Authentegrity: Living In Sync With the Truth of Who You Are
Part of our series:
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. (C.G. Jung)
Authentegrity is the word we use to describe the combination of the words “authenticity” and “integrity.” Paraphrasing the above quote by the famous Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, we believe it truly is the “privilege of a lifetime” to be your authentic self! Michael Kernis and Brian Goldman defined authenticity as ‘the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise.1 Integrity is defined by So-Young Kang as “consistency, honesty, and accuracy of one’s actions.2 Combining these two concepts, “Authentegrity” is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world by encountering external forces, pressures, and influences presented to you by the world of outer appearances in alignment with your core values and beliefs … every single choice, every single action, every single time! In other words, it is living in sync with the Truth of who you really are!
Since our Spiritual Cafés are about spiritual growth, human happiness, and mastering the human experience, the kind of authentegrity we’ll be discussing is ‘Spiritual Authentegrity.’
Spiritual Authentegrity is one of your essential Core Essences. If it’s consistently expressed in your daily life, it can lead to an extraordinary appreciation for your conscious connection with your Divine Nature. And it’s that soul connection which opens you up to the very highest possibilities for personal and professional accomplishment, as well as spiritual growth and happiness. As an added plus, it makes decision-making much easier — even when the decision is a difficult one.
MetaSpiritually speaking, Spiritual Authentegrity is the degree to which you are true to your own Divine Nature, spiritual values, and core spiritual beliefs, despite external pressures and despite the consequences.
In fact, all challenges and problems in our lives are essentially issues of the
lack of inner harmony caused by our being out of alignment with our Divine Nature.
In essence, our body, mind, and soul are one. But since we often allow an
unenlightened ego to rule our waking consciousness, we sometimes don’t see or
understand the underlying harmony which underwrites our human nature.
Your happiness and achievements demand the expression of your Authentic Self (your Divine Nature). Try to live like someone else—even someone who would appear to be a positive model, say, Thich Nhat Hanh, Oprah Winfrey, or Deepak Chopra—and you’ll fail. People don’t respect or value individuals who fall out of integrity with themselves. People want to be around and emulate people who are ‘real.’
This is partly a reaction to the turbulent times we live in. It’s also a response to the public’s widespread disenchantment with politicians, professional athletes, and business people. According to authors Goffer and Jones, our growing dissatisfaction with sleek, ersatz, airbrushed leadership and celebrity is what makes authentegrity such a desirable quality in today’s world. The authors remind us that “authenticity is a quality that, unfortunately, is in short supply. Leaders, followers and fans associate authenticity with sincerity, honesty, and integrity. It’s the real thing—the attribute that uniquely defines great leaders.3
Self Reflection Question: How do you know when you are being “real?”
How do you know when you are “out of integrity” with yourself?
The question is, how can we live in that higher state of awareness that allows us to be more connected mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with our Divine Nature? The answer is that the more we live in the deeper parts of our being, rather than the superficial parts of our unenlightened ego’s wants and desires, the greater will be the affinity, connection, and harmony within us, and with our surroundings, including the people within our sphere of our influence.
We must understand what guides us throughout our life — discover our signature strengths, our core values, and the basis of our Authentic Nature. Then we must apply these in our everyday living. That means having the courage to acknowledge our limitations and embrace our vulnerabilities. It demands working toward integration, alignment, and the congruence of our ordinary self with our Extraordinary Nature.
Characteristics of Spiritual Authentegrity
People with a high degree of Spiritual Authentegrity constantly and consistently:
- strive to align their human self with their Divine Nature;
- walk their talk;
- dismiss the illusion of the power of outer appearances;
- make a conscious effort to choose spiritual aspirations over materialistic whims;
- ensure their thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions originate deep from within;
- are true and secure enough in their own integrity to resist self-defeating and destructive external pressures.
In short, the path they choose is congruent with their Authentic Self, their Extraordinary Spiritual Nature. Every decision, every choice, every day, every time!
Characteristics of “counterfeit authentegrity”
Then there’s “counterfeit authentegrity,” characterized by materialistic choices and actions misaligned with our Divine Nature. The results are alien, false, fake, pretentious, stressful, insincere, fraudulent, strained, bogus, and phony—to say the least. This is typical of people who forget they are Spiritual Beingness Itself in human form.
The problem with counterfeit authentegrity is that anyone can claim they are being authentic, acting out of integrity, and benefit from the positive assumptions that most of us make about the words. Psychologists remind us:
“Like the duckling that appears to glide across the water, there can be turbulence beneath the surface. If you pay attention, you’ll be able to spot those people who want to stir up trouble while invoking the halo-effect associated with the words authenticity and integrity.” As with the duckling, what’s on the surface can be deceiving. So, which is authentic? Surface or underneath?” 4
Self Reflection Question: How do you recognize someone who is practicing “counterfeit authentegrity?” How do you handle it while standing in your own “Spiritual Authentegrity?”
People who are aligned with their Extraordinary Nature act with more interest, purposefulness, excitement, and confidence and often demonstrate superior performance, persistence, creativity, vitality, self-esteem, and general well-being than someone who hasn’t aligned their human self with their Divine Nature.
If you’ve ever met a person with a high degree of Spiritual Authentegrity, we think you’ll agree that there’s something very special about him or her. Authentic people are like magnets. They attract your attention. They have woven their scattered parts into a solid, coherent, integrated whole. Their thoughts, actions, and emotions are the products of their Authentic Self, rather than the old patterns, antiquated assumptions, and worn-out beliefs associated with their unenlightened ego. They have a clear sense of what doesn’t match with who they really are.
