I have always been an achievement oriented, perfectionist, control freak of a human.
I was consumed by my mission to gain status by getting scholarships, studying architecture, striving to always be top of my class and trying to pursue the life I thought would make me happy and fulfilled.
Yet with every achievement I felt more lost.
Nothing ever felt as fulfilling as I thought it would. As soon as I’d got to the next level, my mind was already planning ahead.
I realised that striving blindly for success was having the opposite effect on my happiness and sense of self than I expected.
So I pressed pause on the architecture route and started to identify with being a traveller, which also meant I could experiment with my identity, to see if there was anything beneath the surface.
Now 5 years after learning the tools I learnt along the way I find myself being exactly the person I want to be, having finally worked out who that is. Hells bells it’s so much easier this way.
I could lose everything in my life, and I’d be pissed, but I’d still be sure of who I was under all the rubble.
What would you answer if I asked you to tell me who you are?
Would you describe your job and your life and your relationships and your achievements?
What if you lost everything you own and know externally? Your job, your friends, your family, your stuff. Would you still be you?
Were you still you when you were a baby?
When I tried to work out the answer to this question myself, I realised that there’s no way of describing who I am in words.
My sense of self is a feeling, not a string of words.
The closest I can come to describing myself is to name my values. Which are really just words that label a set of things I FEEL strongly about.
Our sense of self isn’t found in a thing or a set of an achievements or a sexy partner on our arm or a house and 2.5 kids.
If you’re striving for all those things, or you have all those things, that’s cool, just don’t expect to find your identity in there.
Nor your confidence, nor your happiness, nor even your personal fulfilment.
These things come from within.
We so commonly base our identity on external ideas, jobs, or by following others, yet I think that one of the key aspects of living a bloody good life is finding your own identity and living it unapologetically.
And how do you live it unapologetically? I’ve written about that before too!
It’s my mission with Project Self to help you along with tips and tricks for your Project Self.
What could be more important than peeling back the layers to find your sense of YOU, to reduce stress so you can stop being a snappy-dactal; manage your emotions; and step outside your shouty monkey mind for some peace and quiet?
Because when you do all those things, you become the best version of yourself. And the best version of yourself is a legend who has energy and positivity to give to everyone around you.