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Don't Use Authenticity as an Excuse to Be Cruel

Work in progress

You are an imperfect work in progress. Be comfortable giving free rein to the good parts of yourself, limit and reform the bad parts, and refine the ugly.


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Don't Use Authenticity as an Excuse to Be Cruel

Don't Use Authenticity as an Excuse to Be Cruel


Key Ideas

Authenticity is under threat

The idea of authenticity has been changed into an excuse to be cruel without feeling bad about it.

Reclaiming authenticity is essential because it is a key piece of a meaningful life.


Authenticity is about being your true self and not pretending to be someone else. It is also the way to take ownership and refine and improve your true self toward the best you can become.

Therefore, if your true self is aggressive, entitled or immature, you don't have permission to mistreat others.

Know yourself

You can only know yourself if you are honest and accepting of all the parts of you.

  • Acknowledge the good parts about yourself. This can include strengths, talents, knowledge, skills.
  • Don't overlook the bad parts. The bad of you will hurt others and sabotage your path toward a meaningful life.
  • There might also be ugly parts, like being awkward, off-putting, or distracting from the good.

Work in progress

You are an imperfect work in progress. Be comfortable giving free rein to the good parts of yourself, limit and reform the bad parts, and refine the ugly.

Observe, absorb, and learn

Pay attention around you as you work on first knowing, then working on yourself.

  • What happens when you let your best loose?
  • When are you better and restraining the bad?
  • How are people responding to your efforts to refine your ugly?
  • Are there ways to better express the good, take responsibility for the bad and tweak the ugly?

    Finding your true self

    People feel a greater sense of meaning in life when they are able to be their true selves. To reveal the true self:

    • Think of only those traits you are able to express around those people you are closest to.
    • Now think of only those characteristics that you possess and are often able to express to others in social settings.

    The distance between your answer to the true-self and the social settings prompt is how far you have to go to become authentic. Ultimately, the way we act around those who are closest to us is how we should act around everyone.


    “My goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from.”

    Rob Hill Sr.

    Be authentic

    Make choices leading to the life you want to create for yourself. Don't let your past hold you back. 

    Your life might not seem to be the best fit for someone else, but it should a life you are happy with. Create a life you love.

    How to create an authentic life

    Start where you are right now. 

    • Align your life with your own core values - those things that are most important to you personally. Regular meditation will help you discover what those are.
    • Find time to do the activities you loved doing as a child. Join an activity group or take a class. 
    Listen to yourself and take action on what you discover.

    Personal Or Core Values

    They are what you consider most important in your life, literally what you “value. ” They are broad concepts that can be applied across a wide range of circumstances, as opposed to narrow answers t...

    The Benefits Of Having a Core Value

    • Having a core values list helps you make better decisions. The decisions you make come more quickly and efficiently than they would without it.
    • Being unconscious of your core values makes you likely to keep repeating the same mistakes.

    Creating a List Of Personal Values

    The core values that are most valuable to each of us come from our own personal experience, not from being taught.

    As you put them into practice you’ll get better at internalizing these values and they’ll express themselves subconsciously with smaller decisions, as well.

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    Meaning in Life

    • Many of us struggle with finding meaning, as we are busy with our daily work and distractions.
    • Meaning in life provides us with the purpose of getting up daily, energized and pepped up...

    Meaningful Work

    21–35% of our life is spent at work, making it a crucial part of our lives to spend at something we find meaning in.

    Meaningful work should be:

    • Motivating and purposeful.
    • Should be coherent and make some sense.
    • Should be significant.

    Connected with a Purpose

    Meaningful work is when we feel a genuine connection with what we do for a living and our larger spectrum of life.

    It is motivating, creates deep relationships and helps others.

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