The most enjoyable people to spend time around are the ones who have the ability to be authentic. It seems like it is easy for them to do, but is it really? To be authentic you have to be extremely vulnerable and that is not easy to do. It takes confidence and strength to be able to stand in your truth. To let it out when you are irritated, to disagree when you don’t agree, to take a stand that may be different from someone else’s, requires you to really love yourself and be confident. I must admit I have often envied the people who were able to do this. I felt that they had somehow developed themselves and were on a higher plane than I was. What was this quality that they possessed that had somehow eluded me? Finally, it came to me, they were not afraid to lay themselves out to the world and to be vulnerable. I also realized that I had to give myself a little more compassion and understanding of why I wasn’t able to do that. This quality of authenticity is one that comes along with confidence and many times this has a lot to do with how we are raised. When we raise our children and feel that they are special and have confidence in them it gives them the gift of authenticity. They know that they are loved no matter what so they have nothing to hide. Hiding is a sure authenticity drainer. It puts us in this awkward state of feeling like we are not even in our bodies. What is so great about authenticity is that someone can be full of flaws and you enjoy them anyway. There is something in this original, non-hiding state, that is so attractive and lovable. When we get to the place that we stop saying what we think people want to hear and start saying what we want to our whole world changes. So the next time you are in a situation where you feel yourself slipping out of your authentic way of being ask yourself, what is going on inside? What are you trying to protect or have not be seen? Make a decision to go out onto the limb and allow yourself to be vulnerable. See how it feels. I think you will be pleasantly surprised that instead of feeling the vulnerability you will feel empowered. What draws us closest to others is our willingness to be ourselves. That is a big difference between our projected selves and our real selves. Embrace your individuality and love your differentness, in doing this you will be among those charismatic people you have been admiring.