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Debbie Burchett

Washington Bar Association

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Living an authentic life

I think that living an authentic life means that your words and actions are congruous with each other. You say what you mean and mean what you say and you accept yourself with all of your glorious attributes and troublesome flaws. What does living an authentic life mean to you and is it important to do so?

Topics: life
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    Dec 15 2012: We take more comfort on our perceived image as opposed to the true self. In our perception and how we imagine others to view us as, we hide our true intentions and actions. This is a very soothing and comforting position to be in. And many stay here. They deflect or ignore the realities about themselves that are harsh, painful or those that invokes them to "work" towards self improvement. Why? Well, perhaps because they havent expereinced any dire consequences that forces them to take action towards changing for the better if needed.

    Honest introspection is often harsh and hard to accpet. Especially about self. An Authentic Life is when one comes to terms with their true realities and work towards getting better in all aspects that needs progress and development. It is a life long process of progressive development. If an indivudal indulges in such a process their words and actions reflect their true personality and character that garners a lot of respect and recognition from others.

    Is it important to do so? Yes if you wish to progress, evolve and move ahead in life towards better accomplishments, successes, positive experiences, purposeful living and happier life. But on the other hand, one can choose to wallow in thier perceived image and perhaps live an entire life without any dire consequences that forces them to change.
    • Dec 16 2012: Do you truly think that a person can live their entire life based on unauthenticity and not suffer the consequences of doing so? At some point or time, is there not a price to pay or if a person is unauthentic enough do they simply not recognize the consequence or perhaps a symptom of being unauthentic is denial? (I obviously have no answers but questions.)
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        Dec 16 2012: Our unauthenticity stems from social pressures. The irony here is that we want to be seen as individuals, yet we try to conform to society all the same. Our reflected appraisals are what drives unauthenticity, and eventually, if one decides to "people-please" too much, consequences will follow, regardless of what we think about ourselves, for what we think about ourselves is normally what we think other people think about us.
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        Dec 16 2012: Debbie,
        Yes, I know a few personally who do. And I know many who do go through their whole life without consequences because living a lie need not be harmful to themselves or others. It is merely a choice in behaviour that helps one cope with the bitter realities and ugly truths. But as you said they are often in denial and they deflect their guilt with the help of arrogance and anger.

        Jerry, to your point yes unauthencity can be influenced by social pressures but need not stem from it. We do assimilate with social patterns but as individuals. I see what you are saying and agree with it it but I also believe that "people pleasing" is a choice and it can be done as authentic individuals as well.
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          Dec 20 2012: Unauthenticity I define as the facade that one puts on when he/she tries to mask the true self. There are several ways to achieve this; one of them is people-pleasing to the extent of exhaustion and mental breakdown.

          Whether one realizes he/she is "people-pleasing" is a whole different issue. Many people are exhausted from people-pleasing in their daily lives, but not many recognize it as "people-pleasing"; they recognize it as a list of obligations and things on the To-Do list.

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