Are you yourself?

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Hi I’m alex,  I stumbled across a quote the other day by a pretty interesting guy called Ralph Waldo Emerson. “to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

    I just wanted to share some thoughts on the confusion and turmoil of becoming ‘yourself’ and how the environment we are in can impact this. I’m interested in hearing other experiences of personal development and the struggles that occur.

    I often feel as though i’m split, on one hand I know where I want to go in life, roughly who I want to be and to some degree, how I am going to get there. This is my self aware side.
    On the other, i am deeply insecure, waaay to agreeable and live my life through the eyes of others. The old me that I can’t let go.

    The problem is that there is a constant battle between the two sides. Interestingly most of my mental health problems, for the most part, only present themselves in the ‘old me’ state of mind. I lose myself in old patterns of thinking.. victimisation, being over ambitious and having poor or unrealistic self image. I guess this must be some sort of regressive pattern of thinking.

    Just one example of what drags me back down is social situations that threaten me in someway, someone exposing an insecurity or me anticipating my ambition being crushed. I’ve come to the conclusion that this kind of regression is like the idea of a ghost, stuck in limbo with unfinished business. Until you identify and address the insecurity, it will always haunt you.

    The unfortunate thing is the most people (in my experience) don’t encourage existential thinking or self development, they actually seem to be intensely offended by it, almost everyone I know will pick each others dreams and ambitions to pieces. I constantly see people dragging each other down and getting lost in social politics. relating this back to the quote, i think it makes it difficult to share who you really are and be completely true to yourself if this is the standard response. Maybe it is the people I have surrounded myself with and I should make more of a conscious effort to find some like minded people, maybe I need to be more resilient..

    I just wanted to share some thoughts as a rarely get a chance to.

    What problems stop you from being yourself?

    How do you overcome them?



    The biggest problem that prevents me from being myself is a lack of really knowing what is myself. Who is the real me? The one that I want to be? Alone time helps in my attempts to overcome this kind of dilemma. I still feel far away from any solution but at least looking in to myself seems to help.



    Dear Alex:

    You wrote that you often feel split, having two sides that battle each other. One side is the “self aware side” and the other is the “old me”, the one “waaay too agreeable and live my life through the eyes of others”

    You asked at the end of your post: “What problems stop you from being yourself? How do you overcome them?”

    My answer to you: the “old me” side, the one you wish wasn’t there and would like to get rid of, this is an authentic side of you, as it is in my case and in any other person. Here is my explanation of this statement: we are social animals at birth, born to live in a group, and therefore we can’t help but care about what other people think about us, how others in our social group (humans we interact with) perceive us. We can’t help but want others to like us.

    It is not different from other social animals. If an animal in a social group is perceived as a threat, other members of the group will chase it away, exclude the individual, and that means likely death for the individual.

    The key is choice and balance: choose your group whenever possible, who you interact with, in what contexts, for what purpose and evaluating such for better future choices and accept that you care to be liked and well thought of and at the same time see that the behaviors on your part aiming at being liked are not distressing you, that you are okay with that behavior.

    My way of overcoming this conflict you presented, that split, is in understanding that fundamentally, there is no split. There is no conflict once you understand both sides are authentic, inborn.


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