So here I am thinking about the years of my life I spent polishing who I am today. Realizing all the times I've felt lost and confused about who I was as a person. On more than one occasion, I can recall changing they way I speak or act when around certain people. Then question, if that is a true representation of who I was?Then I rationalize my actions with the notion that it is only natural to conform to your environment and act according to who or what is around you. I have learned this is far from the truth. Being adaptable does not require change but requires good character. Character is not something you just stumble upon but is nurtured through life lessons and experiences. I believe people lack character because they are to busy trying to be someone else, versus learning themselves.
I too once was lost and what I call a "carbon copy," Looking and sounding like everyone around me. However, it came a point in time that I no longer wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to empower myself to be who God had created me. Now, this epiphany did not come as this grand movement of self awareness but was gradual. In the first three chapters of my book The Material Girl, I share how my experiences pushed to seek out answers to the identity issues I had within. I was lost but could not even begin to figure out how to get myself out of the state of self doubt and dependence. I depended on the validation of others to confirm who I said I was. This came through being accepted into to cliques or feeling loved by a boy. Over and over again I would tell myself I didn't care what other people thought but then fight for their attention. Something in me lacked the confidence to be who me 24/7 or was I just a chameleon? I made a conscious decision to find out who I was, why I was born and what impact I wanted to make on earth.
I have for years discussed the identity crisis that exist in the world we currently live in with young people. We can see how through the last few decades people have become more interested in putting up pictures on Instagram then getting a education. But why? Why do so many people gravitate towards moments of self gratification versus building character? Because character takes work. Being dedicated to growth and maturity doesn't take place over night and comes with hard work, as well as frustrations and disappointments. It is far easier to paint a picture and get 100 likes from strangers, that make you feel good for wearing a revealing outfit, then to accept the fact that you think your ugly. So people spend more time being Insta-famous and doing what thousands have done before them then bettering themselves. Part of the issue is the overly sexualized entertainment industry and how we subject ourselves to the scrutiny of others.
Some people ask, how did I get past that behavior? How can I help others to identify with who God created them to be? What if they don't admit they have an issue? There our countless questions on this subject. However, I will give you something I did to help me grow in this area.
First you have to locate yourself. I would start by looking in the mirror and describe what you see. This is to the physical representation of who you are and how they show in your actions. These things can include your attitude, how you are perceived by others, or merely how you dress. Then I would write down what I want to represent as a woman or a man. This way I can compare my current actions with my goals.
Next, talk to people who you've just met to see what assumption they made about you based on your appearance and write them down. This can provide insight on how you come off to others, who know little to nothing about you. I will warn you that this can be a blessing and a curse. Be prepared to receive the good and bad, and keep an open mind. Then I would speak to my family and friends to ask them to list two of my strengths and two weaknesses. You will find your insecurities are reflected in your personality one way or another.
Go over all these list and circle the thing(s) that show up more than once. For instance, your family may say you shop to much or your materialistic, and someone who just met you could say at first they thought you were stuck up. Then you write down shopping make you feel complete. This should have you thinking about why you place so much emphasis on what you wear. This is time to reflect to determine why certain things satisfy you and why others don't.
This experiment is only step one in the process to self discovery and losing that identity crisis. Only after you become aware of bad habits can you start to work to change them. I always preach how fulfilling living in your purpose can be. You often times here celebrities speak about how they just love being able to get up everyday for work doing what they love. I encourage all my readers to find that thing to keep you moving. Although the glitz and glamour of someone else's life is enticing doesn't mean it's fulfilling. So spend more time getting to know yourself and working to fulfill your purpose.
Until Next Time!
Signed "The Material Girl"