5 Destructive Ways To See Yourself As You Truly Are

Table of Contents Self Awareness5 Destructive Ways to be Self-Aware1. Being An Impostor2. Competing With Each Other3.  Living…
A sad woman with hand on her face

This is a guest post by Ikechi Awazie, who is a motivational blogger. He was the runner-up and GEM of October’s ABC Leaderboard and thus the winner of this guest post opportunity. He reveals the fallacies of self-awareness that people follow, so that you don’t make these mistakes.

Sussy is clueless as to why she doesn’t have a passion.  Days, weeks and years have gone by and yet with a lot of research, Sussy doesn’t know her true calling.

She has done the Meyer-Briggs personality type test many times and paid a large sum of money to a consultant who couldn’t do much for Sussy.

Sussy also purchased online courses from experts just to make sense of her calling but all she met was a bunch of the same old questions of life long dreams and curiosity that had done her no good.

So a disturbed Sussy feels something is wrong with her.

Why is her search for her calling looking like a fool’s errand?  Is her life just without intention? Is she so boring that she can’t make sense of her passion?

Sussy isn’t the only one facing such a situation; the journey to Self Discovery is not so easy, but the only way we can grow is by discovering new truths about ourselves and this can only be done by Self Awareness.

Self Awareness

Self Awareness is the beginning to personal development.

It is your perspective of the happenings of the world that determine your state of being.

The more doors you open, the more you can improve your relationship, career, health, wealth and happiness.

However, the process to self awareness is very important. Unfortunately, many people are not conscious of the way they chose the path to self awareness.

5 Destructive Ways to be Self-Aware

Not all methods to self discovery are equal; some are more destructive than others.  Here are some of the wrong ways to discover who you are.

A back facing dracula man

1. Being An Impostor

During my school days, there was a guy who we called Michael. He talked, walked and danced like the legend Michael Jackson.

His appearance felt like Michael and the only difference was that he did not change his skin color to white.

Everyone wanted to be his friend, girls wanted to be around him and this made him popular in school. But one day, when I had the opportunity to chat with him, I was shocked to find out that he felt alone.

He knew that he was an impostor and he was no fool to know that he didn’t have friends; only a few students knew his real name. But the reason why he kept being an impostor was because he was afraid of being his true self.

He didn’t believe that people would like him.  So he was deceived to believe that his present character was his true self.

Well, he was wrong, as I would become his friend and he later found out his other talents including acting.

While trying to discover your calling, you might have been deceived into being someone else.

You create a label for yourself and are afraid of being your true self but somewhere inside, you know that you are making a mistake even though you have tried to relieve yourself with positive affirmations.

Being someone else isn’t the best option to self awareness.  All you do is to zap your energy and wane yourself.

What You Should Do

Don’t be an impostor! Be Yourself. See yourself as the amazing creation that you are, with all the wonderful set of unique gifts.

While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness ~ Brennan Manning

Three medals placed in line - gold, silver, and bronze

2. Competing With Each Other

Competition is fun and can be a booster to productivity, but there comes a time when winning becomes an everyday battle.

You work very hard so that you can be appreciated by those who matter.  You begin to believe that winning is all that matters to life because winning is about you and it defines who you are.

Suddenly, everyone is an end to your means. It doesn’t matter if you have to cheat, steal, hurt, or step on toes, it is all about winning and nothing else.

Now here is the thing – is winning so important and the only reason why you work so hard and give up so much? Is winning the reason and purpose for your life?

If winning becomes the definition of your life, you are going to lose what is most important.

It could be friends, loved ones or even your happiness, but the worst thing to lose is your sense of identity.

What You Should Do

Have fun and engage in a healthy competition. Always learn, treasure the moment and never forget what is important.

Here in the Aha!NOW Blog Community (ABC), there are competitions that make the forum fun and interesting. But it isn’t the prize or Guest post give-away that makes ABC worthwhile, such thought will be limiting and its essence will be distorted.

It is the activities in ABC that are such a wonder. Out of the stems of competition has grown one of the greatest family in the blogosphere.

No matter how many times, some of us are not on the leader board, it can’t be traded with the love, care, and genuine friendship which we, the Ahaians have for each other.

Each member is transformed to a GEM and is a thought leader.

No matter if you win or lose, the most important thing is to enjoy what you have ~ Dong Dong

Animated man standing with his biography book

3.  Living The Story of Another

Are you living your life based on the story of a producer? Are you playing the life script of a writer?

You have followed a path determined by others; the design for your life has been influenced and crafted by family, friends, peers and colleagues. You might be living someone else’s dream.

If you discovered that you are not following your passions, interest, and dreams, then it’s time to make a change.

If you let people define your makeup, and tell you who you are, you will discover that they are inaccurate and you will live your life full of regrets.

You will wake up one day feeling stuck and unfulfilled in your life without a clue as to why.

You would wish you had the courage to live a life true to yourself and not the life others expected of you.

No one has the power to write your own story.  No one knows accurately how to be you.

What You Should Do

If you think it’s too late to build a rewarding life, then you can start today.

Be the writer of your life. Take a pen and scribble your dreams and passion.

Add relationships, careers, health, and businesses; design a self-expression and even a personal development, but don’t just stop there, start living your dreams.

Don’t live the story of others, nor fashion a life of happiness, joy, and fulfillment by going in the path of your dreams.

Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth ~ Rumi

Many hands with thumbs up

4.  Finding Your Identity from Outside

…Van Gogh produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer his whole life ~ Stephen Pressies, War of Art.

Ever imagined what the world would be like without validations.  No one to affirm your beauty or appreciate you for your talents; no one to say I love you or to say how much you are appreciated.

Such a world won’t be a worthy place to stay.

We have been groomed our whole life to need validation; good grades, medals, and honorable mentions. Social media has even given validation a boost; likes, retweet, clicks, and hearts.

Validation is like a double edged sword.  People need to be appreciated; creativity needs to be honored and genuine appreciation should be given to everyone. But the problem comes when validation turns out to become identity, then it becomes dangerous.

When you begin to lose your sense of self and live for the high of validation, you are beginning to find your identity from outside.

