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What is the Formula for Authentic Living?

Know yourself, own yourself, be yourself.

There are three things that authentic people do well. They know themselves, they own themselves, and they are prepared to be themselves.

Know yourself

First, to be authentic, we need to be able to face up to the truth about ourselves no matter how unpleasant we may find that. Authentic people are honest with themselves. They challenge and question themselves, look for ways in which they are being self-deceptive, and try to see things from different angles. They know what they think but they will change their views if new information comes their way. As such authenticity requires openness and the ability to be realistic.

Own yourself

Second, the authentic person will not let others blind them to their own truth or let others bully them into taking a position that they don’t agree with. Authentic people take responsibility for their choices in life. They know that they are the authors of their own lives. They do not shy away from their mistakes by blaming others. But they also do not blame themselves. They own themselves and they expect others to take their own responsibility. They know that no one else is the boss of them. They are the boss of themselves.

Be yourself

Third, authentic people say what they mean and mean what they say. They are the people we enjoy spending time with and who we will share our fears and hopes with. They are the institutions we are proud to belong to and whose services we trust. They are the politicians we vote for time and again. The authentic person’s inclination is towards openness and transparency with others, but they are not fools. They will refuse be dragged into needless arguments with people who have no intention of seeing a different point of view. They know when the more authentic thing to do is to walk away.

These three things that authentic people do are a powerful trio in all walks of life, but most importantly they need to be joined. In short:

Know Yourself + Own Yourself + Be Yourself = The Authentic life

If any one of these three parts is missing it is not authentic living. You cannot be yourself unless you own yourself and you cannot own yourself unless you know yourself.

Such qualities as those above are vital to success and happiness in all areas of our lives.

find out more in my new book Authentic.How to be yourself and why it matters,