The word authentic comes from the Greek αὐθέντης, authentês (“author, perpetrator”) with the suffix -ικός, -ikós, literally “of the author”. You have to understand by the initial question, are you your own author or a copy of someone else? This is a question we all ask ourselves one day. Do we live as the expression of our purest essence or is it parasitized by external interference that clogs the channeling of this energy?
The image we have of ourselves may be like a mist: we move forward in uncertainty, so it is more comforting to follow someone else’s shadow. It is necessary, especially at a young age, to have role models, whether they are our parents or the influential people of our time. However, if we live a lifetime copying our predecessors, we cannot go out to meet our true self. It’s like parachuting without ever jumping out of a plane. You are safe in the flight cabin, you are following the path set by the airplane, yet it is not the goal to stay in that cabin indefinitely. You can of course observe others, see how they jump and what trajectory they take, yet it is futile to want to live like someone else. You can never be someone else, at most a pale copy, as pathetic as a look-alike in need of recognition. You will never jump from the same place as your models, so you have to accept that your life path separates from them at some point, so that you can borrow your own.
Don’t live in illusion, believing that you can follow in the footsteps of another is a drunkenness that you must not give in to. Humbly accept the ups and downs that come your way, face them as a lion faces a poacher. The problems you face are there for you to meet your higher self, accept the challenge and you will arrive sooner than you think at the feeling of being where you belong.