The effects of identifying with our false self or with the external.
What are they?
(4) Masks: we all want to be loved and accepted by others so we wear different mask.. we are most times ashamed of our true self when our true self is a combination of all sorts of good and bad, feelings we love, feelings we don’t love, things we are proud of, things we are embarrassed of. So in order to fit and be accepted or be loved we must only present the good as a result we develop a false self which leads us to develop out of pretences, we do this by wearing different masks and portraying different personalities to fit the various roles we play in life.
(5)Limitations: when we rely on roles, job, country, religion, ethnicity and so on to define us, we label ourselves. These labels limit us and deprive the universe of our unique self and our full potential. We rob people from getting to know our authentic selves.
(6)We become human doings instead of human beings: because we are so focused on having we become human doings. We wake up in the morning, reach for our cup of coffee, rush around to get the kids ready for school, walk the dog if we have one, get ourselves ready for work, face the Lagos traffic, and so on. Our awakening hours passes in a flash, and we repeat the routine day after day. As the day goes on, we’re so busy running from one activity to the next that we barely have time to stop and take a breath. More often than not, our focus is on BECOMING or HAVING, not on BEING. Our to do list is always a priority, because it is the one that protects our external things which defines our false self.
(7) Steals your happiness: when life is not lived authentically it steals your joy and you never find peace, either you are living according to someone’s expectations, or the external things have become your reference point of defining yourself. It causes constant worry, frustration, because once that goes away you assume you are nothing.
In our society external things are held so dear to the heart that we end up selling our soul just to maintain the status quo. Have you suffered from any of these effects? Be honest and reflect on them.
Action Plan: spend time this week observing yourself, what feelings are being triggered when any of these issues apply to your situation, like your status. Do you try to live up to the Joneses, are you being true to your feeling or wearing different mask for different roles? Are you worrying each time about your job, business, car? If it is suddenly taken away from you? Notice what feelings come up and write it down.
The section I will lead you into a journey of self-discovery. How do you get to know your true self ?
(1)Have 10 to 20 minutes of alone time every day
Why do I insist on this alone time? So you can spend time reflecting on all your actions and thoughts for the day. Always question your actions and most importantly your intentions. Always ask the question “why am I doing this?” “Was it to please people or someone?” “Did the thought originate from me?” “Do these series of actions resonate with me?” “Did it go against my values?” “Am I compromising a lot?” And so on. Typical example, accepting bribes in your place of work (where is my cut?), being a doormat in the name of selfless gesture, selfish acts, lavish weddings, big parties etc. Are you doing it because you can afford it or just to impress people and then go bankrupt?
Finally ask yourself this question “What will I do when no one is watching”?
(2)Question our belief system –
What is our belief system? Big question.
From a young age, we are brought up to believe that certain behaviours and ways of being are right, and expected of us, by society, peer groups, parents, families, media, culture, religions and spiritual misinterpretations. When we don’t live up to those expectations, we may be judged, scolded, embarrassed, criticized or maybe even worse. We learn to behave and act as expected, we learn to suppress our natural way of being.
(3)Do not be ashamed of your flaws
I keep shouting from the rooftops “No one is perfect and no one is expected to be perfect!”. We all have our flaws we are dealing with. Sometimes we are so ashamed of it that we hide behind a mask and become so judgemental of ourselves and others. We need to accept ourselves for who we are, it’s human nature to have flaws, working on our flaws is part of our growing process. Admit them to other people and let them know and you yourself know you are working on them. We are all work in progress.
What are you passionate about? What is it that gets you excited or demands your undivided attention? What activities and pursuits make you feel really alive? You can’t build your life around your passions if you haven’t figured out what they are. What are you naturally good at? Which things come easy to you? Is there something you worked on as a hobby all your life because it just wouldn’t let you go? More than likely, this is where your natural strengths are.
Think of the time when you were young. What were you naturally drawn to?
When you believe in something or see beauty in something, you should do it no matter what anyone else thinks. If you have found something that is worthy of your best efforts, sacrifice, and tears, then you have found the most important pursuit of your life. Often, that pursuit can lead you to something ultimately fulfilling.
To be continued…
Photo Credit: Blogafterblog21, Language Intelligence, Buzz Kenya