Always Be Yourself And Have Faith In Yourself

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Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.”Bruce Lee

The real nature of authenticity is a much debated subject that extends back to the Hellenistic Age. Ancient philosophers like Socrates defined the true self as something to be discovered while existentialists argue that it’s meant to be created. What does Science say?

Wake Forest University psychologist William Fleeson and graduate student Joshua Wilt published their surprising findings on being authentic in the Journal of Personality. Intriguingly, their study posits that being true to yourself often means acting oppositely to your own personality traits. Quite confusing, isn’t it?

Cultural assumption dictates that being authentic means being consistent to one’s personality traits, yet the participants in the study felt more authentic when they adapt to a situation. Introverts consistently associate it with acting highly extraverted; disagreeable and rude people associate it with being agreeable, considerate, and kind; while careless people associate it with being conscientious. Generally, being authentic is consistently associated with acting emotionally stable and intelligent, regardless of one’s traits.

The study contends that the authentic self is not rigid but rather flexible. Fleeson states, “Adapting to a situation can make you more true to yourself in some circumstances.” The essence of being authentic gets lost in the process of trying too hard to be “authentic.” The study suggests that authenticity is about having choices and options on how to behave.

It’s more on who you want to be, not what others want to see. The self-derived pleasure from attaining one’s ideals creates a feeling of authenticity than acting solely on impulse.

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