Being ‘real’ is much more challenging than it sounds because being is more challenging than doing. Being authentic involves knowing what you stand for and being determined that no matter what happens, you will never compromise your core values and beliefs (Guest, 2019). This promotes personal well-being and fulfilment, which in turn, leads to stronger interpersonal relationships.

All of us have at some point in our lives seen people we dream of being like. We may also try to emulate their behaviour. In fact, many see their true self as not good enough. Unfortunately, this may lead some to feel the need to wear a mask and act differently to their norm, to impress others. However, you cannot say one thing and then act differently (Guest, 2019). On the other hand, others may become invisible and leave no impression on people at all. 

Real Presence

Being yourself is very important, but in order to reach your highest potential, you also need to have a presence. According to Deiken (2013), people have an inner, verbal, and outer presence. These different layers are autonomous but still interrelated. These measure your stability, credibility, and likeability. Managing to combine them will not only make you seen but also feel like the real deal (Deiken, 2013). When people see you as the real deal, they will trust you and follow you. Authenticity goes hand in hand with trustworthiness (Guest, 2019). However, if they do not believe that you are the real deal, they ignore or even undermine you (Deiken, 2013). Your outer presence will not only influence how people see you but also how you make people feel. You may intend to present yourself in a way, but people may perceive you differently. 

Does all of this really matter?

Of course, it does! People will give back to you, what they feel you are giving to them (Deiken, 2013). It is important to remember that people are looking for a connection to individuals who are the real deal (Guest, 2019). 

You are the real deal, your true self – yet it is vital to stay centred and find your own balance. Working at it is tough at times but the award is worth it. While it is great that others feel that you are real, it is most imperative that you are the real deal to yourself!

If you think that a professional can support on your journey to become the ‘real deal’ you can reach out here.

Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on or call us on 79291817.  


Authenticity: Are YOU the real deal? | Royston Guest. Royston Guest. (2019). Retrieved from

Dieken, C. (2013). Become the real deal. Wiley.