You become a validation-addict, looking for anything that appeals to your sense of identity. You become so anxious, waiting for thumb ups and wows.

What You Should Do

You don’t need the validation of others to be self aware. All you need is to look from within.

As hard as it seems, it has the greatest benefits. Believe in yourself; be grateful for your uniqueness and awesome talents.

Understand that you are an inspiration. Relinquish every self imposed limiting thought and be human, being free and infinitely creative.

We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better ~ Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

Banner of synonyms of Narcissism  or self-love

5. Loving Only Me

There is a story about a Greek god who disdains those who love him and is so proud that Nemesis decided to lure him into the pool.

When he sees himself, he is so in love with his image that he drowns to death.

What a sad tale but there is a reason why this story has been popular for many centuries.

Have you been noted to take up space in a room because conversation with you always ends up about you?

Do you cherish your airtime and all your chatter is about how you know more, how interesting you are, and what you’re thinking about?

If your sense of esteem means that the world revolves around you, if all you do is listen to yourself and don’t care about the feelings of others, then you are in the path to loneliness. This will ultimately lead to being clingy, which will definitely hurt your identity.

What You Should Do

Remember that no man is an island. Do not take for granted the relationship you have with friends and loved ones.

Be a good listener and be genuinely concerned with the plight of others. Understand that love is 100% giving than receiving.

Learn to create win-win solutions which in turn sustain relationships.

When the healthy pursuit of self-interest and self-realization turns into self-absorption, other people can lose their intrinsic value in our eyes and become mere means to the fulfillment of our needs and desires ~ P.M. Forni

The bottom line is that you should choose your path to self awareness wisely.

Over To You 

Have you or anybody that you know ever taken any self-destructive way of self-awareness? Do you know any other destructive ways to be self aware? Share in the comments.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

  1. Hi Michael

    Welcome and Thank you for sharing your thought. I commend you for choosing a path that defines your true self. You are one in a million as many people live in a lie; You decided to create your own life and not live the story of another. I am happy that you are satisfied with your life now. Thanks for sharing. Have a splendid week.

  2. Hi Ikechi,

    From my past, I know the difficulties of not living with your own identity. I used to believe that my dreams were the dreams of my family or friends. I didn’t want to be an outcast, chasing my dreams to travel the world, and therefore settled for the idea of majoring in medical. It was until I really looked into how my life would be that I decided to turn from that path. It was a journey of obtaining money rather I than for myself. Though the pay would have been great, I wouldn’t have lived a life that I truly felt satisfied about.

  3. Congratulations on this guest post for AhaNow
    I read somewhere that no matter how good a copy is, it will never be as good as the original. This is so true of people as you so eloquently pointed out. Wonderful post, as all of yours are.

    1. Hi Lenie

      Thank you for the kind words. You are so right. No copy can be as good as the original. So just imagine people trying to be a copy of someone else. Thanks for this great thought. Have a wonderful week

  4. I know from experience that it may be scary being yourself, but if you spend your time and energy trying to be someone else, then who is going to be you…

    Great post, congratz Ikechi!

    1. Hi Eve I appreciate you for the kind words. What a great question and this is something we should all be thinking about daily. Thank you taking the time to read this post. Have a wonderful week.

  5. Hi Ikechi!

    Congratulations on the honor of having a guest post for Aha!Now. As always you have a wonderful post with a great message. So important to be true to ourselves and not try to be something we are not or try to live our lives to meet someone else’s dreams or expectations. Thank you for the insightful message. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Hi Susan

      Thank you for the kind words and I am so happy to read your comment as you have pretty much summarized the message of this post. Thanks for the insight. Have a splendid week.

  6. Kudos on the prize for Aha!Now. And this is a wonderful post and a great reminder to be “true to oneself”….with the caveat, of course, not to step all over someone else’s “be true to themselves” in the process:) I can relate to the seeking validation. I agree that it’s a life long habit that can be hard to break.

    1. Hi Jacqueline

      Thank you for the kind words. I am glad that this post reminded you to be your true self as it did to everyone. Your thought on self validation is true and correct. Thank you for the insight. Have a wonderful week.

  7. Hi Ikechi!

    I am not in love with myself. I just like talking about myself a lot, lol! Fab points because each leads you down a dark path.

    Example; I formerly promoted ME on social sites. Nobody liked me much because I didn’t promote them. People like people who are quick to promote them, and who are quick to care about them. I changed my course by seeing that yep, I was a greedy SOB who needed to be generous.

    Think abundance. Help others. Love others. Make friends with others. The truth may hurt, but if you lighten up, and laugh at yourself, wow, the truth won’t hurt anymore 🙂

    Harleena is a fab example of someone who’s fun, kind, and who genuinely wants to help others. She’s well on the path to becoming an enlightened blogger 😉 Love her, and I love this post.

    Thanks Ikechi!


    1. Hi Ryan

      I can relate to what you have said about self promotion. I used to think Social media was all about me till I started meeting some awesome bloggers on the blogosphere.

      Learning, helping and sharing are great ingredients to self awareness. They make you learn to focus on providing value to others. Harleena is an inspiration to the blogosphere; I agree that the super queen is kind, fun and to add, full of wisdom. She is loved by everyone and yes she is an enlightened blogger. Thanks for sharing this wonderful insight. Have a cool week.

  8. Hi Ikechi; First congrats on receiving the honor of a guest post here. And thanks for sharing such a wonderful meaningful post about a subject we all deal with or have felt with in our lives. I think competing and comparing are two of the most dangerous. I agree with you it has to be more about the activities than the rewards. I have never checked the leader board, but I do make a point to visit regularly. I want to keep up with my ahaian friends and support them in their activities. You really knocked this one out of the park. thanks again my friend. xoxo max

    1. Hi Max

      Thank you for the compliment. Competition is most certainly dangerous and comparing is hurting. There is a saying that comparing yourself with another isn’t wise.

      You are doing great in this community. I am inspired by your passion and your work. You have been very supportive and I know other members feel the same too. Thank you for the insight. Have a wonderful week.

