As humans, we believe we know ourselves. However, to put it bluntly; we are mostly a result of our experiences, those that have influenced us throughout life. Though not everyone believes this; as some have come to think of identity as being the same as personality. This claim is unfounded, just by the mere fact that if you grow up in a different environment, you usually become a different type of person from who you are now. The million-dollar question I would ask however is, who do you really think you are?
Okay! You are reading this and thinking, “I am telling you something you probably already know”. Excuse me, it’s not what I meant to do. What I am trying to do is to actually make you think further than the body you are in right now. Think into the future and also into your past. Do you realize the person you develop into is usually based on your experiences right now? You probably agree, or perhaps you don’t? What I am trying to make you see is that finding out who you are can depend on a lot of things, including (believe it or not) Social Media.
Think about this, only a few years ago, most women would not dream of having a huge butt or extra-large lips. Today, a fair number of ladies on the popular social media app Instagram have turned this into a standard way of living. What changed their mind? The same girl who probably ten years ago had a different body image of what she wanted to look like. Fast forward ten years, and her point of view is totally different. She wants to look like Kim Kardashian and would instead try and be an Influencer rather than a doctor.
What I am trying to get at here is we always think we know who we are or that we make our decisions, ourselves. Influence from the outside actually is a significant factor affecting how we see ourselves. So that said are we actually living someone else’s life or are we living through an alter ego? Now, you may be getting confused, about all this? I implore you to think. 🤔 Think about my question and tell me, ‘who do you think you are’?
I am not talking, about gender, social status, occupation or job title. Think deeper, who are you? What part of you is your mother, your father, past experience, influence through social media and your education? Now that aside what part of you is really you. Who are you? Who is that person when stripped of all the titles, gender norms, socialization norms and social pressure? Have you ever sat down and peeled the mask away? Oh, perhaps this may be shocking to you when you face the mirror without your alter ego?
Unfortunately, the sad answer to this question is most cannot even fathom to think about who they are. Never haven took time out to figure out and really identify who they are. It is terrifying sometimes when we sit down and look through our life and try and see who we are without the mask. The truth is most of us are scared to face ourselves. Wow did I just say that? Yes, the vast majority are running on a treadmill that never seems to end. They have never sat down to look beyond their day to day treadmill, copy cat, life and think about self-identity.
Who are you? Why are you living your life according to a set of rules that you do not even question? Have you ever thought of it? This article is meant to make you feel and is not a personal attack at you, it is intended to make you think beyond your day to day bills and survival.
So what do you think is the solution? Finding meaning to a life that is moulded according to a cookie-cutter lifestyle. The good news is you are not alone, and you may probably not want to know who you really are. However, here are a few things you could do to help you achieve your true potential, finding your authenticity and moving beyond who you think you are to discovering who you really are.
Meditation, silence and looking within can help us focus and lose control of our linear way of thinking. These exercises can create a subjective experience that can help you start to tune to our inner self and in turn, create more internal inquiry into finding your true self. There are several forms of meditation and inner practice techniques that you can find and can help you start to calm down and begin to look inside and discover who you really are.
There are various types of spiritual exercises; this can include chanting, Tai- Chi, Kundalini Yoga and breath-work. The active types of spiritual practices can help you centre yourself, thereby leading to self-discovery. Through self-discovery, we begin to ask questions about ourselves and our lives that we would not usually ask. Finding yourself is supposed to be a journey as there are so many layers to peel off. Again this works through focus and consistent spiritual practice.
Reading can also be very meditative. I would advise reading biographies, philosophy, self-help and spiritual books. If you make time daily to read these types of books, you find yourself questioning. Wanting to know more about life and what makes you tick. Spirituality and philosophy help you think beyond the human realm. Biographies give you an insight into others lives, mainly how they got to where they are. Their life experience begins to make you question your very being. It helps us to soak in knowledge and can be a great way to enlightenment.
When we travel to places we haven’t been and really immerse ourselves into other culture, we begin to get insight into how others live. This gives a different perspective from the way we live our lives and helps us to see things through the eyes of others. Provided you are open to learning and not judging their lives based on yours. Travelling creates insight, and if you are curious and non-judgmental, it can help shift your thinking. But one caveat I must tell you here is that you should be open. Open to change and open to allowing others lives to affect you beyond judgement.
Working with a charity humbles us and puts us in touch with who we really are. It helps us discover the essence of our souls and gives us a sense of belonging. It also helps us to see the power we have in anthers life and how we can help change their story. Our story does not always have to be about us. When we reach out and help another, it reaches something deep within us that helps us delve deeper into who we really are.
So who do you think you are?