Be your ideal self / Who am I when no one is watching?
Be your ideal self
What is your passion? Who is the real you?
Who are you when no one is watching?
It has taken a while for me to write this one. I have been putting it off. Simply because I know what I want to write about, but actually putting it into words is another matter. The best way is just to sit down, uninterrupted and write.
I am going to tell you why I have chosen this topic, what it means and the theory behind it.
There is a true conversation I had with someone close to me around the issue of bullying which relates to this topic.
Moving forward – what is the plan to match your self-image to your ideal self.
Conclusion and topic for next issue to help you become the best version of YOU!
What prompted me to choose this subject was a conversation I had some time ago. I was at a dinner party in the village where I live and a friend expressed to me that social media, in particular Facebook was depressing her. She was perturbed by the fact that everyone she knew (she included me in this) seemed to be having such an entertaining life when in contrast hers felt boring, tedious and dull. I was quite astounded to think she really considered Facebook showcased real life. I am not saying the posts on Facebook are not true. However, what I am saying is, we choose how we want to be perceived by others. Not everyone lives in a perfect world. It is all about perception. How we perceive ourselves to others but who are we when we are alone. This is the person we need to work on if we want to be the best person we can be. If you want to reach your full potential and feel fulfilled within, look at who you are behind closed doors.
When I studied for my psychology degree – Carl Rogers and Maslow with the humanistic theory figured heavily in the course content. Naturally I developed good habits as a result of the constant intense studying and established a self-aware, positive attitude to life, which served me greatly when I found myself in troubled circumstances. I am constantly seeking challenges and new experiences in my life but my ultimate goal in life is just to be happy. When faced with unhappiness or anxiety, adjustments have to take place. Sometimes very small adjustments and other times life changing.
It’s almost impossible to be passionate about life 24/7 as we need the fluctuations in emotions in order to feel alive.
There are some days you will feel like crap – all I am saying is be self-aware to find the cause which has resulted in the effect. Its ok sometimes to be drained – it is normal. Obviously if it was continual it would be a problem for you. Even the best of motivational speakers have their bad days but you know if your life is balanced.
There are times, someone you know who is super confident, will be sad, angry and unconfident. There are times when they will feel angry, depressed, drained and unfulfilled, as we all do. Generally when we are alone we are our true selves.
Please don’t misunderstand me – you are allowed to have bad days. In fact you need to accept the bad with the good and allow yourself to feel low as long as it is not the majority of the time.
The Facts are – you can never be the best version of you, unless the real you and the perceived you are matched. I interviewed a person very close to me who I love with all my heart for this article. She experienced a mismatch between the real her and the perceived her. This caused her devastating problems that have remained with her. She wanted me to be honest about her identity. However I feel a need to keep her anonymous. I will call her Emma.
Emma - Through moving house as a child I went to 3 different primary schools – at each one I was bullied because I was the new girl. Just as I established myself in the school, we would move again. With regards to secondary School – in my opinion I was once again bullied. Teachers said I was not bullied but in my opinion I was. I feel if you go out of your way to make someone feel like shit then that is bullying. Someone tried to mentally put me down so I physically put them down. I was expelled from school because my part was physical but nothing was done about the mental cruelty that was put upon me. Mental damage to me has been long lasting and should be recognised over and above or at least equal to physical damage. I agree what I did was wrong but at the end of the day there was only so much I could put up with.
ME – So when you were expelled and you moved to your next school, what was going through your mind?
Emma– I was 14 and I had 10 years of constantly being put down – being called fat, not good enough, told I was ugly, fuck off you are not wanted here etc. I thought to myself, I am not being at the bottom of the food chain anymore, I am going to be at the fucking top. I am going to own every single person. I am going to bully them before they bully me and I will feel better because I won’t be hurt. But it did more damage than good and then it turned out that, yeah no one was bullying me but no one wanted to be friends with me either, because everyone was scared of me. No one wanted to be friends with that cocky dickhead in the class. The one being cheeky to teachers, being aggressive, causing fights with other girls. No one wants to be friends with someone like that. It was wrong – I was just wrong – I was doing it all wrong.
One day I realised this was not the real me, I had created this person to protect myself. I decided I didn’t want to be this made up person anymore. I decided I wanted to turn over a new leaf. I was not going to be a bully and I was not going to be bullied. I wasn’t going to take any shit but I wasn’t going to cause any shit either. It came good for me when I had the balance right– I WAS JUST GOING TO BE MYSELF.
ME – would it be fair to say you could not be the best person you could be at that time whilst your perceived self did not match your real self.
Emma – Yes - Before I changed, school was a nightmare and my grades were all unclassified. My attitude was why should I learn? It is not cool to learn. No one cares and I am too hard to teach. Looking back now, it is. Getting good grades is cool. I knuckled down and became popular with other pupils and teachers and turned my grades around to all Cs. I felt so proud of myself and like I had really achieved something.
ME do you think you could have got to this point earlier?
Emma - Yes – I wish I had.
ME – How?
Emma - Well you just don’t think about it when you are that age or you just think about yourself – what you feel at that point, not how it will affect your future.
Me. Who do you think is responsible for that?
Emma - The teachers did nothing, They always say go to the teachers but at that time bullying was not priority in the school. I mean, they said it was but it really wasn’t. Not like today. Like cyber bullying - they didn’t realise how bad it was.
Me – like now?
Emma- Like now there is posters up on every corner, saying if you are being cyber bullied come forward and people are coming forward but nothing still gets done. They just get a slap on the wrist and threatened with detention. Do you think they give a fuck? They don t care – bullies DO NOT CARE. They get a laugh from it.