      1. Hi Ikechi; I do my best to encourage and support others. Its nice to have someone say this openly. I appreciate you letting me know. You are one of the more active members here and I’m glad that you are. It was good first meeting you through the comments on my guest post. the biggest problem with comparing yourself to others is you can only go by outward signs. Someone that appears to have it all together on the outside may be really struggling within the walls of their home. They may drive a new car but they may have to work at a job they hate to make the payments. Personally, I consider myself a success professionally but to others it might not seem so because I don’t have the trappings of someone doing well. This is because my financial success hasn’t yet matched my feelings of personal satisfaction and the professional respect I receive both as an amusement equipment broker and an aspiring coach and speaker. I can separate the two and hope others can. So, we have to decide what makes us happy and then do what we need to do each day to get there. and when your neighbor coworker or family member has a big victory be right there with them to cheer them on and help them celebrate. Its this attitude of abundance that will eventually lead to your own time to party. very good work my friend, max

        1. Hi Max

          Thank you for sharing your thought on comparison. You are right about the struggle one faces between Outside and his home. There is a pressure to fit societal standards but I think the best thing is to be live a legacy and be an impact to the world which is what you are doing so well so well. Thanks for the insight.

  9. Hey Ikechi,

    First of all I like to congratulate you on being the runner up on the GEM of Octobers ABC Leaderboard and winning this guest post opportunity.

    You definitely went deep with these tips. I do have to say that I really resonated with point number 4. When I was much younger I felt that I need validation from everyone LOL… But as I got older that became less and less. I guess it’s because i started to find more hobbies that I, myself enjoyed and really didn’t care too much of whether I get validation from others or not. I dug deep in myself and there’s an alignment I give my attention to that allows me to give myself validation more so than getting from the outside.

    I noticed that a lot of people don’t like that. It’s as if they want that type of control over you which is sad, but there’s a lot that are like that. But other than them, I get more respect from others and have better friendships. Self validation definitely goes a long way and you attract the right people into your life from it!

    Thanks for the share! Have a good one!

    1. Hi Sherman

      I appreciate your thoughtful comments and I am thrilled that this post inspired you. I love your story and it shows that there needs to be a balance when it comes to validation.

      When validation becomes an identity, then like you mentioned, you then begin to seek validations from everyone. I agree that some people feel uneasy when they come across a self aware individual. I sometimes wonder why such behavior occur but Self validation does go a long way.

      Thank you and have a wonderful week

  10. Hi Ikechi,

    Congratulations of being the winner of AHA Now! Your post is most inspiring to me because when I was a kid I was much like the imposter. I was playing a role so that people would like me.

    I kept repeating this behavior until I started read self help books and that is when I opened my eyes to what I was doing wrong. It wasn’t as simple as reading some books…but it was a start.

    I realized the problem was not loving myself. A red flag went up in my mind. I had no one to turn to, so off I went to my first therapy session. It helped, but it was a slow process.

    It was not until I got hypnotized that my subconscious was cleared and positive suggestions replaced negative thoughts about myself.

    I did work very hard at this task, but well worth the effort because when I stopped, and just became myself, I found that I became balanced.

    There was no stopping me once I achieved this! I resonated with this post so well because it took me back to the time when I was the imposter and now I have a well balanced attitude. It is like freeing a captive bird in a cage. My wings are wide and I can trust myself.

    Thanks for this!


    1. Hi Donna

      Thank you for the kind words. Wow! it is good to know that you were able to overcome the temptation to be some one else. Being able to finally get rid of the negative thoughts that held your bound and finally become free shows that nothing is impossible.

      I am glad you shared your story and you really are an inspiration to your generation; people will definitely learn from your comment about the effects of being an Impostor. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Hi Ikechi,

    Nice reading your article this morning, and welcome to Aha-now as a guest contributor.

    I think one of the most distructive way to not be one true self is to always base your decinsion on other people’s ideas or will.

    In my experience, this is very dangerous, as a life might pass by without you realizing your true potential and live it to the fullest. It is better to stand up for ones decinsion, either they’re good or not, if things went your fine, you’ve taken one that is positive….but if it didn’t work as expected……fine too, at least you’ve learnt another lesson.

    Thanks for sharing, and hope to see more of you.

    1. Hi Shamsudeen

      Thank you for the kind words.

      I agree that not being your true self is most certainly destructive and to live your life on other people’s decision is disheartening.

      It is better to go through the journey of knowing your true potential as you live a legacy for generations to follow. It doesn’t matter if you face obstacles, what is most important is that you live your life without regrets.

      I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Have a wonderful week.

  12. Hi Larry

    I am so thrilled to read your comment. Thank you for the kind words. I am sorry that it woke you up from sleeping as you needed to rest. Well it did to its job

    I too am learning a lot from the post. I guess people have made me realize that there is urgency in our generation to make sense of our identity. It is this urgency of identity that leads people into the journey of self awareness.

    Yes copying other people isn’t nice and will hurt your identity. Trying to be someone else doesn’t help you to become better, it does give you validations from people but there still is a Limiting You.

    I am happy to know that this a guide that will change one’s life as this is the mission of my writing and my blog so thank you for pointing to this fact.

    Thank you for the insight. Have a wonderful week.

  13. Congratulations Ikechi you deserve it!

    You touched on a subject many people don’t like to discuss; self-awareness. You did a great job too!

    The path to a healthy self discovery is like you said looking within.

    We must learn to tell ourselves the truth about ourselves. But most people look for validation from the outside trying their best to be accepted. I believe it’s because deep within they don’t like themselves.

    When you mentioned living the story of others I thought about myself and how I tried my best to live up to the expectations of my family. As a child you want to please your family but all they want you to do is continue doing the good they see in you.

    I discovered I was a perfectionist.

    Self discovery, however, was only the beginning. It was after I accepted what I discovered I was able to do what you said and believe in myself and make healthier choices.

    Great article and Congratulations again!

    1. Hi Vermon.

      I appreciate your kind words and I am glad that you like the post.

      I am a believer that when our sense of identity comes from within, we become better in every area of our lives.

      It is sad that people don’t appreciate who they are and feel being someone else is the best medicine which is why they seek validations from outside, they are looking for people to let them know that they are ok being false.

      I am happy you shared your story about yourself and your family. So many people face the same fate and try to please their family but you are one in a million people who will decide to create their life and live your own story.

