The Association for Psychological Science's (APS) press release on Jan. 28 stated researchers found individuals were happier when they perceived themselves as powerful. This powerful feeling then allows people to be true to themselves by being authentic.
Having power gives people the courage to be themselves. It releases the anxiety of pretense, which gives them the freedom to be their 'authentic self.' Once achieved, they don't feel they have to explain their actions to anyone and can be at peace with themselves.
The study revealed feelings of authenticity produced a "subjective sense of well-being and happiness." Whether it was real or imagined, the study's results show the feeling of being in power lets people feel free to expose their beliefs, preferences and opinions.
When an individual has no perceived power, he/she may feel helpless. Being helpless makes a person more vulnerable, subsequently compromising their sense of self.
How to be true to yourself
- Accept who you are and what you believe in. You are unique and may have different values than other people. That doesn't make you a lesser person. Never be ashamed of who or what you are.
- When others try to give you advice that is against your beliefs, don't be persuaded by them. You don't have to change your ways to gain their favor. Their advice may not be right for you.
- Stand your ground even when you are standing alone. At times, we all have to stand up for ourselves for what we believe in. Your veritable actions will lessen your cognitive dissonance.
The study reiterates the age-old suggestion to just 'do your own thing.' Doing your own thing is having power, the power to be your authentic self.
The findings were published in the journal Psychological Science on Jan. 28.
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