It’s Monday afternoon as I stroll into work all refreshed from the weekend, and the feeling of giddiness, excitedness, and servant takes over me.
I’m on a coaching call the next day, being one with the person on the other line, being their rock, their guide and bold best friend at the same time. I am no longer a servant, but a leader with creative skill, on a mission.
I’m in front of my spouse, presenting my new idea, super excited, just to get “shut down”, and now a passionate and a bit angry debater, fighting to prove my point and how right I am.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “Identity”, about multiple personality disorder, it’s like that. If I’m with a certain family member or group, I tend to act accordingly to their original perception of me.
It’s like being in a very subtle prison of our own choosing.
Afraid to possibly disappoint the other of their expectations of us? Is that it? Or even if we have tremendously changed, they will still speak to us as if we are our old self. How infuriating! Stop trying to fit me in your mold!
Depending on our environment and emotional state, we put on a mask. How we feel about ourselves may change with each environment because we are so vulnerable to others’ opinions of us, unless of course you’ve done years of work on yourself and are one of the very few to overcome this major challenge in life.
Sam Harris, author of “Waking Up”, calls this our social self. Who we are and how we act to be in a moment depends on how we think our surrounding people think of us. When we are in presence of family, no matter how much we’ve changed or grown, they still treat us as our old selves and somehow we start to feel like an older version of ourself in that moment. At the same time, you can feel the discomfort of somehow being forced to feel this way and feel its non-integrity and inauthenticity.
Then the question comes up, but how do I protect myself from slipping back into my old self? The insecure, fearful, people-pleasing self? I don’t have the right answer I’m sure, but as far as I understand it as of now, noticing how the other person views us may affect our mindset and sense of self.
Put it this way, if we feel they mistake us for a weaker or an incorrect version of who we want ourselves to be, just notice it.
Usually, even if you’ve grown drastically, emotionally, spiritually, physically, they may choose to ignore it on purpose in order to protect their own ego and avoid looking into their own stagnant, insecure self.
My point, stop giving a crap what others think. Because you are whole, you are working on yourself constantly!
Everyone’s journey is different and it makes no sense to compare, even though it’s the EMOTIONALLY EASY thing to do. So stop comparing. Stop trying to prove yourself to anyone. Focus on you and your growth and your purpose in life.
Those who will continuously try to push you back into that old mold of yourself, sorry to say, they don’t belong next to you. I would suggest distancing yourself. If you’re not ready for that yet, then go ahead and notice it for yourself. Just see the effect they have on you. I guarantee you won’t like the person you pretend to be, as if going in reverse, when they’re around and hopefully you’ll reach an, “I’ve had enough of this sh*t!” moment and start to value yourself more than they are even capable of.
It will also do no harm for you to understand that they are suffering in their life. If we are angry with them, we take on the victim mode and blame them for our lack of progress. That’s counterproductive. LOVE YOURSELF to give yourself space to grow and follow your passion and your purpose. Those aligned with your mission will show up, I guarantee it.
I type this as if I am speaking to you. But I am really speaking to myself, fully committed to engraining this new epiphany of mine and making sure I REMEMBER to just NOTICE the next time I feel I have to act less than what I am and what I’ve worked so hard to become, a better, lighter, ever-changing ME.