenticity is rare on social media, which leads us to try to live our lives in a way that follows suit. Realizing that we’re all humans who have struggles is harder than it’s ever been before, but it’s important that we strive to continue living our lives (both online and in person) as authentically as possible … here’s why.
Authenticity establishes trust.
Did you know that 73% of adults ages 30 and under believe that people “just look out for themselves” most of the time? This is an unfortunate statistic, as faith in other people is the key to a solid foundation in relationships of all kinds.
So, how do you establish trusting relationships? Keeping it real with each other is #1, whether you’re in a work environment or just at home with your spouse. Being your honest self, not giving into the pressure to conform, and telling the truth even when it’s ugly are all important to maintaining trust. People need to know that they can count on you and vice versa—authenticity makes it happen.
Authenticity makes you relatable.
Nobody can relate to someone who seems to have it together 100% of the time because that’s not realistic. Showing that you are, in fact, human, is hard sometimes, but it helps us remind each other that it’s okay when life gets a little messy … that’s just life.
Like we said previously, social media is one of the hardest places to find authenticity. However, some influencers have hopped on the Instagram vs. Reality trend (a.k.a. #instagramvsreality) to break this mold and show followers you shouldn’t believe everything you see on social media. The idea is to post your perfectly filtered photo alongside a real photo of that same instance. For example, a mom might post a picture of her smiling baby along with a photo of her baby screaming just seconds later. This is a way to remind ourselves that we don’t have to be held to the standard of perfection that we so often see in our news feeds. There is always relatable life happening on the other side of the screen.
People crave your authenticity.
When it comes to supporting brands, 86% of consumers said that authenticity is important. The same is true when it comes to human connection. “People follow authenticity. They are searching for it,” said Karissa Thacker, a psychologist and author of The Art of Authenticity. “I think it’s twofold: The drive to be authentic and the drive to be around other authentic human beings goes all the way back to philosophy.”
Here are a few tips on how you can work on improving your own authenticity.
- Let go of beliefs no longer serving you.
- Strive for continual improvement in all areas of your life.
- Tell the truth.
- Trust your intuition.
- Don’t worry about the opinions of others. As Dita Von Tesse said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
So much of who we are and what happens in our lives depends on our authenticity. Letting others know that you’re human isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that we’re all a lot more alike than we thought.
Need some ideas of how to become successful? Read our blog post here on “Five Things Successful People Tell Themselves.”