Book Creator


by Shad Ali

Pages 2 and 3 of 8

What exactly does it mean to be authentic?
Authenticity is acting in accordance with one’s true self, and being authentic means behaving in congruence with one’s values, beliefs, motives, and personality dispositions.
Admittedly, striving to be authentic raises more questions. What is my true self? Is the self that I know my true self? What if there are aspects of my true self that are obscured from my awareness? Do I have to be my true self all the time? What if who I think my true self is and what others consider my true self to be, are a mismatch? Does that make me inauthentic? Or does it mean people who think I’m inauthentic got it wrong?
Perhaps to understand better what authenticity means, it may be helpful to consider what authenticity is not.
Being Authentic Does Not Mean...
Being Honest. Authenticity is not the same as honesty. Honesty is the quality of being truthful. It implies that we are willing and able to share a truth. Sometimes, however, we choose to withhold the truth. We may share some parts of the truth and conceal other parts. We may “massage” the truth and present it in ways that make it more palatable. We may even share something entirely untrue—the occasional white lie—if we deem it necessary to protect ourselves or someone else. Have you ever called in sick without being really sick?
Have you ever told someone that life is good, even when you think your life sucks at the moment? Have you ever pretended to chuckle when someone made a joke that you thought wasn’t funny at all? Sometimes we withhold the truth without intending to be dishonest or deceitful. Does that make us inauthentic?
On the contrary, we are being abundantly authentic, even when we are not being honest. If you fake-laugh at my not-funny-at-all joke, at that moment, you make a choice based on what you value (being kind over being honest), what you believe (telling me the truth may hurt me), and what you intend (to build rapport). You are being authentic.