Essence and Persona
Unlike essence which is something that we are all born with and lives inside of us, we create our personas and maintain them throughout our lives. At first our personas develop as an unconscious reaction to what is going on around us.
To better understand this think about the first time you entered the world. You've been in the womb for around nine months and are feeling completely at home. You’re warm, have all of the food you need and are perfectly content and then one day completely out of the blue everything starts to shake and before you know it you are being pushed out by an unseen force and the world you know disappears in an instant. You are blinded by the light, picked up and manhandled by a giant in a mask and naturally you begin to scream as a reaction to the completely alien situation you now find yourself in!
It’s hardly surprising that at this point the desire for safety might arise. Feeling safe is a wonderful thing. That initial feeling of insecurity is something which triggers repeatedly throughout our lives and when it does we all naturally crave security.
Whenever we feel unsafe or outside of our comfort zone we seek to control the environment around us, and in particular the people in it, in order that we can feel safe again. Some of these people will allow us to 'control them' through the intensity of our own feelings, particularly if through anger and sadness we can stimulate their feelings of insecurity. Sooner or later though we come to the realisation that we can't control everyone.
However even if we can't control people we learn to adopt certain strategies to stay safe around them.
Well it turns out that if people approve of what we are doing then they are less likely to hurt us. This is re-enforced by our parents every time we are shouted at or punished for doing something they don't approve of. So we learn to be 'nice' and 'do as we're told' in order to maintain a safe and easier life.
The problem as you get older with basing your 'persona' around what other people want you to be is that, through no fault of their own, other people do not want you to become a threat to their safety and therefore naturally they want you to stay the way you are as this is what they know and can control <--- this need to control is fundamental to human nature
Some questions that arise at this point are:
Do I want to model myself on how other people want me to be?
Do I want to plan my future based on how other people feel?
Would moving out of my comfort zones help me achieve more and get in touch with my true persona even if other people might not approve of it?
Do I want to make BOLD DECISIONS, experiment with parts of my life which I would like to change and find out what I am truly capable of - even if that unsettles me and the people around me?