“Who are ya” is one of the more polite, derogatory chants commonly heard in English soccer stadiums when opposition fans want to question the ability of their opposition team or selected players within that team. Some dictionaries even suggest it may have been in common use in the mid 19th century in London, again as a means of insult to the person on the receiving end of the chant. So let me state from the outset, in posing this question “Who are you…” I do not intend it as a derogatory question or even a chant; however I do pose it as a means of provoking you to have a think about who you really are, or indeed who we, as humans really are and why it can be a source of great help and comfort in times of trial to know who we really are.
In these days of isolation and social distancing the opportunity for self-reflection is greatly enhanced. On the one hand, increased self-reflection can become a useful positive enquiry that allows us to become more comfortable with who we really are at our core or essence. On the other hand, self-reflection can also become a vehicle by which we drive ourselves into a space of anxiety and worry and even recriminations about how we are perceived, or what we have achieved or even what we will become when normality or “new normality” is restored to our lives.
I hope this article facilitates more of the positive enquiry type of self-reflection and reduces or eliminates the potential for any negative outcomes.
Who are you…
- Beyond your roles
- Beyond your self-image
- Beyond your personality type?
Who am I beneath the external designation of my different roles? In my case Father, Brother, Husband, Son, Businessman, Coach and Facilitator. Who am I beneath the self-image I have of a compassionate, caring, occasionally arrogant, sometimes angry individual? Who am I beneath the personality type that many different self-assessment tools have designated to me?
I first remember reflecting on this question in 2005 when trying to figure out why I had ended up in hospital with all the symptoms of a heart attack that in the end turned out to be a panic attack, albeit a quite calm panic attack despite the heart attack feelings in my body.
Part of my reflection fell into the idea that I was no longer “somebody,” I was in fact not important to others. In my previous role I had been a Sales and Marketing director, with a team that looked to me for leadership, guidance and direction; customers and suppliers that looked to me for business and a share of a multi-million pound marketing and trade spend; and one of a team of fellow directors that ran the business. In other words, who I was, was apparently, in my sub conscious anyway, heavily associated with the role in which I was employed. This was my first major insight into the power of my thinking and the link between my conscious and subconscious thoughts and my physical well-being.
Through further reflection, reading and some great counselling and coaching I began to see that who I truly am is not the construct of my thoughts, or of my Ego’s thoughts, about who I should be based on roles, self-image or personality. Who I really am at my core is the same as who all humans are at their core before life, parents, teachers, events, circumstances, religions and thought take over.
We are Infinite Potential and we are directly connected and at one with the Infinite Potential of the Universe or indeed Cosmos.
We are, or we are connected to, the Infinite Potential for whatever Wisdom, Creativity, Peace, Love, Compassion and even Healing we need in our lives at this time.
In my experience the reason we do not feel connected to this source is because the thoughts in our heads or the story our egos have constructed prevents us from seeing or feeling the connected nature of our true selves.
How do we come to know our true selves, how do we get to feel that we are connected to this marvellous source of Infinite Potential? Bookshops and Libraries are full of books, ancient and modern, addressing these questions; so one blog is never going to do justice to answering such questions.
However I will point to 3 things that have helped me;
- To paraphrase Sydney Banks “The only thing that stops me feeling connected to the source of Infinite Potential is the thought that I am not connected to this source.” Notice that it is your thoughts that directly affect your feelings; not the circumstances of life.
- Einstein is quoted as saying “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Be more curious and wonder-filled about life.
- Develop “Ego Apathy:” put less store by how some action will look on the CV of your ego but rather do more stuff for the simple joy of just doing that stuff.