      Thank you for the insight. Have a wonderful week.

  14. Hello Ikechi, congrats on this awesome win brother.
    The post in itself is fabulous giving an insight of how we are and how we should be.

    I strongly believe the day when stale mentality and envy is overtaken by healthy competition, our planet will be better than the paradise. That day people will help even their strongest competitor, thinking this attempt of theirs will only make themselves stronger.

    I certainly like your way of writing that makes the reader feel its a one on one conversation and that story of greek god is very much similar to today’s world. People have become too self centered. Being a good listener is probably the best solution for it.

    Have a great week ahead.

    1. Hi Swadhin

      Thank you for the kind words and I appreciate you awesome comment.

      I agree with your thought on healthy competition. When people begin to show respect and love for each other when competing and get rid of envy, the world will become a worthy place. I am glad that this post touched you.

      As for the story of the Greek god, like I mentioned, it is because in our world, some people behave in such manner that is why this story has been popular for many centuries.

      I love your last comment that we need to be great listener as this will help us to be able to place value on others.

      Thanks for the insight. Have a swell week.

  15. Hello Ikechi,
    I say a big CONGRATULATIONS for being the winner of ABC GEM leaderboard and having an opportunity to write here.
    You’ve just given a detailed guide to seeing ourselves as we are, I was already dozing off when I saw this article so I had to come check it out, to my greatest suprise, I read it all without noticing a symptom of sleep.

    I’ve learnt alot from this article, this article is such a liberation to some people. In today’s world there are people in thesame condition with Sussy, and I’m sure that after they must have come across this article, they’ll surely be liberated.

    OMG! Who do you copy? I see a lot of people impersonating other, it’s simply means, ‘you are nobody’, a freind of mine would always say, ‘you don’t have a life bro’, yes ofcourse, you are leaving someone else life, I think it’s time you unveil the real you.
    You’ve given a guide that can help in change someones life out there, you’ve always been good writer.
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. Hi Ilka

    Thank you for the kind words and I am thrilled by your comment.

    I too believe in balance and I agree that people should be appreciated and genuinely praised but like you have mentioned, one must watch out that validations don’t become Identity.

    I love the way you put it that loving yourself is the best way to self destruction. If everything has to be about you, it is only a matter of time before you become a lone man. Being able to listen to others helps you to become more self aware.

    Thank you and Have a wonderful week.

  17. Hi Ikechi!

    Congratulation on your guest post. Some really interesting thoughts you are sharing. Being an impostor is really frustrating on the long run. And as you said, your friend ‘Michael Jackson’ did even miss some fantastic own talents by copying someone else.

    The balance between being appreciated and focusing on yourself is very important. We all need some appreciation of course, being humans after all. But I agree that it is dangerous to be dependent on other’s appreciation. On the other hand being in love with yourself is the BEST way to self-destruction. You need to give and be sensitive to others to live to the fullest.

    Thank you for showing the ways – and not-ways – to self awareness 🙂

  18. Hi Ikechi,

    It is a pleasure to be part of this ABC community and get enlightened by this post which help you have a true realization in life when discussing about one’s individual identity in a society.

    I agree with your statement that one has to realize his or her identity and move forward living his own dreams and not others who had inspired him.

    It is a great ability to teach one about the way he has to live by himself.

    The verdict of this article is to prove oneself the realization about his own dream and identity. I appreciate the ability of your writings to help one rethink. This is really inspiring.

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful piece with us. Have a nice weekend!

    1. Hi Nisha

      I am grateful for your thoughtful comment. I remember when I was announced as a Guest author in the AHA Community, you wrote that you were waiting to see my post. I thank you for the encouragement and for this awesome community which has been supportive

      I am very much in agreement that we need to create our story rather than be influenced by others.Being able to live your dreams is an awesome thing and a legacy to generations to come. You summarized this article greatly that we should be watchful of how we embark on the path to self awareness.

      Thank you Nisha and have a wonderful week.

  19. Hi Ikechi

    Congratulations and welcome to Aha!NOW, this time as a guest blogger! 🙂 This is a great post on self-awareness and the destructive ways that some persons go about discovering it.

    But we all know that nothing that comes by false means would last, right? Sooner rather than later it catches up with the individual [like your school friend] and the fallacy or the fantasy dies. The reason so many are afraid of discovering their true self is because of the feeling of inadequacy, low self-esteem, thinking they are not good enough and even think they will be put down by others. That in itself is self destructive behavior

    Another way that I believe people can go about self-awareness in a destructive way is thinking and behaving like they have the answer for every single thing. Here we refer to that person as ‘Mr./Ms know it all.’ That I believe is the ultimate fallacy!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed weekend.

    1. Hi Yvonne

      Thank you for the compliment. I know you have been so busy. I am happy that you took the time to read this post.

      I agree that nothing that is false lasts, it might take so much time but it never can be eternal. You are spot on that people are afraid of revealing their their self because of low self esteem. They would rather like to receive positive validations and would go to the extent of hiding their perceived weakness which eventually hurts their sense of identity.

      I also love the point that you raise about knowing too much. People who know too much don’t learn from others and this behavior is a time bomb to self awareness. Thanks for your insight. Have a wonderful weekend.

  20. Hi Ikechi,

    Wonderful read! And Congrats for winning the guest post on Aha! 🙂

    Methods you’ve mentioned are certainly not the kind that should be followed to discover oneself.

    Creating a label like your friend did for himself is damaging to one’s self-esteem. As it stops the ‘imposter’ from becoming whoever s/he is meant to be and allows people around to define the imposter with that false label.

    Of course, most ‘imposters’ don’t understand it at that time. Some are aware of what they are doing (like your friend was) and most are not.

    They could be after getting some attention. And who don’t like appreciative sort of attention. It’s very difficult to tell what reasons are behind that person’s action to abandon their true-selves and imitate someone else.

    I knew someone in school, who wanted to be someone else. I never asked why as it was obvious that she person was getting this impression from her parents. When parents say things like ‘so-so is so much better than you, why you aren’t more like that person?’ It’s hurtful.

    The statement maybe spoken innocently or out of frustration is very damaging to the self-esteem of the person at the receiving end.

