Who are we? What makes us who we are? What is it about us that distinguishes us from the rest? Often, we find ourselves questioning the core of our being. We find ourselves caught in a rut between who we are and who we want to be. Sometimes, we also find ourselves caged in our thoughts of how we see ourselves and how others see us.However, we fail to realize that who we are is not one static characteristic, instead we are an amalgamation of experiences and situations. How we react in one situation and who are in that situation, is very different from how we react in another situation. This doesn’t mean that we inconsistent or confused, it just means that how we see ourselves or who we are, doesn’t need to be uniform across all situations and events in life. This is an important point to remember because who we think we are, how smart we think we are and how we become who we are, go onto affect us in all aspects of our life.
Having a fluid sense of self, then, is important for two reasons. One, it encourages and promotes growth, and second, it helps us break free from societal pressures and become our own person.
Tackling reason one actually has scientific backing. A fluid sense of self, encourages us to grow and take on challenges that we may not have, if we saw ourselves as static beings.Dr Carol Dweck, a researcher at Stanford University, found that an individual’s mindset (as she calls it) impacts how they perform in life. She distinguishes between two different mindsets- fixed and growth. Individuals with a’fixed’ mindset believe that their competence is limited, or fixed. They attribute every success, failure or personality trait to a limited and fixed set of capabilities. Those with a growth mindset on the other hand, see every challenge as unique and see themselves as an ever growing, ever learning individual. They accept failure better and work harder at achieving bigger, seemingly impossible goals. Isn’t that incredible? The idea to take away from here is that people who have a fluid sense of self, who see themselves as ever changing, and ever growing, are better equipped to tackle challenges and failures.
The second reason we ought to embrace a fluid sense of self, is because if we don’t, we get so used to who we ‘ought’ to be that sometimes we don’t question it. It is no surprise then that many times, we tend to box ourselves in roles and carry them out without thinking. As a society, we call them societal norms and as individuals we often call them preferences. But, in fact, all we are doing, is getting complacent. Hence, embracing a fluid sense of self, helps us realize that opinions are just that- opinions. That, as we evolve, so will our beliefs and our opinions and our perspectives on life.
Who we are and how we see ourselves, has no short, easy answer. There is no one way to be yourself and that is the beauty of our mind. There are many ways we can embrace who we are, and more importantly, there is tremendous scope for growth, no matter where in life we stand.
So, embrace yourself. Embrace your growth and your evolving perspectives. I’ll see you next week.
Till then, let’s connect on Facebook!