Made with the guy who stole my illustration job — MidJourney.

Nine subtle habits of the most authentic people I know

Alex Mathers
4 min readFeb 27, 2024


I struggled to be what people call ‘authentic’ for a long time because I didn’t know who I was, nor did I often trust who I was.

I was in my head, second-guessing my decisions and behaviours. This came across as a little awkward, and sometimes I’d force things, so I came off even more weird.

I’m still frequently awkward, but my life is far better because I understand what it means to realise your authentic self.

Here are some ideas:

They read articles like these and take the advice but then forget about it.

Being authentic is not a conscious act. It’s what manifests in us when we aren’t trying to be a particular way.

It’s what shows up when we aren’t self-obsessing, self-criticising and judging. That’s not to say you can’t learn how to communicate better.

But once you’ve internalised it and practised it, it’s time to let it go.

They do what they said they’d do.

Authentic people live honestly.

This doesn’t only mean being honest around the people we come across. It’s about being honest in those quiet moments behind the scenes when no one is watching.

It’s about being honest with ourselves. We can’t always be perfect, and sometimes we slip. But you must move in the direction of integrity.

This means doing what you committed to doing because you honour your commitments.

They smile when they want to smile.

Social interaction isn’t all about proving to the world how nice you are.

I used to exert myself smiling and laughing in an attempt to appear cool, happy and normal. I ended up with a strained face and low-key depressed.

Don’t force it. Relax yourself and listen. Respond how you want.

This inspires others to be themselves too.

Their actions are in line with their values.

Beyond acting in line with their intentions, they follow their value system too.