    Also, I didn’t know about Van Gogh not being able to sell his work! Would have to read more on that.

    Thanks for sharing your views! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

    1. Hi Priya

      I thank you for the kind words and I am happy to read your wonderful comment. I think you are right about the dangers of comparison and how it affects our self esteem.

      Some parents in trying to develop their children make the error of comparing their kids with others. Statements such as ” why can’t you be brilliant as he is” or ” you can be a cheer leader after all, she is dong it”. These statements encourage one to embrace being an impostor which isn’t helpful to self discovery.

      Oh it is True that Van Gogh was not able to sell his work. Just imagine. Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Have a lovely weekend.

  21. Hi Ravi

    As always,your comments are always inspiring and thought provoking.

    It seems that everyone is moved by the story of my friend who thought it was OK to be someone else till he found out that he was all alone. It shows that this is a struggle of the younger generation who are desperately trying to make sense of their identity. As you have mentioned, it is wise to be yourself for it will be sad if all your life was to live the story of someone else.

    I have seen men at their old age, full of regrets and one which has never left my mind is the regret of not being true to themselves, rather than write their own stories, they lived the stories of others; they keep reminding me each time I have time to chat never to make the same mistake.

    So I agree that discovering your true you is the best thing in life.

    When it comes to Wining, I agree that it should be fun and healthy.That is why I like ABC, it is a place where we engage in fun activities. Thanks for your great inisight.

  22. Respected Ikechi Awazi,
    Before some months I was working in a marketing company. At that time I was a leader of 300 persons. I was also learning motivational speeches and teaching motivational lessons. But frankly speaking these all points are so unique, knowledgeable and very inspirational for me. Now I am going to add these points in my mind and book.
    And here I would like to add two more points if you like it. Passion and learning attitude both are very useful and motivational points. If you want to add. In last thanks for sharing 🙂 Respected Ikechi Awazi 🙂
    Best Regards
    Monu Kumar – Aha-Now Lover.

    1. Hi Monu

      I appreciate your thought provoking comment and I love the two points that you have added which help to Self awareness.

      Passion is very necessary as it is the energy that we need to keep going on the journey to self discovery no matter the situation or obstacle. Without passion, personal development would be like a chore; a routine.

      Having a learning attitude is great and it is an important ingredient in self awareness. It is one of the reasons why everyone is reading this post. We all want to learn and become better.

      Thanks for the insight and have a splendid week.

  23. Hi Ikechi,

    Congrats for winning the guest post.;) You deserve it at its best.
    You have raised an interesting topic which should be read by everyone. Like you have given an example of your school friend who was famous but always would feel alone. I agree with you that people don’t need to be an impostor. I have noticed many in my school life and college life too.
    People need to be themselves. Many people try to live the life of someone else. They follow any script, any movie, any particular person and try to live life like them. I mean how could they? We all are provided our life once and if this is wasted just to follow anyone else then its a waste.
    Discovering the true you is the best work you can do in your life. Life is short and you need to live it your own way. What about finding you? I mean people need to find them from their own, not just to reach anyone or any guess. Sometimes we need to know about ourselves by remembering the original values, desires, expectation of our own.
    Winning is not always the goal. Having fun and going near to your goal is the best thing.

    Thanks for writing such an extraordinary article.
    Hope you are enjoying your day.:)

  24. Hey Harleena,

    Thanks for writing this. For me, competition is always good. What makes it really bad is that people tend to take it to the next level.

    Consider competition as a way to grow ourselves and that should be a-okay.

    Happy Friday!

    1. Hi Regnald

      Thanks for the lovely comment. Competition is supposed to be a fun even with people having love and respect for each other.

      Unfortunately like you have mentioned, people tend to take competition personally and what is meant to be fun becomes a war zone.

      So I agree that competition should be a platform for personal development and growth. Have a nice week.

  25. Hi Angela

    I appreciate your thoughtful comment and you so right that balance is the key.

    As I mentioned that people need to be appreciated, loved and adored but we should not let our validations become our identity. I think Van Gogh did not limit himself to just being an artist as he was aware that he was beyond such craft.

    I have seen people who look for compliments; they just want to hear words that reassures them that they are special but I am also amazed by people who feel that they deserved to be appreciated. I once had a friend who would do things for people just to be appreciated and would get upset if people did not announce his kindness to others. It was so annoying that people did not receive a thing anymore.

    Yes we must love ourselves because the bible does teach the importance of self love but it also points out that we should love others too.

    Thank you for sharing your insight. Have a great weekend.

  26. Hi Ikechi,

    I think the key is BALANCE.

    We all want to be appreciated, adored in what we do, get patted on the back a lot, but when this becomes your “identity” then like you said, it is hard to find your identity from the outside. If I ask Van Gogh “who he is” I bet he would tell me that he’s an Artist. But then, being an Artist is really not who he really is. Being an Artist is what he does for a living. Who he really is, is beyond being an Artist.

    In the Bible it says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” If you don’t love yourself then how can you love your neighbor? But then again if you go beyond and too extreme, loving yourself only and forgetting others, remember we are to love others like we love ourselves. Some people just fish for “compliments” and I can smell these type of people from far away. And they are very annoying. I used to have a friend like that. She would always say something negative about herself so that I can say, “No, you’re okay. You’re beautiful. You’re intelligent.” You’re this…you’re that…after awhile it gets very old and very unnerving.

    Of course we should love ourselves. That’s why we take care of our health, we take a bath, we brush our teeth…but to always fish for compliments, people can get very annoyed by this. A person who is always fishing for compliments is a person who lacks self-esteem. Anyway…

    Great post. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Have a great weekend.


  27. Hi Ikechi,

    Another wonderful post by from you. This time as guest blog in ABC. My wishes to you.

    1. Hi Umapathy

      Thank you for the kind words. I am happy that you were inspired by the post. I also appreciate the fact that you have shared this post with everyone. Thanks for taking the time to make a thoughtful comment. Have a wonderful week.

  28. Being an impostor is no way to better yourself. In fact it tells you nothing about yourself. Instead of heading in the direction of self discovery, you’re basically running in the other direction.

    I could certainly see how pretending is a method people tend to use to try to achieve happiness. But you just can’t fake that feeling.


