It’s nice to think you’re living your most authentic life, but that’s not always true. So many people live a fake life and miss out of the fullness of existence.

An authentic life is the opposite of fake life, of course. When you live authentically, you live to your fullest potential, and you present yourself as you truly are. It’s not the same as living a fake version of life. It’s almost as if we’re actors playing parts in a strange movie.

Authentic or fake?

I grew up in the southern region of the U.S., and I know I might offend some people when I say this, but there are many fake people around here. I learned this early in school. My best friend told me it would get better after high school, but it didn’t really change all that much with most of the people I meet. You see, I try to be as real as possible in my life, but I’m sure I’ve picked up a few of those toxic traits.

But regardless, living a fake life will basically never lead you to your purpose in life.

How to tell if you’re living a fake life?

1. You wear masks

When I say “masks”, I don’t mean for Halloween. No, I mean, when you live a fake life, you tend to pretend to be something you’re not. This starts with your face. Some people cannot catch a fake smile, but I can. I’ve been trained to see that quick smile turn into a smirk, and it lets me know I’m dealing with someone whose life is on a fake schedule, so to speak. Then their body language follows with fake hugs etc.

Wearing masks allows these people to pretend to like you when they rather judge and criticize your differences. You cannot live an authentic life as long as you’re wearing those masks and throwing around those fake compliments.

You will know them by their overly-generous and cheerful nature. Watch closely, and they will take those masks off for you. If this is you behind the mask, stop! Just stop doing this and let everyone know what you really think. It might not be a positive statement, but at least it’s real.

2. You say you’re “okay” all the time

Maybe you are okay. I don’t really know. But so many of you aren’t okay, both physically and mentally, and you need serious help. Maybe you’re telling your husband, children, and your friends that you’re okay, and the truth is, you’re falling apart inside. Maybe you’re in pain from chronic illness but just get tired of complaining to others.

So many times, depression and illness can get such a hold on you that you cannot explain what you’re really feeling, and all you can do is say you’re okay. If you’re doing this, try once to be strong and say, “No, I’m not okay, and I am not happy.” This could be your road to a real breakthrough.

3. You’re sleeping too much

If you’ve noticed that you’re sleeping much more than you used to, you could be living a fake life. Trying to be strong when you don’t want to fake it will make you crawl into hibernation mode. While awake, you fake happiness.

When you’re sleeping, you don’t have to deal with the negative things in life, those things that you don’t want to face. Maybe you have relationship problems, and the only thing you can do is sleep to avoid fixing the problems. This is especially true is you haven’t had any luck with communication in the past. If it didn’t work with the last discussion, you figure it won’t work in another, and so you sleep to find peace.

4. Fake social media posts

Often when someone is living a fake life, they will post pictures of their loving families. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just the worst cases will post these pictures every day, several times a day. It’s as if they are lying to the world and to themselves at the same time.

If you’re faking your life, you will also be pretty obsessed with selfies as well, and make statements like, “Living the good life!” Let’s face it, you’re not.

5. Friends aren’t loyal

You’re probably living a life that’s fake if your friends aren’t loyal. And how do you figure out if your friends are loyal? That’s easy. Pay attention to who is there for you in the good times and who is there for you in the bad times as well. If you notice all your friends disappearing when something negative happens to you, then guess what, those aren’t your friends. You’ve been living in a fake social circle.

6. Stuck in the past

Here’s the one you’ve probably never thought of before. You know how you sit around and reminisce about days gone by, yeah, that’s okay. Sometimes, however, you can get stuck thinking about loved ones that you’ve lost. The life you have now can turn into a dismal existence of pining for those you cannot get back.

Did you hear me? You cannot get back those you have lost to death. It’s nice to think back on holidays and adventures, but it’s normal to only allow yourself to dwell there for a certain amount of time. If you find yourself living in the past from day to day, then you are living a fake life…a life that isn’t yours anymore. It also belongs to the past.

Please take off the mask

I’ve lived decades of my life wearing a mask…or, at least I tried. The smile on that thing grew bigger as my heart and soul grew smaller. Until I was able to break it in half and throw it away, I never really lived at all. I lived a fake life, but I don’t want you to do the same.

Living a real life, life based on truth and loyalty, helps you develop a goal or purpose. Living your true purpose can hence help you to live a longer life as well. So, here’s what you do:

Find out who you are, and never be anyone else. Trust me, it’s not worth the lost time.

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