Let me ask you a question: is your life a congruent life? Are all the different parts of your life in harmony – I mean, do they fit together? Or, is your life littered with inconsistencies?
The reality is that most of us live with inconsistencies in our lives. Life is complex and full of competing expectations and demands. So, to survive under the pressure of those expectations and demands, you find ways to fit in – ‘to be all things to everyone’, to please everyone, to let no-one down.
And, it is in finding a way to fit in, that you open the door to inconsistency.
In an attempt to please everyone, you adjust your values, your belief systems, your personality – maybe only a little tweak here or there, but enough to ensure that you become different people in different situations.
But, if you are a different person in different situations, you can never live a congruent life – you will always have a life littered with inconsistency. You will never live your real life.
It can be a hard thing to admit that the various aspects of your life are inconsistent – to accept that the person you are at work is not the person you are at home, or at church, or down the pub, or in the gym. No-one likes to confess that their life is not 100% the genuine article. I know I don’t.
But, unless you accept, identify, acknowledge, and confess those areas of your life that compete and conflict with each other, you will never find harmony. And, without harmony, you will always be at war with yourself, and never be free to live the life you were made for.
I spent years playing different parts, depending on the situation I was in. And it sucked.
In the office I was the hard, cold, serious, risk-averse, calculated, brutal person. In my family I was the dependable, loving, fun, adventurous person. In church I was the clean, spiritual, devoted person.
In reality, I was none of those people.
Day after day I lived multiple lives – wearing masks and presenting personas that gave people what they wanted, when they wanted it, without ever giving them me – the real me.
And then, one day, the lid blew off. All the stress and tension from the conflict of living multiple lives poured forth. What little energy I had left to keep switching masks and personas ebbed away; and I couldn’t do it anymore.
I was left with a stark realisation: I had no idea who I was – at least, not who I really was.
What followed that realisation was a lot of painful – very painful – soul searching as I began to look at every area of my life, and question it.
Where was it that I found myself having to try to fit in, rather than simply find myself fitting in without any need to expend specific effort or make adjustments?
What situations made me feel uncomfortable? Why did they make me feel that way?
Where had I said things, or done things, that just hadn’t felt right?
Where did I feel most at home, most comfortable, most relaxed?
What realities and secrets did I keep hidden, out of fear, or shame?
What was my soul yearning to cry out loud, that my head fought to keep locked inside, for fear that I – the real me – would be uncovered?
As I found answers to those questions, lie after lie that I had been living was exposed.
With each lie that was exposed, a hidden truth about ‘the real me’ was revealed. Slowly but surely, as I pieced together each truth that I uncovered, I began to construct a new persona – a single persona for every situation. And, bit by bit, the real me – the authentic me – began to come alive.
Is my life now 100% the genuine article? No. I am a work-in-progress, and I probably always will be. I still ask myself those questions and, each time I ask them, I expose new lies and uncover new truths.
It’s a process.
So, what about you? Is yours a congruent life, or do you know that there are inconsistencies buried deep inside?
Work through those questions for yourself – the ones I asked myself. Search out the lies (we all have them) and release the truths. Turn the tables. Wage war on the inconsistencies and allow the authentic you – the 100% genuine article you – to come alive.
You get one shot at life, don’t waste it by trying to be anyone other than who you really are.