• Nayana Sen


This post is a follow up to my post about Impostor Syndrome. If you have outgrown a version of yourself, and feel like an impostor in your own life, then it may be time to find a new identity. Let's explore the question Who are you?

Who are you? This is the age old question that every person is trying to answer. Some of us find the answer in spirituality, others find it is self-expression, and others find by being of service to others. There are as many answers as there are people. This post explores the idea of living more authentically and discovering who you are today.

The first real step in finding out who you are is to ask yourself which version of yourself have you outgrown. All the cells in our body change, and you are not the same person you were even 5 years ago (physically speaking). Why are you stuck in an identity that no longer serves you or your life-purpose? Changing your thinking is hard. It really doesn’t happen overnight, and it is a process where you will go back and forth. You will learn new habits, and then relapse into old bad habits. This is a cycle, and you have to learn to be okay with this concept. People thrust themselves into new situations and think willpower will get them to their goal. It is really not that simple for most people.

I met someone I consider a friend, and I think about this person all the time. They are struggling through life trying to figure out who they are, and can’t seem to let go of the traumatic things that happened in the past. I know it seems like I am judging, but I am not judging at all. I have nothing but compassion for people that have gone through the worst things imaginable, and are fighting their personal demons. Get the help you need, and then start changing the story you are telling yourself. Tell yourself you are capable of making your life better. Tell yourself that you matter in the world. Tell yourself you deserve to be happy. When the voice inside says who am I to want something bigger, then respond that I love myself, and that I am enough.

When you start professing self-love, you will eventually start to feel it and believe it. It has probably taken me a few years of telling myself positive things in response to my negative self-talk to really start to believe it. I am not the person that has it all together, and I consider myself a work in progress. I used to think who am I to want to help other people when my life isn’t even what I want it to be.

I always felt not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, just never enough. Yet, there is a child that is watching me and I can’t live in this state anymore. I have to change because I don’t want my child to grow up and have the same issues I have because I never learned how to effectively deal with my own bullshit.

Is this the reason I wake up in the morning every single day and want to do better? Maybe, but it is not the full reason I am trying to power through my own limiting beliefs about myself.

No change is sustainable when the reason for that change is anyone other than yourself. Read that last sentence a few more times. You simply cannot live authentically in an effort to impress anyone else, not even your own children. You have to live as the most authentic version of yourself because your soul demands you claim your rightful place in the world. Everything else will fall into place after you make this conscious decision.

No change is sustainable when the reason for that change is anyone other than yourself.

Those of us that live through some kind of childhood trauma ensure we manipulate our environment as adults, so other people never get to see the real version of who we are. We usually do such a good job that when we want to be authentic in our lives, and in our interactions with other people, we feel like we don’t even know where to begin. The world would be different if we could all allow ourselves the freedom to be who we are without questioning whether that is enough.

I have a Master’s degree, have several professional certifications, and have worked in a professional capacity my entire adult life. Somehow, I still wake up thinking that perhaps I don’t measure up. My biggest fear is that people will maybe find out that I’m not as smart or capable as I pretend that I am. I imagine many people, especially women of color feel this way. I know I live in a man’s world, but I’m here too. My most recent fear as presenting myself to the world as a business owner was that I’ve never been an actual manager. I’ve managed multi-million dollar programs and projects since I was 22 years old, but my fear was that since I never had a “manager” in my title, I was a fake. It probably doesn’t help that my current manager likes to remind me how unqualified I am to be a real manager.

This is just an example of how we keep ourselves small in the world. We tell ourselves that our accomplishments are simply not enough to count against the accomplishments of other people. My life coach told me that I make decisions like a boss. He said I measure and put things in place in a way that CEO’s would, and that I have nothing to worry about. No one has ever told me that before in my life, but I needed to hear it. I have always wanted to write a book, but it took me so long to figure out what I could even write about. Truth is I could write about communication, project management, office politics, diversity, and a host of other business topics. I am more than qualified to do so. Instead, I have decided to focus on helping others discover live more authentically. I believe when you are truly doing the things that bring you joy, then peace follows.

I believe now that authenticity, and integrating the pieces of yourself into a whole and complete person is the only way to stop feeling like an impostor in life. Once you can get past the deep feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, the world will deliver your future to you on a silver platter. It is just that simple, but don’t let a lifetime pass you by trying to figure out who you really are. That is your real work on this planet. Start now, and don’t stop until it feels like you are finally living your real life, not a lie.

Cheers to your growth and mine. Let's raise a glass to our collective growth.

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