Did you ever notice that you’re not always the same person and can have different personalities depending on a situation, circumstances and the people who surrounds you?
We are made up of a bunch of persona, who takes turn being in charge depending on the situation. Sometimes they take full control, other times they’re more like a voice in the head which can easily be ignored.
I truly experienced this not that long ago. I received a rejection on a job I had applied to and it hurt deep into my heart. I had invested a lot of time, energy as well as dreams and hopes into the application, and I had started to see myself in the job.
When I received the rejection, a part of me instantly surfaced. It didn’t take full control instantly, I was at work and had to keep up appearances, but it was pushing hard. As soon as I no longer had to put on a brave face, the persona barged in and took full control for 2-3 days, before I could release it again.
The form who took over was the side of me who thinks I’m not good enough. It has a lot of cousins; such as hopelessness, critic, victim, logician, perfectionist, pessimist and likely more I can’t see right now.
The result was very clear though. I entered a depressive state. For a couple of days I beat myself up with a lot of negative self-talk. “Things will never get better”, “I don’t have any education anyway”, “It’s also my own fault”, “I don’t stand a chance”, “Without education I can’t succeed”, “I can only get loser jobs”, “The future will never get better”, “I can’t be successful”, and many other thoughts. For each thought there was a logical argument and reasoning.
For those closest to me, it wasn’t a couple of good days. For most I closed down. I walked around like a black cloud. With a few, those I knew would listen, I poured out all my misery and wasn’t very nice or gentle during that process. No counter-arguments would work, at all.
This is an example of a form fully taking charge, a part of the self, a persona (as well as all those it’s related to). My rational voice, the one who observes and is kinda outside of everything couldn’t get through at all. My other sides, such as the hopeful, the active, the slaver, the creative, the positive, self-confidence, self-worth and all the other strong constructive forms didn’t get any voice what-so-ever. My mind and my emotions were filled with the negative narrative.
After a couple of days my defiant side came back, and with it the will to fight. I fought my way out of the negative mode, wrote several applications in spite of all my negative self-talk. After a while they became silent and went back into the wardrobe, where they make some noise but can’t take control.
By becoming aware of all those forms we have, we can learn how to control them instead of being controlled by them. They can become friends and helpers, who can support us on our journey through life.
All our forms are here to help us. Even those who seem the most negative and destructive. They have a purpose. Their strategy may not be the best, but when it comes to it they’re here to help us and give us important messages.
So what purpose does my “I’m not good enough” form serve then?
At a first glance it’s a protector. It’s there to protect my vulnerable self, or perhaps the part of me who’s a victim. It does that by telling me that I’m not good enough, so I shouldn’t get my hopes up. It stops me from starting to dream and plan before there’s a reason to plan. And it also tells me not to let my future depend on something that’s not even certain will happen.
That’s actually some good things now we think about it. Don’t sell the skin before the bear is shot, as the Danish saying goes. Calm down, await the situation and be realistic.
Hmmm, thank you for that message, form who says I’m not good enough. That’s actually a rather useful message and certainly worth keeping in mind. So perhaps next time I receive a rejection on a job application, my reaction will be different if I listen to this message.
It actually did. The next rejection hurt and the forms made themselves heard. But as I had listened to the message last time, the rejection became a brief emotion which I quickly could let go of again. It didn’t reach a point where it could affect my behaviour and thinking.
When we know our forms, it becomes easier to handle the challenges of life and change our typical reactions. It allows us to act from a creative essence in ourselves.