The 7 traits all authentic people have

What’s authentic for everyone is different, but there are some commonalities amongst people who are true to themselves. How many can you see in yourself? 

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is quoted as saying, ‘You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.’ You see, being authentic is a personal endeavour. Authenticity looks different for every one of us, so how do you know if you are truly living authentically? This How to Be You masterclass is designed with bestselling author and psychologist Kelly Weekers to steer you on a path to authentic living through our guided sessions, meditation, tips and more. And, in this article, we reveal the 7 traits all authentic people have in common, because while authenticity in practice looks different for us all – identifying whether you can resonate with these authentic traits and see them in yourself will let you know whether you are on the right path.  


“Developing these traits is a great way of boosting your sense of authenticity,” says Kelly. “As soon as you start to get to know yourself better you understand how certain thoughts, emotions and actions help you to stay true to yourself and how others blocked you from living authentically. Working on this is a natural part of the journey back to the real you.” 


Don’t worry if you can only identify with a couple of the traits at this point - with time, practice and by implementing the tips below, you should slowly start to identify with more and more of them until you are living all of them with confidence. Let’s dive into it. 



True to themselves in any scenario or interaction that presents itself, authentic people don’t compare themselves to others. They don’t change like a chameleon to fit in or to seek validation from others. 


Kelly’s tip:Comparison feeds insecurity and insecurity lets you chase goals that are not true to you but often to whatever gets the approval from others. The secret to avoiding comparison, being your own cheerleader and carving your own path is in how you talk to yourself.  


“What struck me about myself was that I could be a very good friend. When people around me were having a hard time, I was there for them. But I didn't support myself. When I did something wrong, or when I made a mistake, I was always hard on myself. I even made it worse by saying things like 'how stupid can you be', 'of course you won't succeed!' and 'what did you even expect?!'. If I talked to my friends that way, I wouldn't have any left!  


“Pay attention to your self-talk. How do you talk to yourself? Especially when things didn’t go the way you hoped. When you feel bad, do your words make it better or worse? Make sure the words you exchange with yourself are positive, supportive and motivating. Talk to yourself as someone who has your best interests at heart. Always be your own best friend! For a day try to actively 'catch' yourself when having negative thoughts or comparing yourself to others. Try to replace the thought with something positive.” 




Being open-minded and not judging others is sure-fire way to see if someone is authentic. Authentic people don’t feel the need to put others down or get jealous at their successes, they are kind and respectful. 


Kelly’s tip: “Being more compassionate towards other people is a great way to be less judgmental. It requires nothing more than putting yourself in their shoes for a minute. What did they have to do to reach those goals? Why are they acting a certain way? What would you need in their position? Being able to tune in to other people’s emotions and needs – and what they did to get to where they are today - makes us less harsh and critical towards each other.  


If it’s jealousy you’re feeling, try to understand what your jealous feelings say about your current self and state of mind. Why are you so triggered? What exactly is upsetting you? The emotions you feel are driven by whatever you tell yourself. Instead of telling yourself I’m less than another person because they have this or achieved that tell yourself and them that you are happy for them, and that you feel inspired by them to reach your own goals. 


Understanding why we feel a certain way can help us change it. Judgement and jealousy often stem from counting other’s blessings instead of your own and focusing on someone else’s dreams instead of your own. Turn it around!” 


Feel yourself becoming overwhelmed? Try Kelly’s simple relaxing candle exercise next time stress strikes at work and beyond. 


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Being caring and open is important to authentic people, but they are not people-pleasers. They don’t constantly bend to others at the detriment of their own happiness. 


Kelly’s tip: “It’s important for us to understand, once and for all, that being selfish is healthy to a certain extent. It is a form of self-protection that makes sure you respect your own energy and time and protect it. Your own opinions, wants, and needs are equally as valuable as those of others. Being caring and open towards others has nothing to do with saying no to others. It’s about creating the time and space to say YES to yourself.  


“When something or someone triggers you to drift away from what you really want, don't respond immediately. Press pause and ask yourself: Where does this reaction come from? Do I really want to spend my time and energy on this? By using that same pause button that I talked about in this video you will consciously respond, so you can sense your limits, protect your boundaries and live more authentically and on the path of your happiness instead of others.” 




Those who live authentically don’t shy away from their feelings. Whether it’s sadness, fear, happiness or excitement, they show their emotions. 


Kelly’s tip: “It doesn’t always feel comfortable to share your emotions with others when you are having a hard time but the relief you feel afterwards really helps you feel better and true to yourself. It helps deepen your relationships as others understand better where you are coming from and, also, can help them feel more comfortable being vulnerable with you.  


“Openness is worth a lot. It doesn’t make you stronger to ignore or hide your emotions, on the contrary, ignoring your emotions makes you more vulnerable and potentially easily triggered. Daring to be vulnerable is a superpower and a way to truly be yourself.” 




Ever curious and questioning the things around them, authentic people are not stuck in their ways. They love to learn new things. 


Kelly’s tip: “Getting to know yourself and being authentically you is a lifelong process of growth, not something you can complete in an hour. To be open to new things, people, places, and new versions of you should be a mindful practice. Get into the habit of asking yourself these questions: What do I think about this? Why do I want this? Why do I do that? What would I like to do?  


“When you are more in tune with yourself it will help you get to know yourself more and more. Be open to pick up a new hobby, start reading a few pages of a non-fiction book daily, listen to and ask questions to people that have different lifestyles and beliefs to you. Be curious. When you are eager to learn about the world and others, it will also be easier to get to know and be yourself.” 




Not only do authentic people know that making mistakes is part of life, they also readily own up to those mistakes by putting their hands up and saying, ‘I was wrong’. They’re not afraid to ask for help, either. 


Kelly’s tip: “Everybody makes mistakes and not being able to admit you messed up or did something wrong prevents you from being authentically you. Learn to acknowledge your mistakes - not by coming up with excuses but by owning them. It won’t feel comfortable in the moment but after you’ll feel liberated. Affirm to yourself more often that you can be perfectly imperfect like everyone else.  


“The only reason why it sometimes seems like other people never make mistakes is because they are better at hiding them than others. It’s freeing to know that you don’t have to be perfect and every mistake that you acknowledge is an opportunity to grow.” 




It’s okay to say no, and authentic people know this all too well. They’re comfortable turning down a party because they need alone time or missing a late-night meeting because family time is more important. They sail their own course.  


Kelly’s tip: “Today, and preferably all days that follow, remember that when something is asked of you that no is also an answer. And before you let your no be accompanied by of a whole series of excuses and explanations: don't do it. ‘No, I’m not able to’ is a full sentence. Do you still feel the need to explain your no? Then don't forget that explaining is different from justifying yourself. You can explain, of course, but apologies and extensive explanations are not necessary.  


“If you do say yes, don’t say it out of guilt, expectations, or fear, only say yes if you want to with your head and your heart. And in case of genuine doubt? Tell the person you would like to think about the request for a moment before you say yes or no. Your gut often tells you what the right answer is. In any case, don't say yes on autopilot, sleep on it, and give someone your authentic answer.”  


This article is part of our authenticity masterclass to help you discover who you truly are and to empower you to lead and live a more authentic life. By allowing yourself to tap into your true essence you will be able to connect with the world around you in a new and positive way.