Authenticity as a value

We brand ourselves toward personal goals by consciously communicating personal values and identity. So now the key question is, do we brand ourselves by representing our authenticity, or do we brand ourselves as a character that would be socially acceptable?

Ida Protuger



The power of collective thinking

Leaders hold a crucial role in nurturing collective thinking as a resource. Those appreciating the value of experience and knowledge in each team member foster a safe space for exchanging ideas. They see the synergy from combined resources as valuable input toward better, well-informed, and inclusive decisions.

Breaking the stigma of seeking help for mental health

Everyone faces life challenges, and dealing with them, and seeking support from a professional, either for personal development or psychological assistance, is self-care. To step out of an uncomfortable situation, to understand that it’s okay not to feel okay. There are solutions and support out there.

We all possess a unique value that distinguishes us from the eight billion people on the planet. However, many of us fail to appreciate our individuality and authenticity. Instead, we often focus on fitting in and meeting societal expectations. This external pressure can cause to alienate us from our authentic selves. We, humans, have two equally essential needs that sometimes contradict one another. One is the need for authenticity, and the other is the belonging need. These two needs create an internal conflict, where people ask themselves, “how much should I be myself and protect that, and how much should I adapt to belong and be accepted?

This internal tension decreases with maturity, self-awareness, and self-acceptance of one’s identity and authenticity.

Self-awareness and self-acceptance lead to an increase in self-confidence and resilience to society’s pressure to fit in. The person can more easily draw boundaries to protect their authenticity and choose to give up “some authenticity” to belong.

Discovering authenticity and self-branding

We certainly communicate ourselves and our identity in many ways and through many communication channels, but we do it unconsciously most of the time.

We brand ourselves toward personal goals by consciously communicating personal values and identity. So now the key question is, do we brand ourselves by representing our authenticity, or do we brand ourselves as a character that would be socially acceptable?

The more we know ourselves and accept and communicate our identity authentically, the more we will be genuinely accepted by others.

Alienation from ourselves in favor of pretending that we are someone else, a society’s “acceptable” Persona, leads, metaphorically speaking, to leave our authenticity as a resource to wither abundant in some corner of our soul. Alienation from our authentic self or repressing it can bring anxiety, frustration, dissatisfaction, and challenging relationships with oneself and other people.

Hence, building a close and nurturing relationship with ourselves and raising self-awareness of our identity and authenticity can nurture our well-being and happiness.

Role of the society

By fostering human rights and promoting values that protect authenticity, society can greatly encourage individuals to express their true selves. This can be achieved by reducing the pressure for conformity and creating an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels accepted for their unique differences. It is essential to recognize that each person’s individuality is an asset, not a hindrance, and to promote the value of personal resources. By embracing diversity, we can create a society that empowers and liberates individuals to communicate their authenticity freely.

The fight against stereotyping and imposed behavior models take place on multiple fronts. One example is the challenge of changing the model of a woman who passively waits for a prince to rescue her, which has persisted for almost two centuries since the time of the Grimm brothers. Unfortunately, stereotypes and notions of what is good or bad are often imposed. Many democratic societies still struggle to build a legal framework and atmosphere where everyone can feel protected and express their true selves.

Personal fears of rejection, judgment, or shame impede people from embracing and expressing authenticity. 

However, the path to oneself, self-acceptance, and nurturing authenticity require personal commitment along with a supportive social environment. 

Self-acceptance begins with accepting our own “shadow.”

Shadow and Persona

According to Jung, the shadow is our personality’s darker and less conscious aspect. It’s the part of ourselves that we try to hide, deny, or repress because we consider it unacceptable, shameful, or inferior. It includes our fears, desires, impulses, and aspects of ourselves that we don’t want to acknowledge or accept.

According to Jung, by integrating the shadow into our conscious awareness, we can enable personal growth, and healing, leading to self-acceptance. Acknowledging and accepting our shadow can make us more whole, authentic, and balanced.

The Persona is the part of ourselves that we want to present to the world. It’s the social mask we wear to conform to societal expectations and to fit in with others. It’s the image we project to the outside world, usually based on society or the expectations of those around us.

Self-acceptance is, in fact, acceptance of the shadow. We are all complex human beings. Like Yin and Yang, good and “bad” possess strengths and weaknesses. Some strengths or ours could be weaknesses in some context and vice versa; some weaknesses could become, in some context, our strengths. If we repress some aspects of ourselves, they will operate from the unconscious realm. If we make them aware, the tension from the subconscious is reduced. And we can change them if we realize that some habits or behavior bring us unfavorable results in building relationships with other people.

Self-awareness and cultivating a close and nurturing relationship with oneself are how to cultivate and communicate authenticity.

Who am I, what are my values, and how do I communicate them? What makes me, ME? What would I like to change in my behavior toward a greater quality of life, and what to nurture? These are just some of the questions that will bring us closer to the authentic self and maintaining intimacy with ourselves.

Or as Erik Erikson, the father of humanistic psychology, says, “The more you know yourself, the more tolerance you have for what you see in others.”