Finding yourself vs. Creating yourself.
I often hear people say “Throughout childhood you spend most of your time trying to find yourself.” They say this is the reason that childhood is so hard, but to that I disagree. To me, the idea of finding yourself is synonymous with a having a destiny. I believe that you spend your life creating yourself and your future, it is not found, and you are not born with specific purpose. There is no short cuts in doing that because creating and molding the person you want to be takes hard work. Naturally you are born with a certain amount of personality and talent through genetics, but success is created after you are born, not before. The search for real self is fiction, your personality is not waiting to be stumbled upon one day. If the search for true self was reality, when it is finally found you would become static, without any real reason to be ambitious, because anything out of that comfort zone would be considered “Not being yourself.” Although having your own opinions are unique to the specific person, having a destiny is not real. Everyday you create yourself with thoughts, actions, and dreams. It is a life experiment to mold what you like and what you don’t like. The rest is up to the person, and the people who influence that person. The people that influence you play a extremely vital role in creating yourself. What is considered as finding yourself, is misconstrued with having society’s restrictions define you. The influence that society has on a person's spirit is stronger than anyone would like to admit, and even the broadest categorization of humans are made by our society. This is shown in the article from The New York Times "Race and Racial Identity Are Social Constructs.” The article states that:
Race is not biological. It is a social construct. There is no gene or cluster of genes common to all blacks or all whites. Were race “real” in the genetic sense, racial classifications for individuals would remain constant across boundaries. Yet, a person who could be categorized as black in the United States might be considered white in Brazil or colored in South Africa.
This proves the idea that society has created broad guidelines for people's lives. I believe that these constrictions make people afraid to overstep boundaries for fear of “not being yourself.”The concept of creating yourself is driven by self perception, and believing that you can, or cannot achieve something with hard work, and not being naturally gifted. Will Smith, a extremely successful actor once said “I've always viewed myself as slightly above average in talent. And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You know, while the other guy's sleeping? I'm working.” Will smith sums up my thesis of creating yourself by implying that he was never given a particular special talent, but because he worked hard and believed in himself he created a legendary career. This correlates with creating yourself because he was not blessed with a destiny, and did not wait to find himself, instead he worked hard to make his average talent great. When you are old enough to think for yourself, you began to challenge all ideas. The drive to experiment with things is created, and you begin to judge what you do and don’t like. I believe that society constructs people's feelings of identity and belonging by years of watering down what is normal. Society holds a lot of power in some people's eyes. But no matter who you are, there are repercussions of the opinions of others. Some people choose to fit in and just be normal, because that is easier. Others choose to go down the road of resistance where you experiment with things and decide whether something is for you or is not. These societal pressures are shown in The Great Gatsby "His nostrils turned to me in an interesting way” (p.71). I understand you're looking for a business negotiation." The juxtaposition of these two remarks was startling. Gatsby answered for me: "Oh, no," he exclaimed, " this isn't the man." "no?" Mr.Wolfshiem seemed disappointed. "This is just a friend. I told you we'd talk about that some other time." " I beg your pardon," said Mr. Wolfshiem, "I had a wrong man." This shows that Nick did not fold to society pressures to do something that he did not want to do. It is not that he didn’t take the opportunity because it wasn't his destiny, but because he had created his morals, and was emotionally strong enough to deny society’s pressures.
Courtesy of personal development.me
Moment of Reflection
To be truthfully honest I have never really understood that term. For a long time I have pretended to know what it means but giving it a second thought made me realize that I had no understanding after all. This began to raise some questions in me:
1) What does it mean to find yourself?
2) Finding yourself implies losing yourself, so how would that have happened?
3) Is it not possible that you were cool, calm and collected (for a given period in time) at some point in your life?
The other thing that puzzles me is how this has become such a big deal. Not that I am belittling it, the main concern is why a lot of people (if not most) are so caught up in “a search for who they are” only to come up empty-handed time and again.
Thinking about the phrase, “find yourself” there seems to be a core similarity, or at least connection with that and “discovering your purpose.” Are the two not one and the same? From what I can tell they seem to be quite vast in their difference. Your purpose has to do with:
a) Your reason for existing
b) Separating you from existing to living
c) Answering the “fulfilment” (why) question
d) What your dream is
Finding yourself has to do with
a) Answering the “inner conflict” (who) question
b) Establishing an identity
c) What makes one different and unique
d) Making a name for oneself
Solving the matter
As I said before finding yourself implies losing yourself. The question, therefore, is when, where and how would you have lost yourself? The only thing that comes to mind is belief.
What do you believe?
Some suggestions I have for finding yourself are:
i) Write down all your core beliefs
ii) Ask yourself why you believe those things
ii) Ask yourself how you came to believe those things
iv) Write down as many possibilities as you can e.g. friends, teachers, coworkers, parents, siblings, TV shows & movies (be specific), strangers, acquaintances, extended family members (be specific).
I have learned that you portray who you are by what you do so that means the key ingredient to helping one come back together may be found in their gifts and talents. In addition to that the crucial and vital need to stay in focus.
Don’t lose focus
That’s something I very often told my little brothers and my friends whenever they competed against me either in video games or social activities and had a hard time defeating me. This instruction holds true for the one who is soul-searching. I believe the reason for a loss for a deeper meaning (which is what I consider the definition to be) is found in a lack of focus. There is no focus on the dream. No focus on the goal. If there is some focus, there clearly isn’t enough.
Steering clear from all kinds of distractions (which may be the temptation to alter one’s belief; spending too much time with the wrong people; being lectured far too many times and given numerous philosophies in the process, leading to confusion; placing their identity in a person, people or thing, an unnecessary vulnerability because of the pain that accompanies the loss), staying focused becomes easier.
I have come to realize now that with all the above taken into consideration, there is not that much of a difference between purpose and identity. If you know what you were born for that makes it easy to understand more of who you are. On the other hand if you know who you are (beyond heritage and more into self-worth and confidence) but are not sure what your reason for existing is (until you do you won’t be living), you are still open to exploring various possibilities and with, at the very least, a positive attitude, you are able to come close to finding the answer.
What suggestions do you have for finding yourself?
What do you think about the link between purpose and identity?