Teal released a new video on false self vs. real self yesterday. It got me thinking about myself and my life. Do I really know who I am or do I just think that I know who I am?
It is true that many of us don’t know who we truly are. As Teal says in the video “We have created false selves that are so good at what they do; even we have mistaken them for ourselves. We have a major problem differentiating between our false self and our real self. ”
I know that this is very true. I did exactly the same thing. When I was very little I learned to distrust my emotional guidance system. I felt something, but my parents told me I shouldn’t feel this way. So I thought that something must be wrong with me. I began to feel ashamed for my true self. In order to avoid punishment I created a false self. Thanks to this false self I have gotten reward and I was accepted to society. After some time I started to identify with my false self so deeply that I completely forgot who I really am. I have mistaken my false self with my real self.
I identified with my false self until I was 14 years old. Then suddenly something has awakened within me and I started to question myself. I started to ask myself questions like: “Who am I? , What am I doing here?, What is the purpose of my life?, What do I like and what do I dislike?”. I realized that I know nothing about myself. Everything that other people told me about myself was not true. It wasn’t true because it didn’t feel good to me.
This is a list of things I used to identify with and other people used to identify with me:
- I am shy and antisocial.
- I don’t have my own opinions.
- I have no special gifts and talents.
- I have good grades and I am a hard worker.
- I am moral and I conform easily.
- I follow society’s rules and do what people tell me to do.
For many years I thought that this is who I am. This is what my parents, my friends, classmates and everyone I knew told me about myself.
Once I started to question myself, I could see that none of these things are actually true for me. I wasn’t born shy. My shyness is a result of self constriction and of my fear to fully express myself. I am not antisocial. I love to communicate with people and built deep bonds with them. I just didn’t have friends at that time because of my belief that no one would find me interesting enough to have me as a friend. And its not true that I have no gifts or talents. I was just too afraid to express them. I’m good at painting, writing, I’m a good listener, I give good advice to people, I am very empathic and creative… I just didn’t know these things about myself because I never tried them. And the biggest lie of all: I have no opinions. This is absolutely not true for me. I have so many opinions on all aspects of life. I didn’t express them to others because I was afraid that they will think I am crazy.
At the core of my being I am not conformative and I don’t like following society’s rules. I am a non conformist and a visionary. I believe that most systems we have on this planet now need to be reformed. I think that many rules that we have in this society are highly illogical and nonsensical. I love to come up with new ideas how our world could function in a new and brighter way.
I started to explore what I like and what I dislike. For example, all my life I thought that I dislike the color pink. Everyone around me hated pink and said that liking pink makes you a shallow girly girl that only cares about her own appearance. Of course I didn’t like to be seen as a shallow girly girl so every time someone asked me if I like pink, I said no. I didn’t wear pink, I didn’t buy anything that has a pink color on it. But then in the process of questioning myself I discovered that I actually love pink! Now what? Does it make me a bad person? I have realized that there is nothing wrong with color pink. It represents love, compassion, nurturing and caring. It fits my real personality perfectly. Now I am not ashamed to wear pink. I actually painted my room pink and I love it. And since I don’t consider myself shallow and attention seeking, no one has ever called me that! 🙂
Another surprising thing I discovered about myself is about the music that I like. I used to think that I dislike mainstream pop music. I thought that pop is only for stupid party people and I’m surely not one of them. Its true that I dislike 70% of songs they usually play on the radio, but from time to time, I find a mainstream pop song that I like. Sometimes I get mad at myself for liking something I shouldn’t like. It took me some time until I accepted this part of myself. There is nothing wrong with that. And I also had to face the fact that I like many music genres at the same time. Most people have their one favorite genre. But me not. I like almost all types of music, even the ones that should contradict themselves! 😀 I like classical music, but I also like popular music. I love chill out music, new age music, mantras and meditation music, but I also love metal :D. I also don’t mind rock music and sometimes I listen to rap. I adore celtic music, oriental music, indian music, arabic music… I like almost anything when it comes to music! I still don’t understand how is that possible. I don’t know how can someone like so many music genres at the same time, but I do like them and I cant do anything about it. I just have to accept that I like many things.
Pursuing the path of self discovery takes a lot of courage. Mostly we find out, that everything we thought we know about ourselves is wrong. Its like we lived our lives in illusion. We have to give in to uncertainty and be able to question everything we think we know about ourselves. At the end its worth it! A man who doesn’t know who he truly is cant be truly happy. Only someone who knows who he is and follows his dreams and his emotional guidance system can know what happiness is. That’s why pursuing the path of self discovery is the most risky and also the best thing you could ever do for yourself! Now is the time to question everything we think we know about ourselves!