Within my work and my coaching, I talk a lot about identity and how it is connected to one’s life purpose…and just what is that, exactly?
Rather than go on a theoretical tirade on what the identity is (I really don’t care for Freud’s work), let me instead illustrate using an analogy.
Basically in life, you are an actor on stage. Whether on the stage or the big screen, actors are required to carry out the role and portrayal of whatever character they are assigned. And whatever role (identity) they are assigned, it affects the script (life purpose) and the “scripts” of those around them in the play, movie or television show.
For the most part, people think that what they think and believe are composed of mostly their own thoughts and opinions. I run into so many people who claim they are “open-minded” (whatever that means in their model of the world) and that they think for themselves (again, whatever that means). But when presented with something that could hugely impact their life for the better, those same people spit in your face, run away, or both.
So much for open-mindedness…
The truth is, the vast majority of what you think, feel and believe and more than likely not even your own thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Rather, they are a carbon copy of somebody else’s thoughts, beliefs and feelings (and a really bad copy indeed). Think about it for just a moment…
All of the beliefs you have, the feelings you carry around on a daily basis…are they really yours? When you go to your parents house and are suddenly overcome with feelings of dread…are they truly YOUR feelings…or are you picking up energy from your parents (and the rest of the household)?
For the most part, our beliefs, thoughts and feelings are influenced, HEAVILY influenced by various systems in our environment. The common systems that influence us are our family and social systems. The one that I want to touch on is that of your family system.
In your family, it is more than likely that you either adopted a role or that you had one bestowed upon you. You may have noticed the role being installed at first, but then overtime, it became more and more imprinted to the point where you became unconscious of it.
Unfortunately, much of the roles adopted within family systems are highly destructive and proved to be disasterous later on in your life. And you don’t realize it until it really hits you. Much of what you learned in your family system is carried over into adulthood and various aspects of your life. What ever role that you had adopted plays itself out in various ways that you are mostly unaware of. It plays itself out in your relationships with others, the way you handle your finances, where you sit in a room full of chairs, how you move through the supermarket when shoppping for food and on and on and on. Therefore, it is no accident or coincidence that what has been happening in your life is strictly tied down to how you choose to identify yourself and thus how you choose to walk through the world…
Your identity grossly affects your “script” and how your life is going to play out…whether you are aware of it or not. Whatever role that you are “assigned” affects your ENTIRE life.
And your identity affects other people around you and how they respond to you. Is it ever any wonder as to why things never seem to go your way? Is it ever any wonder why you keep doing the same things over and over again, even though there are other alternatives available?
Is it ever any wonder why you can’t ever seem to tell the truth to yourself…
As Mr. Wilde so elegantly put it, “Most people are other people…”. Most people are not themselves, but are carrying somebody else’s torch without even realizing it. You have been given a false center, a false identity and a false ego by your parents and your peers. And that center has covered up who you really are.
Sound too spiritual for you?
If so, allow me to close this off with a question that you can perhaps ponder for a while:
If we pride ourselves in being free-thinking and openly honest individuals living in a “free” and “open” society, then what does it mean when society tells you to be yourself, make you feel bad about being yourself…and, in turn, having you lie to yourself?