Who really really really are you? That is a question you have to face at every junction in your life. Ultimately that question will define your life and whether you are living a life of Joy, Peace, and Contentment or just surviving. Almost every decision you make will reinforce who you really really really are, or it will satisfy some emotional drive tied to physical or psychological survival. That means that with most of the decisions you make, you are also deciding how you want to live your life. The question, at its deepest roots, is, “Do I want to live my life to the highest level of satisfaction, or do I just want to ease my survival-based emotional pressures?”
I don’t want to sound overly dramatic. You’re probably not facing a physical survival scenario very often. Most of us, fortunately, live in a relatively safe environment. However, we do face psychological survival problems every day. Psychological survival issues can be defined as anything that threatens or increases your sense of approval—especially your sense of self-approval—your sense of security, and your sense of control in your life. When any of these areas are touched on by situations or thoughts, you feel emotions—sometimes powerful, sometimes more subtle. If you feel an emotion and you know you are not in physical danger, your sense of approval, security, and/or control is being affected. You can read about this in more detail in my book, Life Is a Lazy Susan.
Your beliefs about yourself, and the corresponding emotions they generate, influence your behavior in small and seemingly insignificant ways. As an example, think about why you chose the clothes you’re wearing today. You probably felt a certain way and wanted to express that feeling via your clothes, or you wanted to change how you were feeling by wearing clothes that countered the way you felt. More than likely, you didn’t consciously think about this as you chose your clothes; it was probably a subconscious decision. Yet your beliefs about yourself were at the root of that decision. In other words, your clothing choice was influenced by how much sense of approval/self-approval, security, and/or control you believed you had or wanted.
Let’s look at this another way. Let’s look at it through the lens of an emotional crisis. Imagine that you’ve spent the past three years building up your career at a company. You’ve bent over backwards to try and please your bosses. You’ve worked extra hours to look good. You’ve given up your free time to benefit the company. Then one morning you go to work and make one accidental mistake of hitting the wrong button while on the phone, and you hang up on a prospective client. You tell your boss about the accidental mistake you made. Your boss reacts by firing you. Unrealistic? This just happened to a coaching client of mine a few weeks ago. This event sent my client into an emotional crisis. His entire sense of approval, especially his self-approval, his sense of security, and his sense of control over his life was destroyed in seconds.
Here is an excerpt from an e-mail about this event that I received from my client a few days ago.
“…Intellectually, I know that what’s happened over the past few weeks with work has been a gift, but that doesn’t stop the rumbling of how scared I feel.” He continues, “This feels like death, abandonment, shame, etc., with no one around to make it all better. It’s like my mind is scrambling for the right thought or action to make the fear go away.
I have an interview lined up and there’s a ton of stuff…I can do. Things are headed in the “right” direction.
This is about something else. Approval. Security. Control…I’m having a hard time not feeling foolish about what happened. I think that’s the core. To me, not working means I’ve let down my wife, leaving her to keep the money coming in. I’ve let down my brother because spending money on another plane ticket to see my nephew get married is too costly right now.
I suppose it’s a tangle of things that I just need to stay present with and move through.”
Life happens this way. The emotions we experience are the expressions of all our beliefs about ourselves and the world. Thus when life’s events don’t match our beliefs, these events can feel devastating. Everything seems fine and then a loved one dies, you lose your job, your pet runs away, your car breaks, etc. In these times of crisis, who we really really really are gets fully exposed. The pain we feel during these periods is all our subtle beliefs being stripped away. In a crisis, you may find out which friends help you and which friends don’t. In a crisis, you might find out how much money you want to make and how much money you need to make. In a crisis, you discover what truly matters to you and what doesn’t. In a crisis, you also discover that the one thing you can always depend on is you.
Who really really really are you? Know that person and you can survive anything.
For each of us, there is only one person who is always there for us. That person is you. Who really really really are you? Know that person and you can survive anything.
I recently watched an interview with a woman whose sense of privacy had been violated by a man she had hired to help her with some accounting. While “helping” her, he hid miniature cameras in her home. He then took the images from those cameras and posted them all over the internet. To date, over a million images of this woman have been found online. It has affected her employment, her relationships, and her sense of self-worth. The interviewer asked her, “If you ran into this man on the street, what would you say to him?” The lady thought for a moment, and she said, “I’d tell him thank you. He stripped away every sense of dignity I thought I had. But under it all, I found myself. I found out who I am and how amazing I am.”
You are also amazing.
Your life, your experiences, your joys, and your pain have combined to create a person that stands unique on this earth. There are over seven billion people walking around this world, but only one you. You have a place and an individuality that only you can offer and that we can all benefit from. That is how amazing you are.
Who really really really are you? Know that person and you’ll have an amazing friend forever.
If you struggle with your emotions overwhelming you, or you feel like you’re constantly being thrown around by life, there are several simple yet effective exercises that you can do to help you regain your emotional and mental balance. I offer coaching to teach these exercises. I’ll walk with you as you get to know yourself, and help you become empowered to live your life and your dreams. Contact me to start this remarkable journey.