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Who Are You, Anyway?4 Min Read

Who Are You, Anyway?4 min read

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It’s my 69th birthday today (March 9).

And I’ve been thinking about what to write for a few hours.

The topic of security and insecurity came up.

Last week in my Marketing Action Group we were talking about how insecure most people feel about reaching out to prospective clients.

Will they be interested, will they care, will I be rejected, will they want to talk to me?

All of these thoughts are about insecurity.

In fact, insecurity permeates every corner of our lives, doesn’t it?

When we started our independent careers, we worried if we’d be able to pay the rent.

During the pandemic, we were worried if we’d lose all our business.

And the never-ending concern that our work isn’t good enough or doesn’t make the difference it could.

This mindset of insecurity never seems to end.

But I’ve done a lot of research into this and I have a few insights that might be helpful.

You may find this useful or it may annoy you. We shall see.

First of all, there are two basic levels of insecurity.

The first level is about survival. “Will I make it?”

The second level of security is about acceptance. “Am I OK?”

Survival first… “Will I make it?”

The answer is NO. You will not make it. You will ultimately die. That’s just the way it is.

Look, I’m getting older. I have less time left this year than I had last year. My time, like everyone’s, is limited.

So, worrying about making it is pointless.

Sure, I can eat well and try to avoid wandering into traffic.

But it seems that obsessing about survival is a complete waste of time.

So, I don’t put a lot of attention on it anymore.

I’m obviously alive now – which seems more relevant. (see next point)

This makes me ask more important questions.

Like, “What’s possible? Where’s the joy now? What difference can I make? What jazz album shall I buy next?”

Sure, my survival mechanism kicks in every now and again when something doesn’t go according to plan.

But I make it a practice to step back into the “NOW.”

And with that bigger perspective, things seem to flow just fine.

Acceptance next… “Am I OK?”

That is, am I liked and accepted by others?

Apparently, this is problematic to some degree for most people.

After all, we want to fit in, be liked, get kudos, and also attract clients.

And we seem to bend ourselves into the shape of pretzels to gain this type of acceptance.

That is very, very stressful, right?

Am I doing and saying the right things to be accepted?

Are people liking me and saying good things about me?

Is my marketing generating interest and response?

Can you say those things to yourself without feeling stressed?

So, what could you say differently?

You’d need a different perspective, right?

The old perspective is very limited. It assumes that we are fixed, static, and unchangeable.

And then we strive to rearrange ourselves to appear more acceptable to others.

Consider that The SELF that you think you are is a mirage.

And you want to change the mirage into yet another mirage.

Good luck with that!

So, what might be a more real perspective?

No mirage, no imaginary appearance. No pretending. No labeling. No past. No future. No hype.

Not the illusory appearance of something. A personality. A look. An opinion. A façade.

We tend to think that what we are is…

limited.

imperfect.

flawed.

inferior.

not enough.

Clearly not the real you, right?

You are not a description, a story, or a bunch of attributes.

Instead, you might simply call who you are as “alive, aware, here, and now.”

I am alive.

I am aware.

I am here and now.

No appearance, attitude, pretense, story or identity. Just alive, aware, here, and now.

No past. No history. No future. No hopes.

Pure appreciation for what is, exactly as it is.

From this perspective are there any survival, security, or acceptance issues?

No, the perspective of “alive, aware, here, and now” is quite different.

Do you see how this completely solves the issue of acceptance?

You are trying to be accepted as an identity, a story.

But you are not that identity or story, are you?

As an “alive, aware, here, and now being” that’s obviously not true.

Couldn’t possibly be, could it?

You are complete, sufficient, and whole as you are.

Not a story of limitations, survival, or the need for acceptance.

Are you willing to consider this and explore?

It’s an exploration worth considering.

After all, what is more essential and fundamental in our lives than who we actually are?

A bundle of complaints, fears, insecurities, doubt, confusion…

Or…

A radiant, alive, aware, here, and now being?

Cheers, Robert

P.P.S. If you found this interesting, useful, or annoying, let me know and I may or may not write more about this. Questions welcomed.

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