There are more than five ways you’ll know your authentic self when you see it, but I’m limiting this to 5 for the sake of time. Being an authentic woman means you know who you are and are confident letting the world see the real you. The word authentic means true, genuine, and real. Our social media-centric society focuses much more on appearance rather than reality. Just look at the glossy magazines with photoshopped images of supermodels or the picture-perfect Instagram feeds and you can see how easy it is to fall into the trap of becoming shallow, fake, and inauthentic.

It takes courage to punch fear in the throat and live authentically.

Some times you may feel like you’re alone, fighting against popular opinion and continuing to pursue what you really believe in. Other times it’s hard to tell if you’re being the real you, or the made-up version. Here are five ways you can determine whether or not you are an authentic woman.

You Express Your Feelings in a Positive Way without Fear

Your authentic self  is not afraid to express her full range of emotions, but in a positive and constructive way. This doesn’t mean you have to be positive all the time; it means that you understand the impact that your moods and words have on the people around you. You can be angry without shouting or being sarcastic. You can express sadness or disappointment without trying to make the other person feel as though it is all their fault.

You acknowledge your feelings without trying to suppress them until you are so stressed you blow up and completely lose control. Your authentic self gives yourself space and permission to feel the full range of feelings without trying to numb them because you know they will come out one way or the other.

You Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say

Your authentic self is clear about what you want and need, and is willing to share your life with positive people who will support your goals. You are able to say no to demands put upon you by others without being afraid that the relationship will suffer for it.

If you do make a promise, you follow through, even if it might be inconvenient sometimes. Others know you are as good as your word and respect you for your integrity.

You Like Yourself, Moles and All

Your authentic self  knows your strengths and is proud of your skills and talents. She maximizes the time you spend in your zone of genius because that is where you feel most powerful. You minimize  the time you spend beating yourself up for things that are difficult for you. If you need to develop a skill you work on it because you are more than capable of improving yourself.

You Seek Real Connection Rather Than Hiding Behind a Mask

Your authentic self  has enough self-esteem to know your own worth and believe that you deserve friendship, attention and love. When you are with close friends or even new acquaintances, you seek deeper connection and find out what others think rather than sticking to polite small talk.

You are a good listener who does not need to be the center of every conversation. In your love life, you focus on intimacy and emotional connection and don’t try to hide behind a mask for fear of being rejected.

You Constantly Work to Improve Yourself to Be the Best You Can Be

Your authentic self is so self-aware that she is always working to improve herself. For example, if she knows she has a problem with financial management, she doesn’t ignore it until the small problems become  bigger problems. She finds a mentor or resource that helps her with abundant thinking to improve her thinking and skills. Gaining control over her financial future is important so she prioritizes that skill development.

You can increase your authenticity through practice and self-awareness. Being authentic inspires confidence in others, making you a magnet for the right people who will support you as you live your life as a genuine person. What other ways do you have to tell when you’re being your authentic self?

Allegra Sinclair is a professional coach and confidence expert. She hates to see women living small and loves to help them change how they show up in the world.

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