Authenticity today is a paradox. Living in an age of individualism, distinguishing ourselves from the masses has become ever more important. At the same time, that ‘authenticity’ only seems to have a couple of versions, because the fact is, we’re human. And humans will always remain pack animals.
Authenticity often gets suffocated by an air of what is ‘normal’ or ‘normally authentic’. This has been leading to a controversial perspective on individuality. People are shouting that they are different but acting, dressing and talking like all the others.
What then is true authenticity? Often, we base this on a set of values or rules ‘authentic people’ seem to be adhering to, forgetting that we’re all different. If we want to find true authenticity the point is to become aware of our own rules.
So how do our own rules come to be? Partly by making conscious decisions, other times we implement them from people around us without really thinking about it. The more important role a person has in our life, the more we value their rules and often implement them in our own lives.
However, taking on too many rules from other people can threaten your own handbook. So, how do you know your rules are truly your own?
- First of all, learn more about yourself: what you like and dislike or what you want and don’t want. That helps you learn what and who you should be putting your energy into and what is truly rewarding. Those are the guidelines to creating your rules.
- There is a line between drawing inspiration from someone and copying. Inspiration is an idea that requires further thinking about while copying doesn’t require much on the thinking front at all. Whatever inspires you in a person, let it go through the you-filter first. Take on the elements that resonate with you and mold them to fit to you as an individual instead of straightforward copy pasting something into your life.
- Be aware of variety. We are all different so why would we all live in the same way? You wouldn’t apply the same rules in soccer as you would in volleyball. It would get very messy and complicated. Everyone is different and has their own manual.
- Start valuing authenticity in people around you and your own authenticity will grow as well. That means not only valuing people’s opinions and beliefs but -even more importantly- encouraging them when they act upon it.
Remember, creating your own rules is not the same as no rules! Don’t create rules for your life in order to make it easy, but to make them resonate with your authenticity.