We can all agree that the most awesome people are authentic people. They who know who they are, they don’t judge other people to make them feel better and they live their life according to what they actually believe.

But living like this isn’t exactly easy. Society puts enormous pressure on us to fit inside a small box called “normal” while anything outside the box is considered “weird”.

Yet living according to society’s expectations can take a huge toll on our self-esteem and our ability to find true inner peace. It’s clear that our brains know we’re living a lie, and like all lies, being inauthentic causes nothing but harm.

So the question is, how do you start living authentically?

It can be tough, especially if you’ve been playing that role for most of your life. The fact is, to be authentic means to be deeply in tune with who you are and what you want. So below, I’m going to go over the hallmark habits of highly authentic people so we can all learn to bring out our true selves.

1) They speak their mind

Genuine people take their time to work out what they believe, and once they do, they’re not shy to express their well-thought out positions. The manner in which they do so also matters. They are comfortable presenting their needs without needing approval or trying to convince others that they’re right.

Read the next habit to find out what helps them get in touch with their true opinions

2) Genuine people respond to internal expectations, not external ones

They spend time thinking about their own beliefs, standards, ideals and expectations because those answers give them direction and purpose in life.

In the world of information, we’re fed ideas about what we should think every day, yet instead of believing these ideas, genuine people will assess themselves and only follow what stands up against critical thinking.

It takes time to work out what they really feel, but once they do, they know which path meant they’re meant to take.

3) Genuine people forge their own paths

Being authentic is not just about what you think but what you do. When you’re passionate about something, you tend not to follow others and copy what they do, but forge your own path with the way that you think it can be done. That’s what authentic people are doing every day.

4) Genuine people are not threatened by failure

The reason most people copy other “successful people’s” paths is that they are proven and less risky. Authentic people say to hell with that and the take the road less travelled because it makes sense to them. They are not threatened by failure because they don’t hold their self-esteem to it and simply see it as a learning experience.

5) Authentic people can admit their faults

To be true with your feelings means that you’re confronting the bad as well as the good. They accept their shortcomings and take responsibility for their actions. They also realize that none of us are perfect, so it’s stupid to even try.

6) Authentic people are not judgmental of others

Being honest with themselves means they’re not judging other people. They don’t feel a need to compare, because they understand that we all are unique and different. They also know that none of us are perfect and that we all have our own flaws.

7) They have solid self-esteem

This means having self-esteem that’s neither too high or too low . As a result, genuine people tolerate and absorb failure and criticism, admit their faults and are accepting of others because they are not threatened by imperfection. Having solid self-esteem means you can accept negative and positive feedback. You can acknowledge aspects of your life that you need to improve without diminishing your overall sense of self-worth.