What does it mean to be ‘Authentic’​?

brionycroft Personal Branding

“To be authentic, we must cultivate the courage  to be imperfect – and vulnerable. We have to believe that we are fundamentally worthy of love and acceptance, just as we are. I’ve learned that there is no better way to invite more grace, gratitude and joy into our lives than by mindfully practicing authenticity”.

Brené Brown

In our first article “What is personal branding?”, we named authenticity as one of our top components of one’s personal brand. But what does it mean to be authentic?

Authentic is defined as “not false or copied; genuine; real”. 

You would be hard pressed to identify an authentic person without integrity. The two go hand in hand. Authentic people don’t just talk the talk. They walk the walk. They’re consistently being true to themselves and it shows in their interactions with others.

Authentic people don’t shy away from vulnerability. They’re open, honest and real, all of the time. They are a pleasure to be around. They afford you the opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level seemingly so naturally and organically. You want to continue conversations with them. Their willingness to be vulnerable drives connection. It encourages you to open up and give vulnerability a try. 

Not only do we want authenticity for ourselves, we desire it for those that we choose to spend time and interact with. Think about the Instagram pages you enjoy following. You are most likely attracted to individuals who practice vulnerability. Whether it’s a make-up free photo showing an ongoing battle with acne, a business owner who has hit a cross road and expressing honest frustration, or a heartfelt post about the difficulties of having a child who is not sleeping, people are attracted to the realness of such posts. It’s refreshing to see someone accepting imperfections and carrying on with confidence anyway. 

So, remember to be true to yourself. Your whole self. Don’t be scared to be vulnerable. You are opening yourself up to a world of connections if you let down the walls. And lastly, be kind to yourself and to others.

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind”.

Henry James