What happens when who you want to be and who you are differ?
Is it because you need to improve? OR is it from a lack of self-acceptance?
Dialectical thinking, a so-called higher-level thinking, suggests the answer might be a mixture of both. The old “both/and” solution over the “either/or” win-lose perspective.
First, it helps to know where you are before you can know where you’re headed. Even Socrates continually cited the ancient Delphic Maxim, “Be Yourself and Know Yourself.” So, where are you and who are you right now?
Or did you say something really negative about yourself and/or your current life situation?
Perhaps your answer was positive and you just want to explore if it can get even better.
While there are dozens of tests and self-assessments all over the Internet that you can take, I am going to attempt to simplify a few things to help you take a peek into you. Before beginning, I want to urge you to be completely honest with yourself in the following questions. If you find yourself continually wanting to answer a question in a way that you wish you were rather than how you truly are/feel/believe than there is a problem with self-acceptance. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s just where you are at this moment in your journey. You may have some internal tapes from parents, peers, mentors, loved ones, or others that are competing with your core truth. It’s okay. It’s a lifetime process of learning who we are and differentiating from other people’s expectations of who they want us to be.
Please answer the following questions as True or False.
1. I care what people think and most everything I do is a direct cause of trying to please someone or trying to get their attention.
2. When I leave a party or social event, I feel drained afterward and need alone time to recharge.
3. Success comes from achieving things I could not do before.
4. My spirituality is equally as important as my material wealth.
5. I am never satisfied with my life, relationships, accomplishments, and always need more.
6. I am highly competitive and always want to win.
7. Too many people have their head in the clouds and miss the facts.
8. Hard work is the only way to win.
9. I wear my heart on my sleeve and people can often tell what I’m feeling.
10. I am highly organized and punctual.
11. Crowds charge me up and I love talking to all kinds of people and meeting new people.
12. I am depressed more days than I am happy.
13. I love adventure, spontaneity and resist schedules.
14. Meaning comes from living in the moment and feeling connected with something Divine and bigger than me.
15. I need answers and always want to know why and how something works.
16. Too many people are lazy.
17. I am highly creative and am thrilled with the creative process.
18. I lose track of time when I am doing something I love.
19. I am happy more days than I am discontent.
20. I believe in logic and objectivity.
How were those questions? Did you have any difficulty answering your truth? Did any answers make you feel ashamed? How about superior and proud?
Here’s the big issue in this first set of questions—did you answer true to #1, #5, or #12? If so, you may want to explore the issues that are contributing to why those statements are true for you at this time. These are wake-up call questions. Something else is going on that may need changing in your life. It might help to journal about it and talk to a trusted advisor.
Part II in this series reveals your temperament style and how it affects your relationships.