Moises: ‘Yes man’ struggles to find identity

·4 min read

P: Hi, Singlestalk. I graduated with Latin honors, finishing my Masters and on my way to lead the family business. From the outside, everything looks fine. I have most of what my peers aspire or hope to be—wealth and a bit of fame. Well, I inherited these from my folks. But on the inside, I feel trapped living a life people expect from me. Great power. Huge responsibility. Who am I, really? Am I Spider-Man?

DJ: A person’s identity is shaped by experiences. Children raised in a supportive environment develop a healthy sense of self. Were your feelings and thoughts acknowledged as a child? Are you continually yielding to others’ wants and needs? Is the car you’re driving, for example, what you really like or is it because it’s deemed popular? Not everyone actually has good taste. I meant them. Not you, or that specialized skin-tight suit. Is that made of spandex? But seriously, are you doing stuff you truly enjoy or just because people are doing it? Because if you keep on saying “yes” to people and “no” to yourself, it’s likely that your security may have been compromised. And so, you ask, “Who am I?”

You are who you are and there is nothing wrong with that. Get to know yourself better. Make a list of things about you. Start easy like your favorite food, movie, video games or sports. Cheesy, right? But they can actually help you better see and appreciate your individuality. Over time, expand your lists to thoughts about politics, career and entrepreneurial choices, current events. What beliefs are important to you? What do you like most about yourself? If you feel stuck, ask people you trust but listen to your voice. Every time you say yes to an invitation, how do you feel about it? Are you feeling happy? Are you tense or relaxed? We’ve heard about the importance of discipline and not to be governed by our feelings. But you graduated with honors, finishing your masters and must have this spider sense to excel in business. Come on. Judge yourself less. Yield more to what you truly think and feel instead of always saying no to yourself. It’ll balance things out.

That constant presence of self-judgment in our lives often involves a lot of fear and doubt. They’re not positive triggers. They keep you from getting where you want to go in life. I’m not saying completely stop it because it’s actually like asking you to stop thinking. What I’m suggesting and for you to recognize it when it happens and then let go of the thought. Now that I’m older, I must admit much of what I went through just happened inside my head. And so, I learned not to dwell so much about what people think because frankly, not everyone does it often. Joke. And those who have the most say about you, incidentally, know the least about you. Why worry? Just be more mindful and be kind and forgiving with yourself just as you strive to be kind and forgiving to others. Hey, you correctly use your, you’re, there, their and they’re. Seriously, no need to push more to do better. Excellence is already wired in your DNA. Chill. Who you are right now is enough.

You are a smart person. You’ll stay successful even when you make your own choices. Decide for yourself what to do or do not do. Whether you stay in the family business or not, decision making is an essential skill to have. It’s built over time. Like a muscle, this needs to be flexed for it to grow and to stay fit. Begin planning activities once or twice a week you truly enjoy and invite friends to participate. Listen more to an expert of your life how it should be lived—you. Take long walks, bike or run, or all of the above. Whatever clears your head so you can hear yourself better. Particularly if you’re surrounded by people with strong personalities. Spend more time solo.

Love yourself. It’s not a goal but a journey of discovering more about who you are. It’s not conceited. More than wanting to be a superhero like Spider-Man, loving others comes from a sense of overflow. And a big part of that is living what you know in your mind, heart and soul is a life you deserve.

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