Our word comes from the Greek roots ‘auto‘ – self and ‘hentes‘ – maker or doer. For the ancient Greeks it indicated someone who had mastered their craft to the point where they could produce work from within themselves, as opposed to copying from someone else.
What’s interesting to me about this is that authenticity isn’t so much about being as doing. We master our craft by interacting with the world, changing both sides of the equation in the process. Eventually, other people see us as authentic because we appear to have mastered our means of expression. Of course it never feels like that from the inside, which is why artists never give up.
You can’t be authentic, you can only do it, over and over again. In whatever field you’ve chosen to practice your art.