The Authentic You

July 18, 2012 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Learn how to be the authentic you. Skills to reduce feelings of insecurity, build self-esteem, become attractive to others, increase happiness.

What is the authentic you? When people say you're not being real, they're telling you that you're inauthentic. Let me give you an example to clarify the concept of the "authentic you."

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with some of my nearest and dearest friends. While with them, I was at ease and completely myself. I was Emily, and my friends love the true, authentic, sometimes clumsy, silly, happy, honest, real Emily.

I left the weekend feeling re-energized, at peace, and totally happy. I even made some new friends who wanted to make plans when we arrived home. Phone calls and emails came in asking when I was free. I was open to meeting with them because I was being myself when we met. When you are your authentic self, you are undoubtedly attractive to others. They want to be around you, now and in the future.

Being Authentic or Inauthentic

Often times, we get in situations or feel inauthentic; acting from a place of insecurity, fear, and the need to feel accepted. We operate from a place of feeling as though others will not like us for who we are. We put a false, sometimes defensive front, which is out of insecurity. Many times, the root cause of this is due to low self-esteem.

One of my coaches, Gabrielle Bernstien, who is an expert on the topic of authenticity and self-love, as well as one of the happiest people I have ever met, says:

“When we are inauthentic, we are acting out of alignment with who we truly are.”

This rings true for me and many of the individuals I’ve worked with. It feels fake, feels like we are trying too hard, and often times it’s a feeling that we can’t quite put our finger on until after we have engaged in the behavior. Gabrielle's book, Add More Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, is an awesome resource for becoming more self-aware and happy with yourself.

The False, Inauthentic You

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you are not being the real you? Sure, in a professional setting or around a group of people you don’t know, you may not let all your true colors out, but that doesn’t mean part of them can’t come out. Noticing the fearful and insecure thoughts that arise in these situations is the key to becoming more authentic, and attractive to others. When you can recognize where you are “out of alignment” with your most secure, and real self, you have discovered the key to becoming more authentic and ultimately building self-esteem.

The Real, Authentic You

In order to become more authentic, attractive and secure, you have to start engaging in activities or experiences that bring out this side of you. For many of my clients, if they are spending time around a peer group who brings up these feelings of insecurity, I ask them to start spending more time around those who bring out the "best in you," and begin to recognize the difference. Here are some other ideas:

  • Use affirmations and begin making a list of your amazing qualities. Look at them every day.
  • Be nice to yourself. Self-care and spending time engaging in activities or thoughts that make you feel good on the inside will show on the outside; others are attracted to happy people.
  • If you are aware particular situations bring up feelings of insecurity or being inauthentic, then start to practice how you would like to act and feel in them, visualize a new scenario.
  • Create a list of how you want to feel in these situations.
  • Stop beating yourself up, avoid negative thinking. Becoming aware of your negative thoughts gives you control. Use some of these skills to avoid going down that path.

Others will come and go, but your relationship with yourself is the most important one you will ever have. The more authentic you become, the more confident you will feel, and attract others who feel the same about you. It must come from within first.

Take Good Care.

Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

APA Reference
Roberts, E. (2012, July 18). The Authentic You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Hilary Packard
December, 27 2012 at 5:12 am

I appreciate what you are saying - great for you that others like the 'real' you - but what if others don't or are 'put-off', like if you are 'different'? And being authentic requires a confidence, self-liking that may not be possessed (due to derogatory comments, teasing.)

September, 8 2012 at 3:04 pm

Good article. I would also take into consideration what you need to do in building confidence in new situations for those less confident such as; acting confident until it comes out of you more naturally with practice. During this period of practice or acting a person may not feel truly authentic, yet!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2012 at 11:41 pm

Great point, its like they say fake it til you make it but try and feel it too. You are right it may not feel truly authentic, but you will find a balance overtime.
Take Good Care,

July, 21 2012 at 8:29 pm

Very well written piece when one is false the trip all over them self trying to impress others but when one is true to one self every thing comes natural.

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