    1. Hi Lea

      You cannot be happy being an Impostor. You might fool people on the outside but you can’t fool your heart and that is a sad way to discover who you are.

      Instead of trying to be an Impostor, it is better to be You. Thanks for sharing your insight Lea. Have a swell weak.

  29. Hi Ikechi,
    Great post on the fallacies of self-awareness! Congratulations on winning the guest post! I agree that having self-awareness is the beginning of making changes that propel us towards a more empowered life. Many people are afraid of being themselves because deep down they have a feeling, a belief that “they are not good enough.” This leads to many compensatory behaviors like the ones you mention and makes people behave and believe that it is safer to be someone else. Often, people are put down or laughed upon early on and do not find it safe to express their true individuality and self. This is a very powerful limitation and I believe that many people have this to a certain degree or another. When we shine the light of awareness and recognize that we are taking the safer route of being someone else, we can make a change.

    Brene Brown, vulnerability and shame researcher says: “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

    Embracing and owning our story is the seemingly risky option. But the awareness of the greater risk of not owning our story is the beginning point of change. When we viscerally feel and understand that we have to change and embrace authenticity because the other option of being someone else is a lot riskier and fraught with sadness, the path forward becomes clear.

    Yes, excessive and unfavorable competing can be an issue for people. I think the example that you used of the ABC community is a great one. There are healthy and favorable competitions here and members are very supportive of one another. When the community tries to uplift the members as a collective as it is here at ABC, everyone benefits.

    When people compete only for the sake of winning as you mention, it is not a win-win situation. It sparks comparison, envy and a lack of trust. It feels isolating and people do not receive the synergistic benefits of a healthy competition.


    1. Hi Harish

      Thank you so much for the compliment as you know that I am proud of this great community and I am thrilled to be a guest.

      Your points on the fallacies of self awareness are thought provoking. Many people are indeed afraid to be themselves and would rather be a character. Such a thought is saddening but it is encouraged by a media that is always pouring out teachings of the definition of success. Which is why it easy for people to laugh at or pull down others who don’t fit into the societal standards.

      Embracing our stories is safer; what a risk to live the story of another. No matter how hard it seems, I feel it is better to write our story and live our dreams. even if we face obstacles or we experience failure, there is no regrets but Joy because we followed our path to the very end.

      I like the point you raise about competition and I felt that the ABC was the best example because they have it all; healthy competition, love and care of members. You are right that it is better to strive for a win-win situation than focus on only winning as you will gain friendship, trust and love which is all that matters..

      Thanks for sharing your insight. Have a swell week.

  30. Hi Ikechi,

    Congratulations being October’s GEM of the ABC! Thank you for such a wonderful post. I enjoyed reading it from beginning to end.

    The guy in your school who was being Michael Jackson made me think of a couple people in my life who become a different person when they’re around other people. I’m always taken aback by how like a switch they become a different person.

    My husband works with someone who is very competitive. If someone bought a house, he would buy a bigger house…really no joke. I was shocked when he told me too. Talk about keeping up with the Jone’s, right?

    I love how you ended you post. We should all be grateful for our relationships and walk our own paths.

    It was very nice to meet you! Have a wonderful day. Hi Harleena, hope you’re doing well my dear!

    1. Hi Corina

      My pleasure and thank you for the compliment.

      Wow! your husband’s co-worker is strange indeed. That would mean that he would have to be up and doing to keep up with the Jone’s. Funny that I have a close friend who does the same too, he seems to see competition in everything but we get along easily.

      I do wonder how people can be two different personalities but like my friend, they can’t keep up with the act for very long. There will always be a time when one’s true nature will fight for freedom.

      I am happy to have met you and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Have a wonderful week.

  31. Ikechi, thank you for this lovely post. It is similar to my core message on my blog…about finding and being your true self. Genuine. That’s where we find our happiness. Validation and winning are two problems some of the men in my life have and they have pushed me away because of it. I find it really hard to be around people like that. Also, the Narcissist personality is almost impossible.

    I think if you’ve spent your life listening to parents or important people in your life label you or criticize you it makes it harder to find and believe in our true identity. I love the quotes you have included, too!

    It’s kind of sad that Van Gogh wasn’t recognized for his work while he was alive but a good reminder to BELIEVE in our own work. Great to meet you!

    1. Hi Lisa

      Thank you for the kind words. It is so sad that people would rather hurt the feelings of others just to be validated. Despite such strange behavior, i have also witnessed loved ones pushed away because of winning and validation by their partners. I feel it is better to be around people who won’t feel less of themselves because of being you.

      I also believe those who matter in our lives, in trying to help us, go overboard and hurt our sense of identity. Parents sometimes believe that criticism is the best way to development without considering how this affects our development but you can make a sense of your identity by choosing to write your own story.

      Yes it is sad that Van Gogh wasn’t recognized for his work while he was alive but he left a legacy for everyone and his work says it all. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a great week.

  32. Perhaps I digress, but the only thing missing in this excellent blog is the inability to edit the post after posting.
    I find it difficult to edit in the space provided.
    Pardon my numerous typos, missing words and most of all for just adding advice rather than elaborating the subject being discussed.
    I hope to do better next time.
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Nicholas

      I wouldn’t be too worried about the typos as I enjoyed your comment and I am happy that you shared your thoughts with everyone. Maybe there will be a feature to edit comments in future. Have a great week

  33. HI Ikechi,
    Congratulations on the recognition and thank you for an excellent post.

    There are so many degrees to self awareness and I quite happy that you have pointed out the 5 most negative approaches to it.

    Sadly, people’s own sensitivities seem to make them blind to an open, deep look into themselves being too preoccupied by others views. Most often the victims of this seemingly hopeless mindset are hurting people, already wounded either by happenstance or the misfortune to be rejected by loved ones, or just peer pressure.

    The reality is of course is that they are all mostly assumptions, based on minds on the bring of self defeat. While it may true that someone’s else’s behaviour most probably pointed them thinking in that direction in the first place.

    In fact it may not even be a person, it could be just the environment, the media they watch on TV etc.
    All these different inputs cause most of the roots of the 5 evils mentioned.

