10 Ways People Know You're Not Being AuthenticIt is pretty obvious when someone isn’t being authentic and real with you, right?

I have observed people intensely over the years. I guess you could call me a professional people watcher.

I realised there are 10 signs that all inauthentic people display. Here’s what I notice in people that aren’t being authentic:

1. They are protective, defensive, argumentative, judgemental, hostile or aggressive.

2. They strive to please others, push to achieve something or try to stay out of trouble.

3. They lie, embellish or fabricate details of their story to make them look good or better in some way.

4. They don’t say what they think.

5. They try to be someone they are not.

6. They feel out of sorts but don’t know why.

7. Their life, work or finances feel like an uphill struggle. It is as though they are walking through treacle (if you don’t know what treacle is, think thick gooey molasses…)

8. They don’t know who they are anymore – and want to re-connect to that happy, carefree, fun-loving person that is in there somewhere (trust me, it’s all still there…)

9. They are not living the life or lifestyle they truly want.

10. They ignore, suppress or disregard their intuition.

Do any of those resonate with you? Have you observed these in those closest to you? Maybe you display one or more of these signs yourself. You certainly wouldn’t be alone. Stonewall’s research highlights that a quarter of lesbian, gay and bisexual workers are not open to colleagues about their sexual orientation at all.

I have worked for first hand with thousands of LGBT individuals all around the world. During my sessions with them, 99% of individuals disclosed to me they are not fully ‘out’ at work. AND of these, 96% disclosed they ‘wore a mask’ to hide the real version of themselves.

If I asked you to be authentic right now, you would show up wearing a mask; a censored version of yourself. A version of yourself that you have honed over the years to fit in and be accepted. I know a lot about masks. I used to wear a mask to work every day. I was a teacher in an FE college attempting to hide a secret from my colleagues.

I didn’t want to have that whole awkward ‘I am gay’ conversation in a busy staff room over tea and biscuits. It reached a point where I became exhausted from ‘delivering a performance’ and pretending to be someone else.

The most liberating moment I have ever experienced is when I remembered I haven’t always worn a mask and I made the decision to take it off. To be authentic is to know who you really are and to express yourself fully at any given moment. When you take off the mask, you show up as the real and authentic you in all areas of your life.

And that is where the magic happens.