Who am I?
Have you ever come upon a crossroads in your life where you have lost sight of who you are? Where you think you're one person, yet the world around you seems to be pointing at someone else?
Within my lifetime, thus far, I've learned quite a few things about identity. It's a volatile thing. You will find that you can sit down and decide what you want to do and who you want to be. Where you ignore what the outside world is telling you and you forge ahead being "You". Only to find later that it didn't quite work out as you had planned. That "You" doesn't quite meet what you thought. So you sit down again and figure out who you REALLY are. Then a short time later you're back at the same crossroads. All you can think is:
How did I get here?
In recent years I made a lot of plans. I made it a point that I was going to offer myself to all who need me. No holds barred. Now many would say "That's dangerous!" Only I felt that if I held in everything that I knew and learned I was denying my community of what I have to offer. To use what I learned as a weapon, of sorts, to flight, claw, scratch my wave over people would just leave a path of destruction that would only hurt myself.
Picture yourself climbing multiple ladders to get to the next level of whatever it is you're trying to do. Then with each level, you set fire to the ladder, anger people on that level that they kick your ladder out, or just block you're way back. Now you've reached the top with a path of chaos behind you. You're not going back, what do you care? Right? If you ask me the answer is Wrong! One of the many lessons life has taught me is that, no matter how solid your footing, you can fall back a tier or two. Now if you've left a mess behind you, with no ladders behind you, that could be a long way down. If you left a solid path behind you, supported those following you, they will not only catch you, but put you right back where you belonged.
I felt I could offer myself to so many things. That I could truly make a difference in every aspect of my life. I have so much to offer.
The life hit, as it usually does, and I was taught the lesson of overextending one's self. The next things I knew I had so much to do I was ignoring myself and those close to me as I tried to make good on everything I offered. I wasn't holding up my end on just about everything. To the point that I reached an exhaustion level that I couldn't seem to recover from. I was at a standstill. Not knowing where best to go next.
Late last year I finally started admitting that I screwed up, but didn't know where to go. I started admitting to people I promised stuff to that I'm just not doing what I'm supposed to and apologized, but my goal was to still own up to what I owed. I told myself:
It's time for a change
Only I thought I was changing but I wasn't. I, once again, sat down, took inventory, established who I needed to be and went on. I was making progress then I realized I was failing yet again. My new "Me" wasn't all that new. It was the same old story with a new paint job. It's all great and shiny until you get that first chip, then the cracks form and your core starts showing again.
Not long ago I was having a conversation with a friend who was telling me how someone had said that he's just too nice. BAM! It hit me. That's me! Now, with that said, everyone feels they're nicer than they really are, but taking that level of conceitedness out of the picture, I still was being too nice.
So in came the question "Do I need to become someone else?" Will changing myself entirely make a difference? Will it stick? The answer I came up with, is No. In reality that's what I've been trying to do constantly. So then what do I need to do, to get to where I want to be?
After wracking my mind over the different things I've done, and not done I found the one thing I need to ask myself every day.
What do I need to do today that I will be proud of tomorrow?
Everything else needs to moved away. Everything that is a roadblock needs to be cleared. You are hurting both yourself and others you want to help if you let other walls stand in your way. Quite often we let others take advantage and consume us to the point of a complete standstill. Although sometimes it's intentional, the majority of the time it's simply out of ignorance that it's happening. At that point cut ties and reduce the roadblocks. When reducing these roadblocks you don't want to burn them to the ground, then you're back at the stage I mentioned earlier.
Once you have an understanding of what it is that you'll be proud of. You'll be able to control the mindset that leads you to thinking you need to change. You don't necessarily need to change. Usually you're just looking for the wrong things.
I found, though I'm still freeing up stuff, that as I started to understand what I needed to do, I had an easier time meeting what I offered. Yet as I reached those goals with individuals I gracefully bowed out. Some didn't take it well. Others completely understood. The ones who didn't take it well were usually the ones I was not proud of to begin with. As my time freed I gained back a confidence level in what I was doing that has been gone a while.
We're all a work in progress and each of us end up in a miserable rut from time to time, but it doesn't necessarily mean we need to change and become someone else. We just need to step back and find what is it that we need to do to be proud of and execute. The rest will fall into place.