To be authentic requires self-awareness and self acceptance when we are adults. As babies and very young children we are naturally authentic, it is the only way we can be, it is our natural state. Through our conditioning and social expectations we compromise ourselves and dilute this authenticity to please others and to fit in. However, the real You is still inside and can be brought back out into the world unconditionally at any time if you so choose.
What does it mean to be authentic? It means not lying, not blaming, being personally responsible for You. Relating to yourself in a positive and healthy way. Believing in yourself; opening your heart to those around you. It means being present, strong, open, honest, genuine, sincere, able to challenge appropriately, encouraging others to be themselves and be the best they can be. You are not faking it or wearing a mask, not trying to impress, to be right, to prove yourself to anyone or trying to be something else; you are just being who you are – and if you do not really know who that is then make it your sole priority to sort that out as all else is limited by your inability to be authentic.
You want to show up fully in this life on a daily basis and you can do that only to the extent that you accept and know yourself. Being real demands that you be present which demands that you trust yourself to be able to handle whatever life has to offer you. The alternative to being authentic is to be ruled by your ego which is always self destructive. So, in the words of William Shakespeare “to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”