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My intention with each of these posts is that you’re challenged to interrupt the noise and routine in your life, just for a moment, to think more deeply about what really matters in life… your relationship with yourself and with others in your professional and personal life.
Through my continued research into Intentional Trust and how trust impacts almost every measure of success in our professional and personal lives, the topic of authenticity is constantly explored.
In this post I want to pose some questions for you and to challenge you to reflect on the extent to which you believe you are living an authentic life.
First some questions
Is being authentic something we ought to care about?
If being authentic is desirable, how do we know when we are being authentic?
What does it feel like when we are experiencing it … in ourselves and in others?
What are the contributing elements that allow us to be authentic?
What are the contributing elements that cause us to be inauthentic?
These are important questions, and questions that I have been researching, both academically and experientially, for most of my adult life.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I will not attempt to answer all of these questions in this article … they deserve much deeper exploration and analysis than one blog post.
However, in future posts I will be exploring and sharing the answers to these questions with you, and I do trust you find them of value.
I’m not perfect … how about you?
Nor can I claim that I always ‘live up to’ living an authentic life. I am however, most certainly in the pursuit of and continually learning what it means to ‘be’ authentic, and how to live a more authentic, meaningful, flourishing and prosperous life.
Indeed, Abraham Maslow highlighted through his research that to live with complete authenticity is reserved for very few of us.
Because most of us are struggling to satisfy what Maslow referred to as ‘lower-order needs’ 1 like:
- dealing with physical or mental illness
- surviving ‘at work’ politics and conflicting values
- finding work
- living safely
- paying off mortgages
- finding the money to meet this month’s rent
- managing relationships
- and a host of other every-day needs, competing demands or goals.
Authenticity Increases Well-Being
What I do know from the research is this:
Even when we might be struggling to just deal with every-day ‘stuff’ in our lives, we can experience authenticity … and when we do, we boost our overall sense of well-being in a host of ways.
For example, one meta-study of 75 research projects over 19 countries and more than 36,000 people shows a significantly important association between authenticity and well-being … and in the workplace, authenticity is associated with higher performance, job satisfaction, commitment, employee engagement and lower employee absenteeism and turnover.2
The reality is I have intentionally not answered any of the questions that were listed at the top of this post, but as I mentioned earlier, in future posts I will.
For now however, science validates that authenticity, intention, trust and human flourishing are associated in many ways … that’s why these topics are so important for all of us to explore and for us to take time out to reflect on our own pursuit of authenticity.
Let me leave you with the words of psychologist Karl Yung who said this:
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
- Hicks, J. A., Schlegel, R. J. , Newman, G. E. (2019). Introduction to the Special Issue: Authenticity: Novel Insights Into a Valued, Yet Elusive, Concept. Review of General Psychology. April 26, 2019
- Sutton, A. (2020). Living the good life: A meta-analysis of authenticity, well-being and engagement. Personality and Individual Differences. Vol 153.