Being genuinely authentic — knowing who you are and what you value and being true to those things in your daily life — is vital to happiness, as important as forming strong friendships and finding fulfilling work.
If you talk about what you believe and identify with what you say, rather than hiding yourself from others, you’ll be a happier person. To achieve peak happiness — autonomy, competence and relatedness — we have to do what we believe, do it well, keep getting better at it and connect to other people in the process. The surest way to achieve all that is to live authentically.
Understanding who you are and feeling confident enough to express your views may also lead to improved health and longevity. People with high measures of authenticity tend to have better resources for dealing with setbacks, feel more secure in their ability to meet life’s challenges, form deeper relationships and develop a stronger sense of self-worth. They also seem to experience less stress. Individuals who know themselves well and act on what they know have fewer stress-related symptoms such as headaches, backaches and stomachaches.