Sometimes we tailor what we say based on how we anticipate that our words will be received.
Sometimes it’s a conscious thing where you will intentionally not say what feels most honest or authentic. Instead you’ll say less, be more neutral and keep the enthusiasm to a minimum.
But perhaps you’re not quite aware that you’re holding back. Often when you’ve been doing something for a long time you take it on as a part of who you are. However, just because something becomes part of your identity, it doesn’t mean that it’s your truest self.
At you’re best you are joyful, kind, considerate, a good listener, focused, playful and caring.
But sometimes you’re also inconsiderate, moody, a bad listener, you have your head in the clouds (as in you’re distracted and not present), you’re rigid and harsh.
It’s so easy to attach the idea of who you are to you at your best and think of everything else as you at your worst. But I don’t think that’s the case. You’re a culmination of all those things.
We attach negative connotations to certain acts, habits or behaviours then allow that to dominate how we view ourselves. There is nothing wrong with exhibiting traits that contrast with you at your best, as long as you don’t allow the unhelpful traits to dominate.
People that think they’re outsiders act like outsiders.
The idea of being an outsider is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, something that is brought into existence rather than being totally true in the first place.
When the thought comes into your mind, as soon as you hold onto it and allow it to become a part of how you identify yourself you’ll subconsciously work to make it true.
Being an outsider is associated with being fringe, being different but sometimes even unique or original.
It can have both positive and negative connotations.
As soon as you start to think you’re different and ‘not like them’. You’ll start to separate yourself, exclude yourself even. Often that is what makes a person become an outsider.
The reality is, groups of people come together that are very different all the time.
Just as ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ is the same way you’re not you when you’re worried.
A person that worries chronically may end up having sleep problems, self-harming and developing fidget habits like pulling at their hair.
Those kinds of behaviours often end up overshadowing a persons core self and then others fall into thinking that those things are who they are.
But when you remove worry from the equation you feel a sense of freedom. You have room to maneuver, you have room to be.
You’ll feel like a whole new you and begin experience life in a way that is so far from what you’re familiar with.
Life will feel easier or at least much more manageable but it’s not that you’ll never worry again. It’s that the worry will come and pass like the flow of water rather than being something that stays with you long term and ends up being debilitating and reducing your quality of life.
If you have a worry habit, the idea of being without it probably sounds like bliss (with a hint of fear because you’re so familiar with worrying it seems strange to think about being without it.
It might be hard to believe but it is possible to significantly reduce worry and not have it as such a dominant part of your identity, you just have to figure out how.
For about a decade I’ve written almost daily and in the past 7 months I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t written.
But I recently started to wonder if I should stop writing. Not altogether but to simply take a break. I’m not sure what the benefits would be but it would definitely be a challenge.
Writing is embedded in me, it’s part of who I am. It’s the thing I do when I’m bored, inspired, overwhelmed, thinking, planning or looking to capture a moment or feeling.
I suppose like with any creative thing it’s good to take breaks and refresh your mind. Or even try creating in a new medium, painting for example.
How strange it would feel to pick up a brush instead of pen. It would be like flexing a new muscle or an old one in a new way.
But perhaps in that space of strangeness, newness and unfamiliarity there’s something worth exploring.
From a young age we start to develop an identity, a sense of self.
This is influenced by a variety of factors such as family, friends, books, music, religion, TV and film.
And so we go around living our lives with an identity of who we are. But it’s often much more complex than that.
As humans, having a sense of self is important to our development because life is easier when you know yourself.
But in a rush to reach that knowing we often end up skipping the pivotal exploration period of really delving in and asking the question of who am I?
So we settle for what influences us a combination of what we see and what people tell us to be. We end up thinking that that is who we are when their is a whole other self to be explored.