To be clear, you would certainly be able to provide an answer based on a description of your name, gender, age, occupation and relationship status. It’s below the surface of these social titles that a sense of confusion can often occur. It’s below this surface, too, that your real self exists.
Self-discovery is the process of acquiring insight into one's own character.
Who am I, is the number one question that starts self-discovery or self-exploration for the majority of us. We often get so caught up in this material/social media/filter filled life that we begin to identify with our possessions, our jobs and our roles in relationships, and often have no idea who we are authentically. Whether we become aware of it or not, the scary thing is that we often think of ourselves in relationship to our homes, our cars, our clothes, our social media following or the amount of likes we get, our partners, families and our careers. We define who we are, and others by what we do or what we have, rather than who we actually are at our core.
How many times have you defined who you are by the job that you have? When getting to know someone or meeting someone for the first time, I would say within the first 3-5 questions, we are always asked… so what do you do? Because for some weird reason, that’s how people can understand who we are, by the thing that we spend 23% of our week doing and that pays our bills. But what about the person we are for 100% of the time? What about the person who we are inside? And if we aren’t defined by our jobs, we are defined by the way we look, or what the possessions that we have.
People love to put people in a box, not because they probably even know they are doing it, but because it’s the way we have all grown up, and its become the social norm. It’s how we make sense of each other to label every person in one box. We’ve all heard it… She’s a model. Or she’s a lawyer. Or she’s got a great bum. Or she’s a mum. Once we know what box someone fits in we are ok with that because we understand them (or we think we do at least).
We label ourselves in this same way. For so many years, I would say: “I am a personal trainer”, and if they didn’t ask, people would judge me on the way that I look, not in a bad way but I would always get “you’re fit so you are this type of person or that type of person” or they would comment on the way that I look, but it’s all actually bullshit because yes I love my career, but I am so much more than a PT or someone who looks fit. Those things are only a small portion of who I am, but I am not defined by one job or the way I look today. Looks change, so it would be crazy to label anyone, let alone yourself by the way you look on the outside… I am Tamara. Plain and simple, I am me, and there are a million different layers to me, as there are to every single other person on this planet, including you.
To put it simply, as a whole we are automatically programmed to say.. “I am my job. I am successful because I have a good house. I am wealthy and my bank balance must be rolling in it because I drive a good car. I am a good person because I have a spouse or I am in a relationship, etc.” But what happens when we lose these things? What happens if we changed career or lost our job? Or if our partner left us? What happens when our bodies change? Do we lose our imagined identity and then we no longer know who we really are, unfortunately this is the reality that the majority of society currently faces. And why the majority of people at some point or another lose their own identity in their own heads.
Your body is constantly and forever changing and eventually the cells that make up your body today will be shed like an old dress or a worn pair of jeans. If you put on weight or lose weight, or get a six pack or get pregnant, no matter how your body changes, it doesn’t change who you are at your core. Same goes with everything else in your life. If your partner leaves you, or you lose your job it doesn’t change who you are, your circumstances just change, and there is a difference. You are you, because you make you amazing, it has nothing to do with external forces.
I would still be exactly the same person if I gave away my career to follow a new passion, yes I would grow, learn and experience new things, but at my core I am still the same person. Yes I may become more skilled or learn new tricks but who I am is still the same. So how can I be defined by on job? If for some reason I decided to eat a family size jar of Nutella every day and lost my passion for training and became unfit and put on weight, would I still be the same person at my core? YES! If I sold my car and walked everywhere would I still be the same person? YES! Just because I am single, does this mean I am not a good person? NO! That’s actually just ridiculous, and when we say it out loud it seems obvious. So it’s time to stop living in the box, and finding out who you truely are at your core.
So ladies, who are you?