Who are you? If I asked you to take a sheet of paper and write the answer to that question out in long hand, what would the answer be? Would you be proud of what you wrote down? If you gave it to your best girlfriend, would she say “right on girl, that’s you!”
In “A Time For Life” authors John Robinson & Georffrey Godbey wrote: “…many Americans have become virtual walking resumes, defining themselves only by what they do….” WOW! that is quite an indictment of us as Americans. How true is that of you?
We do tend to attach labels to ourselves and that is how we live out our lives. We are “nubies”, we are mothers of preschoolers, we are corporate wives, we are retirees, we are peri-menopausal we are sisters, we are alumni of such and such university, we are New Yorkers, we are surfers or whatever it is that we define ourselves to be. But, who are you really?
This takes introspection. Lots of introspection and many of us do not like what we see. So we stand firmly behind the mask of our label, or what we do in order to protect ourselves and more accurately keeping every one at arms length so they will not get to close and realize who or what we really are.
What happens in your world when someone is “unmasked”? Shock. Disappointment? I knew it all along you may say to yourself. Then what happens next. You move on with your life and you may even decide to forgive and move on and re-embrace them again. Is that what you do?
What would be the worst thing that could happen if you were truly yourself and not defined and masked? I mean really? What is the very worst thing that would happen? When I decided in my 20’s to no longer be masked, I lost not one job, but two in two years! Yes, it was painful, but, I was being true to my beliefs and my professionalism and to be true to my own core foundational beliefs. Yes, it hurt. Yes, my husband and I ate lots of soup. Yes, I was very wary of all job offers thinking that I might have to stand up for my beliefs and what would I do? Yes, I did encounter it more than twice in my life.
But, you know what happened? Every time I was faced with this very uncomfortable state of being, and I decided to be who I am at my most inner core; I was so much better off. I became stronger with each one of these decisions. Then over time they became who I am 100% of the time. I no longer stress and agonize over these decisions. They have become easier with time.
What are you agonizing over today? Let’s talk about all the options.