ME – How do you think you can stop it?
Emma - Well – I know there is a petition for a new law to come out which is if you are a cyber bully and convicted, it will go on your criminal record. If you abuse someone on line and you are convicted, it will be on your record. Employers will be able to see it and this will be a step towards stopping this – it is terrible and they need punishing, not just from a teacher giving detention.
Me – I completely agree.
Emma - The bullies don’t care, they think it’s funny. I know because I was once that person. It was being bullied that turned me into that horrible person. Being bullied never leaves you.
ME – what do you mean?
Emma - You always remember what they said to you – with my anxiety, in a few years’ time, I could think back to a moment that no one else would remember and I will start cringing – it will give me a panic attack. I remember everything, every bad thing I remember but I never remember the good things people say. They say just ignore them don’t talk to them.
Me - That’s not easy is it?
Emma - They are going to go out of their way to do it. On Facebook – if anyone is reading this who is being bullied – ignoring them is not the answer - just block them. Yeah they will laugh about it saying “she’s blocked us” but they will soon forget and move on. You won’t have to see their name come up on your newsfeed. Because when you do see their name, it reminds you of what they have said to hurt you. People are brutal on line because it is easier than saying things to your face. It is a mask to hide behind. They can say what the fuck they want and nothing will get done about it. You will see everyone on your status write how they hate bullies and will not let it go on. There will be a post that will pop up on Facebook saying something like “a 14 year old girl commits suicide due to cyber bullying” everyone will be so angry about it etc then the next day some of these girls will be just as bad writing posts about other girls, calling them names like bitch, slag and inviting comments. Others will jump on the band waggon writing awful comments about this person creating yet another bad memory for some poor girl. It is PURE ABUSE but the worse thing is they don’t realise how bad they are making that person feel. That’s the problem!!
Thank you so much to Emma for opening up to me and allowing me to share this with you. If there is anyone who can relate to this and is going through a similar situation - google youngminds.org.uk where there is a mountain of information, blogs, helplines etc to help you. Or alternatively email me at email@example.com
Going back to Carl Rogers, The Humanistic Psychologist (1902 – 1987). He agreed with some of the assumptions of Maslow, but added, for a person to grow they need to be in a genuine environment which is open and accepted by others. He believes in order for a person to have healthy relationships, they should be listened to and understood. He assumed we can all reach our full potential if the environment is right. Much like a flower will grow if the conditions are correct. Rodgers believed that people are born good and creative. He was of the opinion that we become destructive through our environment. Why is this relevant? You are probably saying. Well he alleged that for us to reach our full potential in life, we must be in a state of congruence. Basically what this means is, our perceived self (ideal self) must match our actual self (self -image). If these match then you have the potential to become the best person you can be. Rodgers felt that our childhood experiences would determine if we reached our full potential. He felt everyone could achieve their goals, wishes and desires in life.
According to Rodgers there are 5 characteristics that identify the fully functioning person
Open to Experience – Accept yourself not only when you are feeling great but when you are down also. Don’t hide away from your negative emotions but work through them.
Existential Living – Be self-aware and be in touch with the different experiences in your life. Live in the moment and appreciate it. The past is history and the future is a mystery.
Trust your feelings – Always listen to your gut feeling. They need to be trusted. YOUR decisions are the right ones and you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.
Creativity – Be creative and take risks. Don’t play it safe all the time. You need to seek new experiences.
Fulfilled Life – A fully functioning person does not mean you are a multi-millionaire, sunning yourself constantly on a yacht larger than most of our houses. Success is defined in many different ways. A fully functioning person is simply happy and satisfied with life and always looking for new challenges and experiences.
Hot topic of personal development at the moment is to find what you are passionate about – I know this is a priority for me and for some people who are close to me. What are you passionate about? What makes you feel fulfilled? At the moment I am striving to do what energises me and right now I am constantly aware of what is NOT energising me and if it isn’t then it has no place in my life. Unfortunately some things we have to do that we do not enjoy but have to be done.
Generally moving forward if I have a choice and if it doesn’t float my boat then it is history.
My mission is to help you re-set your habits – to help you bring your real self and your ideal self closer together in order for you to make the most of your life and be happy. To help you enjoy the moment. Happiness really is what you are feeling RIGHT NOW. Once again I will say - the reason I am doing this is because I found myself in an unfamiliar state of mind a few months ago. However due to my experiences and skills in psychology, I was able to recognise what was happening and was determined to repair and change my frame of reference. Also:
It is reminding me of the habits I have created for myself and helping me to reinforce them.
It is highlighting the areas of my life where I need to make changes therefore I am on the journey with you.
The first change I am going to make this week is – I love swimming but my excuse has always been I never have the time. I am going to make time and create a habit of swimming at least twice a week. I will let you know how I am doing on my next post. What change are you going to make this week?
The next post will be titled “Nutritional Facts” and will include the reasons why this topic is close to my heart. I only have one issue with food and that is I am always fecking hungry. However, in my teens and early 20s I experienced anorexia. Wow I actually said it – This led to me setting up and running support groups. I will include information and conversations from within the groups (obviously anonymous).
I am not going to preach about healthy eating. However, if we want to change the way we feel and have more energy, this is where we need to begin. Just by making a couple of changes you will begin to feel so much better on many levels. So…. I have done a lot of research and have included my own personal experiences. Maybe you will be able to find a couple of areas you can change in your life. By making these modifications you will create a domino effect and other changes will take place. Trust me!
Thank you for reading this. I would love to hear from you. Either comment on the blog or please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would really value your comments. Also please like and share this as I would like to reach as any people as possible who desire change in their life.
Bye for now