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Seven Qualities of Authenticity

You are in a continual process of unfolding and are never fully complete, but growing all the time. Your challenge is to steer that process towards your highest potential, so that your potentiality becomes your reality.

Here is a brief summary of the seven qualities of authenticity by which you can determine how well you are advancing on the way of authentic living. Each one is directly linked to one of the Seven Pillars of the Freedom Code. They are in a sense the outcome of the practice of the seven pillars or the promise of what diligent implementation of the seven pillars can produce in your life.

1. Control Self-control is the quality of self-mastery, self-direction and self-reliance. It arises from self-awareness. When you are self-aware you are focused and attentive to what is happening in your world, and you see events and people accurately with clear perception. Control is linked to the 1st Pillar: Perceptive Awareness.

2. Congruence The quality of congruence means acting in alignment with your vision, values and needs as opposed to acting merely to please others. It means that your life is guided by goals that are attainable and have a positive value. Your intentions are consistent with your actions, your beliefs mirror your values, and your experience of the transcendental life beyond the senses is in sync with your everyday experience. Congruence implies that your emotional responses are appropriate to the situation and in harmony with an accurate assessment of what to do. Congruence is linked to the 2nd Pillar: Alignment.

3. Commitment Staying true to your vision, goals and commitments is an essential ingredient of authenticity. And this includes your everyday commitments as well as those that are core to your identity. It also means that you are responsible for the consequences of your actions. Self-direction is therefore the essence of commitment. Commitment is linked to the 3rd Pillar: Purposive Action.

4. Connection Connection includes action-oriented and reciprocal engagement with a broad network of people and resources who share your interests and aims. Spending meaningful time with partners, family and friends is also a necessary authentic quality. Connection entails using the power of interpersonal communication adaptively. Connection is linked to the 4th Pillar: Connection and Communication.

5. Compassion The quality of empathy or compassion—being able to feel what others are experiencing and to resonate with them—is an important factor in authentic living. Acceptance and tolerance are integral to your life. You make a point of practicing self-acceptance and forgiveness of yourself and others. Compassion is linked to the 5th Pillar: Acceptance.

6. Competence The quality of competence in the affairs of living is a belief that you have the skills and knowledge to live effectively. It includes becoming comfortable with uncertainty. Competence implies the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances, and the ability to find an effective balance within the varying demands of life. Competence is linked to the 6th Pillar: Adaptability.

7. Congeniality At the core of authenticity is the capacity to enjoy life. Freedom without joy, laughter, beauty, art, creativity and wellbeing would be a hollow liberty indeed. Congenial people are happy people—they have a high sense of wellbeing and self-worth. Gratitude is central to your life. You have a deep inner sense of appreciation for the abundance of life and enthusiastically appreciate the achievements of others. Congeniality is linked to the 7th Pillar: Animation and Appreciation.

These seven qualities are not absolute requirements for authenticity, though they are all desirable in themselves and immensely powerful when combined. You have them all in one form or another or are strong in some more than others. The path to authentic living is a flowing process. Carl Rogers suggested that you come to accept yourself as "a stream of becoming, not a finished product." Your emphasis should be on the unfolding process rather than any thought of arrival.

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