5 Destructive Ways To See Yourself As You Truly Are

- | 70 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Self Improvement

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

Show Comments

70 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Ikechi Awazie

    2014-11-28 at 9:56 pm

    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. Michael Gregory II

    2014-11-28 at 10:56 am

    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. Lenie

    2014-11-27 at 6:22 pm

    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.

    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-27 at 11:38 pm

      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. Eve

    2014-11-27 at 4:15 pm

    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!

    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-27 at 11:35 pm

      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. Susan Cooper

    2014-11-26 at 11:39 pm

    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.

    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-27 at 1:29 am

      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. Jacqueline Gum

    2014-11-26 at 4:45 pm

    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.

    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-26 at 7:54 pm

      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. Ryan Biddulph

    2014-11-25 at 9:53 am

    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!


    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-26 at 3:46 am

      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. Maxwell Ivey

    2014-11-25 at 9:06 am

    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

    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-26 at 3:38 am

      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.

      • Maxwell Ivey

        2014-11-26 at 7:06 pm

        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

        • Ikechi Awazie

          2014-11-26 at 8:02 pm

          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. Sherman Smith

    2014-11-25 at 7:14 am

    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!

    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-26 at 3:32 am

      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. donna merrill

    2014-11-25 at 12:12 am

    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!


    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-26 at 3:26 am

      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. Shamsudeen

    2014-11-24 at 12:10 pm

    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.

    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-24 at 12:46 pm

      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. Ikechi Awazie

    2014-11-24 at 3:41 am

    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. Vernon Layne

    2014-11-24 at 2:21 am

    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!

    • Ikechi Awazie

      2014-11-24 at 12:42 pm

      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.

5 Destructive Ways To See Yourself As You Truly Are

Send this to a friend