It's a good word. It's a word we may not always think about, nor its implications on everyday life. Are you being authentic to who you are in every space, place, and with every person?
How often we feel the pressure to go along and get along, to be what other people expect of us, instead of being who we know we are.
But do we know who we are, or have we learned to be the person others expect us to be, without first understanding who we are independent of social pressure?
It's important to find the space and time to get to know ourselves. That's not a short term, easy thing to do. It takes time. In the meantime, we do have to interact with, and learn how to fit in with others, in larger social settings. Sometimes we also feel the pressure to assert an identity in order to keep from being swept along by every social pressure that presents itself. In all of that melee, sometimes we can find ourselves adopting a false self in order to adapt to the larger world around us.
Sometimes we can try on a lot of external identities before we find our own. I think that's okay, as long as we keep searching until we find the one that's right for ourselves. What's right for ourselves is already inside us to discover. But it takes time. Don't rush it. And don't accept social pressures that push you to be inauthentic in who you are, even if the authenticity of your current state is uncertain. It's okay to know not, in leu of finding out.
Find spaces and places that help foster you in your journey of discovery. And avoid places that try to push you to become something you're not for the sake of belonging.