15 signs you’re an authentic person, even if you don’t think so

by Brendan Brown | April 11, 2024, 11:17 pm

Are you undoubtedly you? Doubting your own authenticity can sometimes take a toll. It can make you feel like you’re living a version of life that’s not genuinely yours. 

Authenticity is about embracing who you are, valuing your unique characteristics, and navigating life based on your own compass rather than external expectations.  

Not living this way can make you feel so lost. It’s not a great place to be, and it can lead to insecurities that will then impact your relationships and other aspects of your life.

So if you want to confirm whether or not you’re living authentically, here are 15 signs:

1) You express your opinions

Authentic people have their own opinions and aren’t afraid to express them, even if they’re unpopular. They believe in their perspective and are confident in presenting it, recognizing that it’s okay to disagree with others.

That’s like when I say, “I don’t love pizza.” I know it’s a very unpopular opinion, but I have my reasons. Melted cheese is not my thing. Sorry!

You might worry that voicing your opinions will lead to conflict, but remember, diversity in thoughts and ideas fosters richer conversations and mutual growth. 

Your distinct perspective is valuable, and sharing it is a testament to your authenticity.

2) You acknowledge your emotions

Authenticity involves acknowledging your emotions, even the ones that feel uncomfortable or inconvenient. 

Authentic people don’t shy away from their feelings. They accept them as part of their human experience.

It has taken me a lot of hard work in therapy to recognize that I’m a highly sensitive person, for instance. And while some might think it’s a weakness, I’m at a point where I have to live my truth and own my sensitive ways with a badge of honor.

It makes me me.

If you find yourself sitting with your emotions and allowing yourself to feel them, even when it’s difficult, that’s a sign of authenticity. You’re engaging with your internal world, respecting your emotional landscape, and learning from it.

3) You seek personal growth

I always tell my daughters, we’re all a work in progress.

Authentic people understand that they will continuously seek personal growth. They recognize their strengths and weaknesses and are open to feedback that can help them become better versions of themselves.

If you’re always trying to learn, improve, and grow, it’s a good sign that you’re authentic. 

Your commitment to personal development reflects your authentic desire to align your actions with your values and goals.

4) You prioritize your values

Authentic people live according to their values. They understand what’s important to them and strive to align their actions and decisions with these principles.

If you find yourself making decisions based on what aligns with your values rather than what’s convenient or socially expected, that’s a sign of authenticity. 

You’re honoring your beliefs, and that’s a powerful testament to your authentic self.

5) You’re not defined by external validation

While recognition can feel good, authentic people do not depend on external validation to feel worthy or successful. They define success and happiness on their own terms and seek self-validation.

Authentic folks don’t strive to be “cool” (or at least other people’s definition of “cool”). They don’t care.

When you find that your happiness is not tied to others’ approval, you’re demonstrating authenticity. 

Your sense of self-worth comes from within, and that’s an influential aspect of authentic living.

6) You embrace vulnerability

The most authentic people aren’t afraid to show vulnerability

They understand that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness but a reflection of their courage to express their genuine feelings and experiences.

If you’re open about your struggles, fears, and uncertainties, you’re authentically embracing your humanity. 

I appreciate people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. That shows real courage, and it shows authenticity! Showing vulnerability is an authentic act of strength.

7) You practice active listening

Authenticity is also about being present and genuinely engaged in interactions with others. Authentic people listen actively, showing genuine interest in understanding others’ perspectives.

When you don’t practice active listening, it shows your lack of authenticity. Valuing others’ thoughts and feelings demonstrates authenticity. 

You’re showing that you value genuine connections, and that’s a beautiful reflection of your authenticity.

8) You own your mistakes

Authentic individuals take responsibility for their actions, including their mistakes. They see them as opportunities to learn and grow rather than as a threat to their self-image.

If you readily accept your missteps and take steps to make amends, it’s a sign of authenticity. 

Owning up to your mistakes shows your commitment to honesty and integrity, key aspects of an authentic person.

9) You genuinely celebrate others

People with a high level of authenticity will genuinely rejoice in others’ achievements because they’re secure in their own journey. 

They understand that life is not a competition but a path of personal growth.

If you find yourself genuinely happy for others’ successes, it’s a sign of authenticity. I tend to give everyone at work kudos when I can—and I do so because I’m actually delighted for them. 

I tell my daughters all the time, “There’s enough room in the sky for all of the stars to shine.” Authentic people know this to be true too! You’re showing an abundant mindset. 

10) You have strong boundaries

Authentic people understand the importance of personal boundaries. They know their limits and aren’t afraid to communicate them to others.

If you have clear boundaries and uphold them, it’s a sign of authenticity. Some authentic people might say, “IDGAF.” And they mean it (respectfully).

It means they have respect for their well-being and that they’re committed to maintaining balance in their lives.

11) You’re not afraid to say no

Similar to setting boundaries, Authentic people understand that saying “yes” to everything is not only impossible but can also be detrimental to their well-being. 

They have the courage to say “no” when something doesn’t align with their values, capacity, or interests.

If you’re able to turn down requests or opportunities that don’t feel right, that’s a sign of authenticity. 

It shows that you respect your time, energy, and commitments, and you’re willing to prioritize what truly matters to you.

12) You stay true to yourself, even under pressure

Authentic people stay true to their beliefs and values, even when they’re under pressure to conform. They don’t change their attitudes or behavior just to fit in or please others.

If you remain steadfast in your principles despite external pressures, it’s a clear sign of authenticity. 

Your ability to stand firm in your truth, regardless of the circumstances, speaks volumes about your genuine character.

13) You treat others with respect

We love that authentic people treat others with respect and kindness, regardless of their status, background, or beliefs. 

They understand that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.

Those who make it a point to treat everyone they meet with respect show authenticity. Their actions demonstrate their belief in the intrinsic value of every person.

14) You’re not afraid to ask for help

Authentic people recognize that they don’t have all the answers and they’re not afraid to ask for help. They understand that seeking assistance is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and wisdom.

If you’re comfortable asking others for help when you need it, it’s a sign of authenticity. It shows that you’re secure in your abilities, but also aware of your limitations.

15) You’re comfortable in your own skin

Lastly, authentic people are comfortable in their own skin. They embrace their individuality and don’t feel the need to mimic someone else’s style or lifestyle.

When you feel at ease being yourself, quirks and all, it’s a sign of authenticity

You’re content with who you are, and that contentment is the ultimate testament to your authenticity.

Final word on authenticity

Authenticity isn’t about perfection—it’s about embracing your true self, with all your strengths and flaws, and living a life that aligns with your values. 

These signs are all indicators that you are more authentic than you might believe. 

And if you don’t think you’re there yet, that’s okay! Remember that authenticity is a journey. We’re all a work in progress, right? 

If you cosign with a handful (or more!) of the things in the list above, you’re already on the right path. Every step you take toward being true to yourself is a victory in authenticity

Keep being you, because you’re more authentic (and wonderful!) than you realize.

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