In my last post, I said that, ‘the quest for a greater degree of mindfulness is driven by the disparity between how I see myself in my mind’s eye and who I am in reality’.
There’s the picture you paint to yourself of who you think you are. And then there’s the reality of who you are. It’s seldom the case that you are able to marry the two smoothly, successfully and seamlessly.
You are more than the sum of your parts. And you are more than your thoughts, words and actions.
So, what do you do when who you think you are and who you really are don’t match up? Can you tell when the two are misaligned? I believe there are at least three signs to look out for to confirm that you’re not who you think you are.
1. Others are telling you.
When others come forward and give you an indication of how they see you, it’s good to take notice. Balance the view against your own, of course, but just be open and consider it. If enough come forward, telling you the same thing, perhaps there’s something there, don’t you think?
2. You’re not getting the results you thought you’d get.
Something’s not quite right if you are not achieving what you’ve set out to do. There are external obstacles, surely. But frequently, you get in the way of yourself. You have the opportunity and the gift to do something with your life and how you choose to do so is up to you. The question is whether you see this as opportunity or challenge and whether you see yourself in control of your situation or not. If you feel that you’re led by your situation instead of leading it, then the lack of control will mean that you don’t get to present yourself in a way that aligns with who you are inside.
3. You’re not happy.
The beauty of emotion? You just go with it. There’s usually an explanation for it, but you just go with it. You’re not as rational as you’d like to think. Emotions are a powerful indicator of who you are and how you feel, whether you’d like to admit it or not. It’s an internal barometer.