The Difference Between Who You Think You Are And Who You Really Are

by Paul Hudson

Reality is a funny thing. It is the state of things the way they actually exist. But who exactly is to say in which state things truly exist? If there is some set standard we can rely on, I have yet to come across it. As far as I can see, the way that I experience reality — my reality — is rather different than the way you experience it.

It seems to me that reality is subjective, meaning that it defies its own definition. These thoughts all made themselves available to me last night when I was taking a shower; it’s amazing the sort of “realizations” one can come up with between the lather and the rinse.

If everyone sees the world slightly differently than you do, then chances are that they see you differently than you see yourself. Forget about the way they see or experience objects and sensations — more importantly, the person who you believe yourself to be may very well be someone completely different than the person everyone else sees you as.

Now, I’m not talking about the façade that each and every one of us puts on for others to see and interact with. What I am saying is that taking the façade into consideration, what you believe you are projecting your character as may very well be different than how others are perceiving it.

The problem lies in the difference between the thoughts that we have of our character and ourselves and the actions that we perform, which are available for the world to see. We may believe ourselves to be smart, hardworking, honest people — but if the actions that we take do not sync with the thoughts we have of ourselves, then it is impossible for the world to share your beliefs.

Whatever goes on in your mind is available to you and you alone. This, of course, is obvious. Nevertheless, it is rather common to become frustrated when people do not recognize and appreciate you for the person you believe or know yourself to be.

The solution is rather simple; focus on outwardly displaying the characteristics you wish the world to see. The only question is: which parts of you do you wish to make public to the world? The crucial first step is figuring out to your best ability who you are, who you want to be and how you would like to be perceived by those looking from the outside in.

You have to be honest with yourself and be clear on whether or not you are firstly lying to yourself. Are you the person that you believe you are? Or is the person who you believe yourself to be actually the person you one day hope to be? We tend to give ourselves more credit than we are deserving of. If you are lazy but “believe” that you are diligent, then you need a personal reality check.

Once we have a good understanding of the people that we actually are — faults and all — then we can begin to consider which traits we need to work on in order to become who we hope to one day be. This ties into whom we present ourselves as to the rest of the world.

The world works in a funny way. The physical, tangible outside world changes the structure of our psyche. In order for us to change a characteristic of our own personalities, we must act outwardly as if it already were part of our character. In order to be the person that you want to be down the line, you need to act as if you already are that person.

If you know yourself to dislike studying and that you would rather sit around and be lazy, then to change your mental wiring you must physically act as if you are the intelligent, diligent and energetic person already. If you do just about anything routinely for long enough, your mind begins to adapt.

Those standing outside of you looking in and trying to read you are only able to read your actions. They have no way of looking into your thoughts themselves, but can deduce your thoughts from your actions alone. There are two main realities: your personal, self-reality and the reality you project unto the physical world through your actions.

Often at times we become frustrated or disappointed because people are not able to understand us for who we are. Instead of pointing the finger at them, consider their way of thinking; put yourself into their shoes. Imagine that you are viewing your actions as they would and drawing conclusions from the things that you do — from the actions you take.

Watch yourself from their point of view. What do your actions alone tell them? You may believe yourself to be creative, but do your actions show that quality of yours? Do you paint or draw? Do you play around with your clothing and try funky outfits?

Opportunities won’t arise if you are shielding yourself from the outer-world completely. Be selective of what parts of yourself you make public, but don’t be a complete hermit — otherwise people will never get to know you for the real you and you will suffer from the worst fate imaginable: loneliness.

Paul Hudson | Elite. 

For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson