Don’t Just Be Yourself
“Success is found in being yourself.”
While these types of self-awareness statements carry an element of truth in them (i.e., in the context of staying true to oneself), they also hold the potential of crippling our ability to move forward in life. These types of statements are often framed with an overly optimistic presupposition that states true potential is found within and that a journey to discover oneself is the key to unlocking our “destiny”.
While it’s true that self-awareness/discovery is very helpful in understanding and framing our purpose in life, it is not sufficient in itself to help us reach our potential. We all need external forces and the experience of hard work to help us test and take what we think we know about ourselves to implementation. It’s not enough to just find ourselves. In fact, none of us will completely find ourselves. It’s more process than product. In other words, we will spend the rest of our lives discovering or sharping who we really are. That’s life.
We have to intentionally stay open to being shaped by things outside of ourselves which in turn will give us more clarity as to who we really are (now) and what we’re meant to become. It takes a healthy balance of thinking both introspectively and extrospectively. Introspection alone may get us stuck in ourselves and extrospection alone may lack the depth we need to frame life. I suppose wisdom is found somewhere in the middle.