Authenticity not only is necessary for true life satisfaction but also having integrity: What you see is what you get.
Authenticity or being true to yourself is sometimes difficult. We are often swayed by the desire for others’ approval or to fit in. Many still live a life of trying to be what their parents dreamed for them, albeit mostly unconsciously. Sometimes we try to make ourselves how we think we should be, ignoring traits that make us uniquely us.
However, not being true to yourself, or, not having your behaviour a reflection of your values, beliefs and desires can create a dimming of consciousness or your true self. If trying to please others is your only goal you can never be yourself. However, it creates a degree of unconscious anxiety when we behave in ways that our dissonant to our true attitudes. This is known as cognitive dissonance. To deal with the anxiety, we either change our behaviour so they’re in accordance with our attitudes, or tell ourselves our behaviour is a reflection of our attitudes. Thus, we believe our actions are who we really are. Thus, if we keep surrendering our core values, we may be being inauthentic, and not even be aware of it!
I am not referring to the normal sacrifices that entail any healthy give-and-take relationship. I am referring to the surrendering of ourselves to a degree that self-fulfillment of any real kind is not really attainable. If we are aware that we are being inauthentic, we can grow resentful and bitter, feeling that we aren’t doing what we want to do. However, of course, it is in our hands to live according to our values. We are not puppets but can allow ourselves to become so of our own doing. However, this is understandable. We need to face the reality that people may not approve of us or our clothes or actions all of the time.However, in any real relationship a withholding of approval does not mean that we aren’t liked anymore. If anything, when we are strong enough to be authentic, others often respect us more.
We also like ourselves more when we are authentic. Studies show that self-esteem is greatest when we act in line with our values, and, conversely suffers the most when we behave in ways that don’t reflect them. We are more satisfied with our lives,
enjoy being able to have integrity. We come across as being genuine. We are consistent in our actions.
We are more satisfied with our lives,
enjoy being able to have integrity. Shakespeare said “to thine own self be true, and you cannot be false to any other man”. Integrity is a sense of being unified and whole, but first, we must not only know ourselves, but we must be ourselves.