Role of Society in Limiting Authenticity: Common Barriers

We’ve established the importance of authenticity, as discussed in a previous article. However, society doesn’t always encourage authenticity, and societal norms even shape its definition.

People strive for authenticity because it’s attainable and commendable.

Now, let’s examine the common obstacles that hinder us from embracing our authentic selves, including societal beliefs and thought patterns.

Society’s Limitations on Authenticity: How Some Roles Are More Dominant Than Others?

Role of Society in Limiting Authenticity

Everyone has a role in society’s structure, whether as a rockstar, lover, scientist, artist, or businessperson. These roles contribute to society’s progress, but some dominate more than others, and societal rules can limit certain roles.

Philosophers, deep thinkers, artistic individuals, and activists often face suppression or limitations, just like authentic people. By “suppressed,” we mean they aren’t rewarded as they should be. This constraint directly affects authentic individuals and their potential.


Society’s Limitations on Authenticity

Society often prioritizes its own needs and desires, and authentic individuals who can meet those needs without clashing with society’s core roles may become more attractive, loved, and supported.

However, many authentic people don’t fit with society’s norms and rules. If you do fit in without issues, you might experience benefits like higher status, love, and support from society (or at least an increased likelihood of it).

How Can We Measure or Evaluate Our Level of Authenticity?

What Are Some Indicators We Are Being Authentic or Inauthentic?

The real answer is that there’s no direct way to measure “authenticity” because it’s inherent in all of us.

However, showing authenticity is what distinguishes us from others. Are you presenting your authentic self to others, or living by your own terms and beliefs?

The issue isn’t the degree of authenticity but rather the ability to reveal it to people and society. Even if you fully accept society, your authenticity level might be higher than someone who resists society and thinks they are more “authentic.”

How Can We Differentiate Between a Genuine Desire for Authenticity and a Coping Mechanism to Fit in With Societal Norms?

The first barrier to Authenticity is the belief that being authentic is simply a way to be more charismatic and popular.

While there’s nothing wrong with desiring favor, it may not be a genuine desire for some people. This is a common coping mechanism where people try to manipulate their authenticity to create a false sense of self-esteem.

Authenticity isn’t about running away from society or neglecting our responsibilities as humans. For example, as an authentic person, you cannot say, “I don’t want to drink water anymore!” since this is a basic and primitive need that must be fulfilled for survival.

Authenticity requires understanding our true selves and respecting our biological needs. Most authentic people do not spend their time on observable truths alone.

No matter if society loves you or not, or if you support society or not, it doesn’t matter because “Authenticity” is not about “right” or “wrong,” or “good” or “bad.” Authenticity makes you a more unique personality than others.

How Can Self-discovery Through Music, Dance, Philosophy, or Spiritual Practices Help Individuals Find Their Authenticity and Unique Character?

Yes, philosophy and inner discovery are essential for finding one’s authenticity. The process of inner discovery can take various forms, such as music, dance, or philosophy. It can also involve religious or spiritual practices, meditation, atheism, Taoism, Sufism, or falling in love. Whatever helps one connect with their true self is often a manifestation of their authentic character and core being.

Authentic people tend to have contradictions, which make them unique and unpredictable. One of my favorite quotes on this topic is from the mystic Sufi poet Shams-i Tabrizi:

“We can only learn and advance with contradictions.
The faithful inside should meet the doubtful. The doubtful should meet the faithful. Human slowly advances and becomes mature when he accepts his contradictions.”

― Shams-i Tabrizi

This is a profound insight into human nature, providing a valuable experience for life, thoughts, and paradigms. It also serves as a duality, as the Taoists call it, the “yin-yang” balance.

Anything that helps you “discovers” and become true to yourself contributes to your authenticity.

For example, in “the iceman,” Wim Hof is authentic not just because he can withstand the cold but also because of his way of living and perceiving life.

Related: How Does The Wim Hof Method Compare To Other Wellness Practices?


I hope the article has helped you to understand authenticity and has given you some perspective on the topic. I strongly recommend you check out my article on this topic for a more detailed version.


I teach people about the biohacks and science of optimizing their health and performance. I like to write about Philosophy, Biohacks, Supplements, and Spiritual information supported by science.

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