How to be Authentic … and Appropriate

Authenticity is a word that seems to be very hot lately.  We are encouraged to be authentic and authentically express ourselves.

But what does authenticity truly mean? And is it possible to be too authentic? Are there times when fully expressing ourselves is actually not appropriate

I’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity as it has been something I have been working on with my coach and has also been the theme this month for my Inner Circle membership community.  I share some insights and tips on how you can be both authentic AND appropriate in today’s video.

In the video I explain how to be authentic and responsible. Authenticity is not about saying whatever we want with no regard with how it may impact someone else.  It is also not about over-sharing and processing our wounds publicly.

Authenticity is about speaking our truth with love. Sharing for the purpose of connection rather than to get attention or validation. It is about being ourselves without judgment or self-consciousness.  To be authentic requires radical self-acceptance, learning from our perceived mistakes and moving forward with awareness.   Most of all, authenticity is about owning our gifts and expressing them in a way that FEELS good.

I encourage you to reflect on how you can be even more authentic in your life.  Do an inventory of your relationships, choices and behaviors and ask yourself, “Is this in alignment with what I really want? Am I being 100% honest with myself or others?” And if your answer is no to those questions, consider making some adjustments.

Be authentic by creating an external life that matches your internal truth. Tweet this!

  • Susan Pelletier

    I pride myself on my ability to be open, authentic and vulnerable. People often comment on how moved or inspired they are by it. However, I’m often left feeling like I’ve over shared and I notice some colleagues or new friends distancing themselves. This is especially true with new love interests, which has me feeling very alone and ashamed and confused on how to be in the world. I rarely consider if my sharing is responsible or beneficial to others unless I’m in a counseling role. In a social setting I’m apt to say whatever floats to the top of my brain.

    Some people have a wonderful, easy way of just “being real” and I cherish this quality in myself and others. I’m curious about a middle path tho’.
    I’m looking forward to listening.

    • Christine Hassler

      Thank you for sharing Susan and being vulnerable. After listening/reading this post, what feels like the “authentic middle path” to you?

      • Susan Pelletier

        Hi Christine, thank you for your question. For me, the last few years have been about processing my wounds publicly. Psychology grad programs require it and it then extended out into my entire way of connecting with others. I have rich relationships with others who are interested in processing their traumas and wounds. But I feel the limitations to this now and want to make room for different areas of connection and conversation. Middle would be feeling true to all the I am while managing boundaries without feeling self conscious and hypervigilant.

  • Pammy

    Hi Christine ! For me it’s learning to take the “mask” off. It’s a thick one! But peeling back the layers and getting to the real me has been both uncomfortable and amazing. It’s a process I’m sure will take awhile but I didn’t take this part into my new tool box so thank you !

    • Christine Hassler

      Hi Pammy, I acknoledge you for taking off the “mask” and allowing your authentic self lead. Growth is a process and the more gentle and compassionate you can be with yourself the better. Sounds like you are doing it.

      • Pammy

        Thank you Christine ! Believe it or not the mask just started coming off once I bought your book and started listening to your podcast. It was time and boom I found you so I considered it Devine intervention

      • Pammy

        Also Christine I love Jill! She’s amazing ,)

  • John V

    Hi Christine! Your discussion resonated with me on past experiences on being too authentic – vulnerability. I learned that you need to be careful who and what you would like to share your thoughts with. You should distinguish your vulnerability between your professional people and friends. I like your idea in having a discussion with your “inner circle” first before going at broad. Thanks for your discussion :)

    • Christine Hassler

      John, it is my pleasure & joy. So glad you found this discussion helpful.

  • Kathy

    Hi Christine, I am just having therapy at the moment about this exact topic. I feel sometimes I just don’t have a filter before I speak. I in my own mind think that it is ok and wish that my acquaintances would sometimes be more open and get to the nitty gritty and say what they think. Not to be nasty but at least have an opinion . As I live by myself I’m afraid I do have verbal diarrhoea when I happen to meet people. Now having therapy I am confused as to who I am and have to find out who the real me is as how I have been living isn’t working.

    • Christine Hassler

      Kathy, I acknoledge you for the work you are doing and it is a self discovery process and a journey. The more you authentically speak from your heart, the more that becomes comfortable and you will attract people people of the same vibration of you. This post might be helpful too: