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9 Jun 2009

Self-Awareness, Who Art Thou?

Self-awareness is nearly as rare as common sense. Especially in today's dog-eat-dog world, where people prefer to paint a picture of themselves the way they want peers to see them. In the process, they seem to have convinced themselves that this is who they are. Not a bad thing, if they actually made earnest efforts to be who they were trying to be. Does that happen?

In the last week, I met 2 people who have been very different in the absence of their peer group. What struck me most is the level of cheerfulness and their relaxed disposition when the person(s) they try to impress were not around them. I can't help wondering if their day-to-day events are governed by their 'friend' (for want of a better word) and they are grateful to let go, in an event when the governing body is absent, or if it is an unconscious act of servitude (again, excuse the term). Whichever may be the right answer, there is no doubt in my mind that there is a lack of reality in the picture they are painting, making the colours appear mostly dark and sometimes garish. Instead of an earnest attempt to fix their shortcomings or portray a confident attitude, they have chosen to hide behind a charade of over-confidence and when required, sidle up to a chosen benefactor. What a pity! In the melee to hold their own, at the same time living up to their expectations chart, the individuality is lost. Staggered adolescence, perhaps?

Why do people run away from who they are, without gauging if who they are is better than who they want to be? Where do people go to make that decision to follow rather than lead? Why are they scared to let go of what was, when they have decided to move on to a newer, possibly better personality? To 'travel light' is one thing everyone wants to be able to achieve. Yet, they trudge through life, lugging chunks from their past - good & bad memories, lessons learnt & ignored, dreams which they never have the guts to realize and some that have been broken. In the bargain, what is achieved is neither what was nor what is set out to be but an intermediacy which no one understands. Not even themselves. That, my friend, is when they reach the point of lacking in self-awareness.

Stock the good memories, stow away the bad ones. Remember lessons learnt and bookmark the ones ignored. Sweep away the the shattered dreams, hold on to the live ones. Whatever you do, always be aware of where you stand and know when the ground under your feet is shifting. Be prepared to move along or jump out - but let the decision be yours and yours alone. If you lost something in the bargain, do not forget that some did stay back and some new ones sprung up while you were not looking.

Ever wondered why appraisal discussions more often than not, causes extreme stress to both the parties involved? One lacks self-awareness and the other lacks the tact to deal with it.

Like they say, we come alone and we go alone. All that was in between is all we have to cherish. Why let someone else make that decision for us?

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