    At my age, having suffered through most of those stages in different stages of my own personal growth, my mind only goes towards what should we do as soon as we become aware that someone is in the process of doing this to themselves.

    Most of my experience is of course with my own children. Parental love is useful, it makes us walk a mile in our children’s shoes out of sheer love and concern for them. Children also recognise that they are being looked at by a loving and well meaning source of comfort and direction.

    This is unfortunately always the case, perhaps I am digressing, but the point is that in this time space continuum where we need not look at ourselves alone, there are some options available and those are the ones that need to be more accessible, but not as a crutch to lean on.

    Crutches only give short term comfort and eventually weaken the very support they are giving.

    I would like to take a point out of Harleena’s comment to explain…

    If you don’t believe in change, you can’t progress and certainly you can’t develop your self.

    I feel that while going through self awareness the person must first be given the hope that change is possible and that is only by loving and tender guidance, pointing in the right direction and leading by example.

    Thank you for the excellent article. I am deeply impressed. I first read it on Twitter where Harleena had posted it and returned to add my two cents worth on keyboard.


    1. Hi Nicholas

      I am deeply touched by your words and I say thank you for the compliment. I can relate to what you are saying. Sometimes people are so of themselves that they are not aware of the feelings of others.

      I am glad that you like the 5 negative ways to self awareness and you are right that they are very important. I am glad that you shared your story of your struggle with self awareness. I am happy that you are showing your kids the way to develop themselves in a positive way.

      Change is very important and we can’t talk about personal development and self discovery without change which is why you are right that without change, we really can’t progress. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Have a great week.

  34. Hello Ikechi,

    Congrats on winning the honor to be a guest here on Aha Now and I must say you have done a great job with this post, I do agree that self-awareness is the beginning to personal development.

    It is so important to believe in yourself, not only in yourself but everything that you do.

    I also love how you talk about gratitude, WOW Just have you have stated “be grateful for your uniqueness and awesome talent” Now that is powerful..

    Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

    1. Hi Chery

      I am so grateful for your compliment and I appreciate the fact that you are inspired by the post. Believing in yourself is one key ingredient to self awareness. If you don’t trust yourself, how will you be able to appreciate the progress that you have made in your life.

      Yes I also love the quote too that we should be grateful for our uniqueness and awesome talent. In fact I wake up every morning thinking about this quote. Thank you and have a wonderful week

  35. Hi Ikechi,

    Congratulations for winning a guest post here! You have done a fantastic job of motivating youngsters who struggle to find their true self. It is indeed very challenging to make your place in this competitive world, where all eyes all on you, where the peer group pressurises you to be what you may not be ready for and therefore you flounder to find your place. The realism dawns on us when we grow up into a mature individual but till then, we try to put up a facade of what we may not be.

    To my mind, none of the ways of discovering ourselves is destructive. All those ways are unique experiences, give us an exposure and acquaint us with the positive and negative aspects of life. Slowly we become mature enough to pick up the right ways and if we fail, we get many more opportunities to dust ourselves and move ahead. Comparisons are embedded in our society and before we realise, we are expected to behave and perform in a particular manner. So it is quite hard to escape the societal norms.

    I believe that we can accomplish all that we want to and be the kind of person we see ourselves to be just by following the right values, which are universally accepted. Just be true to yourself, think positive and face the challenges boldly. You will surely discover who you are and what you want to be, one day!
    Thanks for a thought provoking post! Have a nice day!

    1. Hi Balroop

      I am so happy for the kind words and I am all smiles that this post motivated you. Your comment is really thought provoking and I had to read it over and over again.

      There is a saying that it is better to learn from other people’s experience. I agree that no matter the way we discover ourselves, these are unique experiences which do help us mature but wouldn’t it be great to avoid the pitfalls than experiencing them. Wouldn’t it be nice to let the young ones know that there are better ways to self awareness?

      We can’t escape the societal norms but that doesn’t mean we can’t react to them. If we are aware of them, then it means that we can make a change. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Have a wonderful week

  36. Hello Ikechi.

    First and foremost congrats to you winning such a prestigious honor my friend. This is a very inspiring and thought provoking post in my opinion. You are so correct that many face the journey of self discovery. It is a journey though that we all in my opinion should face head on.

    You started this article off with a bank speaking of the imposter. An imposter is in no way unique but instead someone that imitates others. As you mentioned, an imposter is lucky if anyone really even remembers his or her.

    I have always said the very best way to be unique is to be yourself because in my opinion we are already unique and if we allow that to shine through in our day to day endeavors we can have a positive impact on others.

    All of your points were so spot on. I will end with my view on your last point of loving only me. I think we should ask ourselves more frequently what kind of value can I add to someone else life. It cannot be about us making a quick buck or getting someone else on our list.

    It has to be about helping others to solve the problem that they are seeking assistance with. That may be as simple as educating them on a certain topic. The bottom line is if we put others first and take the focus off of us we will gain more than we could have ever expected.

    This goes back to an article from Harleena I read yesterday about Legacy and what type of legacy we want to leave behind. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome article with us.

    1. Hi Nathaniel

      I will like to thank you for the kind words and am highly honored to write for this great community.

      I agree with you that the Journey to Self discovery isn’t an easy one which is why we must be careful how we tread the path.

      It is true that being unique isn’t the same as being an impostor; in fact there is no uniqueness in being someone else. The best way to make an impact is to bless others by being You. Unfortunately, people go day by day living the story of someone else.

      I love your thought provoking question and it should be a food for thought for all. If we can think about how to be able to add value to someone, it would make us appreciate our world and we will not see people as pawns but as a blessing in our lives.

      I read Harleena’s article on legacy and I loved it she lets us know that we have a legacy to live either good or bad. Thanks for the insight.

  37. Hi Ikechi,

    First of all a BIG Congratulations for being the ever shining GEM of Aha!Now ABC community. I have read so many motivational posts of yours and I have always been inspired from your writings. I am glad that we got another mind blowing post from you.

    Talking about self awareness, for me self awareness is all about knowing what I am and being proud of being myself.

    Coming to the destructive ways, being an imposter hmmm.. Yes I have seen people trying to be completely different and copying others. This not only confuses them with their style but also sends negative signals to people who find him being a copy because people whether young or old, everyone loves ORIGINALITY!

