Have you noticed that making changes, doing new things, going to places unfamiliar is difficult, near impossible?
Consider that you are dragging a persona with you, that is what makes the going so encumbered…
A coaching client of mine began to build her persona in an incident that happened when she was four years old. There was an escaped serial killer on the loose in her neck of the woods, and her mother left her in charge of her little sister who was in a cast. There was a knock on the front door, and she tried to drag the cast (heavy) down the steps into the basement, and also hold a kitchen knife to protect her…
Can you see the persona she built? “I am supposed to do the impossible.”
We, you, me, all built a persona, and it is in our way.
Want more examples?
- I need to be well put together
- I need to be smart
- I am only safe if I do things alone
- I need to be liked or I am dead
- I am special
- I am not worthy/I am worthless
- I am of the wrong color to be, do, have…
These are all the expressions of a persona… It’s not the same as self-image, by the way. No persona is good for you, because persona is rigid… much like a part in the next story
I once knew an old man who wanted to have an erection. He had a surgery, and he got his wish… and more. A permanent erection. Every time he went to the bathroom he saw that he needed to find a place to put it… And that started to run his life… Your persona runs your life much like that.
And although flying is not mandatory for a good life, being light and unencumbered feels almost like flying. You can do what you want to do when you decide to do it… Climb the tree of life, make changes, grow… do what makes you happy, without making it hard for yourself.
I just finished submitting my 500 word report on my last 50 years to my high school class… In Hungarian. When I look at what I emphasized, I can see the persona I have been dragging with me: I am different.
You see, being different is not a persona yet. Having to be different… giving myself no option to just blend in, to just be.
As you see, you cannot just drop your persona… but you can get conscious of it, mindful of it, and stop carrying it.
I’ll test this out on Tuesday, at my exercise class… I am really curious if I can just be there, without a concern to be different, to stand out, to be the odd man in the group. Now that I got conscious of what is the pebble in my shoes… what is the chink in my armor.
You express your persona, by the way, in every communication, in everything you do.
Do some reflection. What is your persona?
Don’t jump into the first idea you have. There are clues… your password is often a clue. Your email handle is often a clue. And you can ask other people… they see you better than you see yourself. Your favorite fairy tale is also a good clue…
I first saw mine today… and I have been looking at this for 30 years… it is not obvious to you.
The value is in the looking, not in the answer.
Let me know your feelings, your hunches, what you saw. It serves you to write it down. I promise. Make it public. Call yourself anonymous if you want. Only I’ll know who you are.
PS: Sometimes you can watch a TV show… like this 58 year old show with enough characters to make you scramble to find their personal…