WHO RUNS MY LIFE?
Have you ever taken time to focus on your life and asked yourself this question? Well, there are a number of variables that would contribute to the answer of this question. It all boils down to one fact of whether you are in total control of your life; your actions, behaviors, opinions and decisions or whether someone else is. To be able to answer this question, we need to make one thing clear. Who are you, or what makes you the person you are?
Every single person has a sense of self, of who they are and what makes them different from other people. As human beings develop, every individual becomes more aware of self and what uniquely differentiates him from another person. Self-understanding is usually a mental construction that is influenced by the socio-cultural context of an individual’s immediate environment. A person’s self-understanding would therefore be based on past and present experiences and interactions with his environment. At given times, this may also include future expectations of events.
Many times people will always fail to take off in their careers or destinies due to the crisis in the mind concerning who they really are. We may take it for granted but Identity crisis is a serious performance killer for anyone who is ever thinking of being successful in his quests. Unless you put your inner faculties in order, whatever anyone does to assist you will be efforts in futility.
Now, what triggers Identity confusion? This can be put in three phrases or questions.
How do I see myself?
How do others see me?
How would I like people to see me?
These three questions always determine how one behaves and which direction he will take in the process of pursuing success in his career. They are the main things that will determine where someone’s esteem and self-worth is placed at. In the long run they influence one’s performance in a great way either consciously or unconsciously.
An individual will always seek to find his or her place in the society by getting involved in activities that he/she believes will direct him/her towards the fulfillment of his/her dreams, goals and destiny. But in the process you come to realize that the opinion and judgments of others heavily affect their beliefs and values in the quest of becoming what they ought to be. Social influence therefore plays a significant role in diverting ones attention from his personal beliefs or what he ought to be and directs him to what others feel or expect him to be within the society.
As time passes by people always find themselves in a dilemma of trying to pursue what they believe defines them without losing the approval and acceptance of others. As a person’s social identity changes from one thing to another, role confusion also develops and eventually an individual would slowly move away from his actual or real personality which is formed by his innate abilities and acquired behavioral characteristics to that which is dictated by the community thereby losing his true identity.
The danger of this is that in the long run he will compromise on his values and principles and even give up on his own beliefs and goals to adopt those which are approved of by friends and peers. The question at this point would be this; how much are you willing to give up in order to win the approval of your peers, friends or the society? Will it make you a better you or will it turn you into one of them, or probably a carbon copy of what they present?
Well, this is what you need to focus on always while in doubt. What is your worth; to your friends, peers, the society? See if you are indispensable in their sight before allowing them to influence your opinions, character or behavior. However, you can exhibit and have positive influence on those around you by your character, beliefs and personality. Only then can one be contented with what he has become, what he has achieved and what he has accomplished. This is what gives one a sense of inner worth knowing that you’ve made positive contributions to the lives of others and in the process bettered your own.
Inner contentment is always driven by desire. There are two kinds of desire; positive & negative/unreasonable desires. The difference between positive & negative desire is not whether it gives you an immediate feeling of satisfaction but whether it ultimately results in positive or negative consequences.
On the flip side, as long as you mirror your life with those of others as a standard gauge, you will always feel that you are falling short. The reason for this is that in your quest to achieve similar goals, your experiences can never be the same however much you try to synchronize your lives to each other. This is what makes human beings unique; our experiences are always original and uniquely ours.
A Better Trustee
Many times in the process of seeking to meet our goals and trying to achieve what we ought to achieve in life, we get into tough situations which leave us in doubt at times and friends or family can’t be of much help. It is in such moments that one needs a confidant whom one is sure of to help him get through the tough situations or moments. Such people may come in terms of close mentors, best friends, prayer partners or even close family members. But still, in order for you to trust them to take you through such times; they must have proven over the years to be completely reliable in such situations.
All in all, one thing remains constant. Regardless of who comes into your life you should always ask yourself this question; Who is at the driver’s seat of my life? You have everything it takes to get yourself where you want to be. Better still, get a trust worthy co-driver. Mine is Christ. Because of His free will, God never gets on the driver’s seat of our lives and turn us into robots who would just follow unquestioningly. However, He can offer to be a co-driver who guides us along the way as we drive the course of our lives.