    Competing is actually a behavioral trait which becomes a set back for people to establish ever lasting relationship. People with competing nature can have short term friends which helps them to achieve their goals but they will never get to meet genuinely friendly people just because they are too much into COMPARISON.

    I think the third way talks about being what you wanna be and not being what others want you to be. In my opinion we don’t need to get certified by others for our actions. Following this, I prefer doing what I want to do without worrying about the opinions of others.

    Giving importance to I, Me and MYSELF: I read a book by Dale Carnegie that you can gain more friends by being interested to know them rather than waiting for them to gain interest in you.

    Thank you so much Ikechi for sharing this great post. This is worth sharing and reading. You are an inspiration!

    One last statement: “A self-Aware person is not a self-obsessed person.”
    Good Day!
    Rohan Chaubey.

    1. Hi Rohan

      I am grateful for the compliment and I am happy that you read the post. It is good that you are trying to be yourself as it would be sad if you are copying someone else because you are awesome and your contribution in ABC has been uplifting.

      You are right that having a competing nature makes you lose friends and loved ones but like Harleena mentioned, it is about sports-man spirit. We should strive towards a win-win situation.

      Hmmm. Validation is a big topic. I like the idea of doing my best and not being too worried about people’s opinion as long as I am not hurting anyone.

      I loved Dale Carngie book and I do remember where he talks about giving genuine appreciation and loathing one with praise. I love your last point that a self ware person is not self obsessed.

      Thank your for the insight. Regards

  38. Hello Ikechi,

    Welcome to Aha-Now! Congratulations on winning this guest post. I’m so glad that you had the opportunity to share this important article here at Harleena’s place where it will get a very large and engaged audience.

    You are right, self-esteem is so important, but like Sussy, we can’t rely on tests or consultants to give that to us. Excellent point, the journey of self-discovery takes time and there are so many wrong paths we might follow.

    Your example of your friend who was a Michael Jackson imposter was very telling. So many young people haven’t yet discovered who they are so they pretend to be someone else because it’s safer. Why take a risk being yourself when you can be someone who you know was loved?

    All of your suggestions were worthwhile and to those I would add helping others. We can gain self-esteem when we lift up others. We don’t want to depend on affirmation from others but it sure does feel good when we get it.

    Try giving affirmation to those who don’t expect it. Tell the clerk at checkout what a good job he’s doing. Tell the waitress at the restaurant how you appreciate her refilling your water without you asking. So many little tasks become thankless if we don’t acknowledge them.

    By lifting up others we feel good about ourselves too. Aha-Now! and Harleena do a fantastic job of lifting up others and you have too with this article, Ikechi .

    1. Hi Carolyn

      Thank you for the compliment. I am glad to be in this awesome community.I am also thrilled that you liked the story of my friend who loved being called Michael. It is strange that people feel it is safer to be someone else rather than being their true self but how long will you keep being someone else?

      I see young people today who work helplessly to be a celebrity or star. They don’t appreciate the unique abilities that they possess and limit themselves by comparing with others.

      People need to be appreciated and it is true that we need to be grateful for little task but it is better to give than receive which is why it is a good thing to help others; giving others light will definitely light us too. I am glad you mentioned Harleena as a great inspiration as everyone knows she is wonderful and awesome.

  39. Hi Ikechi,

    Welcome to Aha!NOW as a guest blogger, Ikechi! You’ve well earned this post as you were one of the most active community members at the ABC the previous month. Since then, we all were waiting for an inspirational post.

    And here it is, a great post on the fallacies of self-awareness. We all read about the things we should do, and this post does the same, but by giving examples of what not to do. I really like the examples and the points that you have emphasized in this post.

    It’s a good question to ask that how many people are really on the task of self-awareness? You’re very correct when you state that self-awareness is the beginning to personal development.

    This is no hidden fact that many people become imposters and never truly either recognize or confidently express their own true identities. Unless they do that, there can never be real personal development.

    I too believe that there should be healthy competition. Like in sports, winning is important but it’s your sportsman spirit that matters most. The same applies to all aspects and fields – the spirit of life and spirit of competition is more important than winning.

    I’m glad you took the example of the ABC, where we have the reward system only as basic incentives and as a means of motivation, but as we all see it, all members are friendly and take it all in a healthy way – their main purpose is building relationships and the leaderboard positions are just a byproduct.

    I agree with you that a self-aware person would live his or her own life and won’t look for approvals or validations from outside. It’s also true that not many people really make the efforts to go deep inside; those who do really benefit a lot in terms of self-respect.

    Talking of self-esteem an self-love, the best example is the selfie culture thesedays. I’m amazed at what people do and what extents they go to that they are even called the selfie kings and queens!

    Of course, this has many other psychological aspects to it and its just a trend that people fall for and blindly follow, but being a narcissist is definitely a big red alarm in terms of personal development.

    I know one of the ways of self-destruction of self-awareness is not believing in change. If you don’t believe in change, you can’t progress and certainly you can’t develop your self.

    This has really been a treat and I enjoyed this post, Ikechi. I’m sure the Aha!NOW audience and blog community too must be in awe of your post. So, its time for you to take the center stage to reply to the comments, while i’ll only be coming to welcome the newcomers.

    Take charge, bask in the spotlight and have fun! 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena

      Thank you for giving me this opportunity in the AHA Community. I had a few glitches with my ISP but I am back now. I am so thrilled with your comment; in fact I am pinching myself asking if this is a dream. I want to say thank you Harleena for creating this awesome as i have met honorable friends and I have learnt so much.

      I agree that we should be very much aware how we work toward self awareness. Some people are not conscious of how they discover themselves and the wrong path to self discovery can hurt one’s sense of identity.

      I am also amazed by the culture of selfies to the point that some young people even have to photoshop their bodies. It is a message that people don’t appreciate who they are and trying to be someone else.

      I am also in agreement with you about validations. It is important that we express ourselves without validation but it isn’t an easy task but can be achieved if we put our minds to it.

      I love the point about change. Yes if we don’t learn to embrace change, we will never benefit from personal development. Thanks for your kind words and your insight about self awareness.

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