Knowing me, knowing you
Have you ever wondered about the number of roles you play in daily life? The numerous hats we wear, and masks we put on for different people? Well one way to find your authentic self is to start peeling back the layers. What I mean is to start identifying who you are to everyone else first and then who you are to yourself. For example - a mother/father, sister/brother, other family relation etc. Then move onto other labels like career descriptors - teacher/lawyer/stay at home parent, accountant etc. Once you have listed all of the above, most of your objective role ‘labels’ are exhausted.
Next start thinking of who you are in respect of your personality/character. What values and beliefs do you have about yourself, others and the world in general? How would you describe yourself to somebody who doesn't know you. Most likely all the labels resurface and you will generally be wearing your ‘social mask’, the one that navigates through small talk and pleasantries with strangers. Ask yourself if you keep that mask on around friends and family or if indeed the mask slips and your defences lower allowing some of your more authentic self to show. Then consider when you are all alone in your own company - who are you then? When nobody else is watching, and you are free to be you, does your personality change radically? Or are you generally pretty much ‘you’ wherever you go and whoever is around?
If you feel you cannot be your most natural self around certain people or in certain situations ask yourself why that is. It may be that there is some level of discomfort in you around them or in them around you. We all have outer defences to protect our inner vulnerabilities. The question remaining is - how well do you really know yourself?
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