In the era of social media, there’s more to worry about than taking a photogenic selfie. Sometimes, it feels like your personality, your values, what you’re doing with your life, and the way you talk are all on display and open for judgment. As a result, the pressure to stray from “being your true self” is overwhelming.
But why is authenticity so challenging? Shouldn’t being yourself be easier than playing a different part?
According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, love, belonging, and self-actualization follow basics like food and shelter in the hierarchy of most important human needs. Yet none of these things are achievable without authenticity — being your true self. Because authenticity is so vital, any serious challenge to it can leave you feeling vulnerable and lead to unhappiness.