How to Unbecome Everything You are Not

As part of trying to grow up I – like you – have always been wrestling with that idea of who I’m going to be. Like a “when will my reflection show who I am inside?” sort of thing. This has always been a question that made me a bit frustrated because it’s never a question I could put an answer to, not even optimistically.

There has always been this air that one day I would become someone – like I wasn’t already.

I know society always says that as a collective whole, humanity is flawed in that we’re constantly reaching for an unattainable standard of beauty/ intelligence/ status/ sex appeal. The end goal of this being, we’re always trying to become our optimum selves and it’s only by achieving these unachievable things will we finally be satisfied with who we are. The thing is, I think that’s sad and lame and I don’t feel like subscribing to pre-prescribed insecurities and devoting my time to crafting a personified diet-me to be more easily guzzled by others.

The whole mess of this is just a tangle of other people’s insecurities giving birth to other people’s insecurities.

Monkey see
monkey do –
I wear pink
and you do too.

The thing is – for a long time I’ve been trying to figure out why people do things. Of course, that turned into  “why do people do what they do?… and why do they do that?” (Behavioral psychology, zoology, and anthropology are  in my top 5 favourite “ologies”) I’ve just always been interested in the reasoning behind people’s actions and decisions. The thing is that usually when I get to that second question “and why do they do that?” I’ll arrive at some widely accepted social construct and that’s pretty weird because it doesn’t need to be like that.

Of course, my favourite behavioral subject to dissect is myself. (This is the part where we get to talk about mindfulness!) In my opinion, I think it’s really important to understand to constantly check in with yourself and figure out why we do what we do.

So.

How to Unbecome Everything you are not:

Step 1  – Take a look at what you’re doing

Step 2  -Ask “who am I doing this for?”

Step 2.5 – Repeat step 2
It’s possible your first instinct to this question is to reflexively answer “ME!”. It can be really difficult to distinguish but you might not even realize that your actions are just something pre-written into the default settings of a social script that you were introduced into before you could hold a spoon. The answer should indeed be “Me” and if it’s not, you’ve got some leaves to rake.

Step 3 – Profit
What I’m learning more and more is that life isn’t about finding yourself or searching or gathering. It’s not about growing into your skin and it’s definitely not about waiting for that day that you wake up and look in the mirror to find out that you’re Elon Musk all of the sudden. I know that the biggest obstacle is the one you created in your head. I know that. I know a lot of things but I’m always struck over the head the moment that I actually start to understand them because they’re incredibly different.

There is so much relief in taking the time to try to understand yourself and shedding the weight of all of the things that you had tried on but somehow forgot to take off. So many stresses and obstacles can be ctrl-alt-deleted just by realizing that the extra emotional baggage is completely unnecessary.

Unbecoming everything that I am not is number one on my priority list right now. It’s a slow process of catching myself in the act. Though, I’m hoping that in the near future I can drop habits like people pleasing and busy bragging and make up for all of the wasted time I spent jumping through imaginary hoops.

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