Our Depleting Self Awareness

“I don’t know the difference between who I am, and who I am pretending to be anymore.”

Self-awareness has started to deplete incredibly. I would argue that it is not a result of less self reflection, but rather an increase of self reflection and a lack of honesty.

Currently we form our identities on social media. This isn’t to demonize social media but to point out that, the reality of who we are doesn’t seem so concrete anymore. At first these facades seem harmless, because one would assume that the harsh realities of our humanity would slap us in the face eventually. Unfortunately we have started to believe the persona that we have built for the public so much so that we have lost sight of ourselves. We believe in our own facade. When creating our facades we tend to leave out the fact we are human, and when we cannot live up to who we project upon the world depression and insecurities run rampant. We internalize these negative feelings, ashamed and lonely, because no one else seems to be fat, or selfish, or boring. Everyone seems to be adventuring and doing amazing things, while I sit here and let Netflix know that I am still here and wish it would stop asking.

What do we do with this then? How do we reclaim our identity? The only way this is possible is to do it in it’s entirety. The good and the bad. Own the stuff that we are good at, and come to terms with the things we are bad at. It’s ok that Rebecca is better at taking Instagram photos than me and that Johnny always has a really intelligent quote. Everyone has their stuff, Rebecca and Johnny are likely going through similar inferiority complexes. Owning the things that we struggle with and things that we aren’t good at is not only beneficial to improving our blind spots, but also in creating a proper priority of our goals.

“I don’t know the difference between who I am and who I am pretending to be.” This has become a sad reality for most, but few have enough courage to admit that to themselves and take control of their identity. Our weaknesses are as much a part of us as our strengths. Pretending that we don’t have weaknesses makes them more and more glaring. It is not until you own it and proactively address it that it can start to improve.

As a youth leader I have the privilege of hanging out with teenagers once a week. Not only is it fun, it is interesting to see a uniform desire to talk about real stuff without judgement or condemnation. When talking with some of our students in a one-on-one setting they express a desire to be honest and open. To hear more about each others lives, but they all are waiting for someone else to go first.

Grab a friend you trust and take them for a coffee. Go first, tell them some stuff that’s bugging you, some stuff that you are struggling with. You will be surprised how much you will develop personally and how much your relationship with this trusted friend will strengthen. You may even be surprised when they say “Me too”.