Authentegrity and Your Work
Often we are approached by people who feel guilty because they are doing work they feel is not in alignment with the Truth of who they really are. So there’s something we want to say about the type of work you find yourself in. Just because you’re doing work you’re not completely passionate about doesn’t mean you’re out of integrity. It could mean you are doing what is necessary to maintain your desired lifestyle, or that you are handling financial obligations in the best way you’ve been able to. The secret is in the attitude with which you approach your work. And if you have had a hard time supporting yourself and/or enjoying yourself with the work you’re doing, the level of discomfort may simply be an inner message to yourself that it’s time to get serious about finding a better work situation for yourself. Finding a career that creates stability in your life and brings you joy would be in line with your integrity.
If you’re not where you want to be in the work that you’re doing, it could be that you are unraveling old belief structures, and this takes ongoing, persistent, and patient action. Take a good look at how your current work is serving the Authentic You, your Extraordinary Nature, and take the necessary actions to align your work with the Real You. That means finding the courage to say NO to the things and people that aren’t serving your higher good if you want to rediscover your True Nature, your Divine Nature.
However, that doesn’t mean you should make hasty decisions or take unnecessary risks — nor should you procrastinate because you’re afraid you’ll make the wrong decision! Spend time in meditation, listening to your Higher Self, so you can make the right choices and take the right actions—NOW—to square yourself with the Extraordinary You, your Authentic Nature. The Field of Infinite Potential is always accessible, when we are in the right place spiritually to recognize it.
Your inner guidance may mean staying right where you are and looking at your current work differently, or it may mean finding your true work somewhere else. Whichever route you decide to take, make sure you can say, “I’m absolutely clear that this is mine to do.” Sometimes it takes these moments of clarity to shift gears and embrace who you are rather than trying to be someone you’re not.
Living in Spiritual Authentegrity
There’s no denying that we are being pulled in many different directions these days. Oftentimes it’s difficult for us to feel we can be effective, successful, and emotionally satisfied all of the time. Whether in business or in our personal lives, if seeking out our Authentic Self leads us to be more in tune with our core needs and more comfortable in our own skin, it’s a journey worth taking. And that journey is confirmed by Mel Schwartz, author of the article, “A Shift of Mind,” in Psychology Today:
Most of us are too concerned with what others think of us. We may disguise or manipulate features of our personality to better assure that others aren’t judgmental or adversely reactive to us. If I worry about what others think of me, then I manipulate my personality and communication, either to seek approval or avoid disapproval. This masks my true self. Although this personality trait is commonplace, it is far removed from authenticity. There appears to be an inverse correlation between one’s sensitivity to what others think of them and the ability to be authentic. Authenticity requires a genuine sharing of our inner self, irrespective of the consequences. Very often, our actions in a given moment are intended to avoid certain consequences. And so we alter or mitigate our communications or behavior to assure that those consequences won’t be negative or problematic. These tendencies diminish our authenticity and they constrain our growth and self-esteem. Being authentic requires a genuine sharing in the present moment.5
For people who are awakening to their Authentic Self, the same ‘Self’ neuroscientists call our “Deeper Self,” being fully alive and aware is suddenly recognized to be such a deep and profoundly creative experience. They begin to appreciate the barest murmurings of their own struggle to become fully conscious of their incredible uniqueness and extraordinariness.
The alignment process—calibrating your ordinary self with your fine-tuned Deeper Self—is an experiential process. It demands your inner resolve and undivided loyalty. You cannot serve two masters, as the saying goes.
Most of the outer labels that we allow to define us place us in boxes or categories relative to other people. We usually identify ourselves by race, gender, religion, political views, occupation, and so on. Many of those labels were given to us by birth or awarded to us by circumstance; and all of them inform our point of view about ourselves and the world we live in. But none of them are who we are. They aren’t our Core Essence. The Extraordinary Us. They’re simply socialized labels that put us into convenient boxes that can be managed, directed, and controlled.
One thing is for sure, the more we live on the surface of who we really are, the less we are in touch with our Extraordinary Nature. The problem is that the more we look outside of ourselves to create a sense of our True Self, the farther off track we get. How can we know who we truly are when we spend our time and attention trying to be something we’re not?
No amount of counterfeiting ourselves to gain the approval of others is going to bring us any closer to really knowing ourselves. Living from a place of profound Spiritual Authentegrity involves being rooted in our deepest beliefs, values, authenticity, and integrity—and living a life that is a true reflection of those core essences. Each day becomes a self-editing process where we do more and more of those things that are in alignment with our Divine Nature, the Extraordinary Us, and less and less of those things which aren’t a reflection of who we really are.
Self Reflection Question: What are your core values … and how do they
affect the way you make choices and live your life?
Summary of Spiritual Authentegrity:
Spiritual Authentegrity: Aligning your thoughts, words, and actions with the core values and spiritual beliefs you embrace. Being true, genuine, and real —no matter what the situation or results … every decision, every action, every time!
The Color Red: Red is the color of energy and passion. It signifies our life force, and represents determination and conviction. Red is the color we chose for Spiritual Authentegrity because when you operate from that place of alignment, you live from conviction and intention, and are able to embrace life with energy and passion, knowing you are being true to the Extraordinary You!
- Kernis and Goldman in Golomb, Jacob  In Search of Authenticity. London and New York: Routledge.
- Kang, So-Young, “The True Meaning of Integrity,” Huffington Post, July 30, 2017.
- Goffer and Jones, “Managing authenticity: The paradox of great leadership,” Harvard Business Review (12) 2005.
- Meinecke, C., “The Problem With Authenticity,” Psychology Today, February 22, 2013.
- Mel Schwartz, “A Shift of Mind,” in Psychology Today, August 2, 2012
© The Global Center For Spiritual Awakening, Bil & Cher Holton