We all have three yous: there’s the you who you REALLY are, there’s the you who you THINK you are, meaning the you who you put out there in the world for others to see, and, finally, there’s the you that the world actually sees.
So, you ever wonder about the differences between your three yous?
First of all, who are you really?
Next, who do you think you are? In others words, who do you think yourself to be/think that the world sees you as?
And what is the difference between who you really are and how you see yourself/think that the world sees you?
How about the difference between how you see yourself/think that the world sees you versus how the world REALLY sees you?
All day long the world gives us messages as to how it sees us and what it wants from us.
It tells us it likes us or that it doesn’t. That it is proud of us or ashamed and disappointed in us. Or that it wants certain things from us yet doesn’t want other things.
And all the while, inside each of us is our own opinion of whether or not we like ourselves, whether we are proud or ashamed, and what we do or do not want to say or do.
When there is a large gap between the signals we get from the world and the ones we are getting from inside of us, there is ANXIETY.
We deal with this anxiety either consciously or subconsciously by putting a certain version of ourselves out there in the world, what I like to call the ‘compromise’ or the you who we think we are and think that the world sees us as.
You might view it as a psychological math equation:
what the world wants/feels – (minus) what you want/feel = (equals) what you put out there as a compromise
The reason this is so is because we naturally try to cope with the anxiety of the difference between what the world wants/feels versus what we want/feel by inventing a compromise. That compromise is the ‘you’ we put out there in the world and it is, in most cases, the you who we THINK we are and the you who we THINK the world sees us as.
Boss (what the world wants): Harvey, you really need to concentrate more on those quarterly reports.
Harvey’s ‘real you’: You don’t know crap, boss. Those reports are a waste of the company’s resources and I can prove it to you if you’d only listen.
Harvey’s ‘compromise’: You’re probably right. I need to get back on track.
You see what happened here? The real Harvey felt pretty strongly about the subject of those reports and had his reasons why he wasn’t motivated to stay on top of them.
But then, what he put out there, his ‘compromise’, was the best he could muster given the anxiety he felt between what the world wanted/felt and what he was really feeling/wanting to say. This compromise is how he sees himself and how he thinks that the word sees him: a compliant, cooperative employee who screwed up.
Sad thing is, Harvey really believes his compromise and he has to, so that his anxiety about the situation is manageable to him.
But what Harvey needs to do is to talk to someone, or meditate, pray, or journal about how he REALLY feels. He needs to learn the difference between the you he thinks he is and the you he really is.
As we get better and better at life, our compromises get better too. We get better at aligning who we really are with what we put out there in the world.
Then, a wonderful thing starts to happen: The you that you really are slowly becomes the same as the you that you put out there.
Soon enough, the world begins to take notice and the you that it sees starts to change as well.
And THAT’S when things get really interesting.
Anthony Ferraioli, M.D.
Author, Don’t Get Married! (Unless You Understand a Few Things First)