When we close our eyes and take a deep breath, there is awareness in the calm. It is here within the stillness, that we derive a sense of self. Only when we pause to reflect, do we question who we are and where our lives are headed. This soul searching causes a break from the monotony of our set routines and closely held trust in the known. Thus, reflection is not a moment of rest but rather a jolt of recognition that we are not satisfied with the familiar. We search our inner being and find ourselves embarking on a journey to become who we are meant to be.
There is no denying that our potential is wasted within the workplace when we are not fully engaged. We are stifled, contained, and denied what we long for in our soul. The question is why do we remain in our unsatisfying situations? Why do we continue to live unfulfilling lives? Is it the need to feel secure with our material possessions? Greed? The fear of the unknown? Finding the answer is accomplished by looking inward toward our own egos.

The ego is founded on an intake of external stimuli and internal processing. It is uniquely formed by each individual’s past upbringing, surroundings, relationships, and background. Even from an early age, we observe our environment and interpret it. For instance, a child raised in a positive home structure will see the world as full of possibility; but, a child placed in an abusive setting will most likely view the world as a dangerous and miserable place. The different stimuli that these two children received has affected their interpretation of the world and thereby their approach to living and forming an identity. The child told consistently, “You can accomplish much” is likely to flourish as an adult because he has processed and come to believe this stimulus. On the flipside a child reinforced with the words, “You are worthless” is likely to struggle to achieve because he is convinced in his ego that the negative stimulus is correct.
No one can reverse the messages they received from their childhood, but the ego continues to develop in to adulthood through the constant streaming of new stimuli. Our initial mental response to things in our outside environment creates a surface internal monologue. In our minds we reflect on someone we dislike: “I do not interact well with this person because of past negative experiences with them. They have certain personality traits that I do not appreciate, therefore I must be someone not similar to them.” Based upon ego-instinctive reactions we define ourselves through shallow mental processes.

Pursuing material items is another example of how quickly we deceive ourselves into forming an identity. We tell ourselves, “Since I enjoy these products, labels, and activities, I must be this type of person.” Superficial thoughts become our source of identity and security, and prove to be unsatisfying in the long run. Furthermore, we also unconsciously seek to confirm with outside stimuli what our egos have trained us to believe. For example, someone with a negative worldview will watch the news and only regard the stories of disaster and calamity. Thus the stimuli and the ego together create a continual cycle of disappointment.

We cannot stop the constant stream of environmental input that provides our minds with inhibiting thought patterns. It is possible however, to reassess and improve our interpretation of the world and ourselves. When we pause in silence and still the droning stimuli of our surroundings, we distance ourselves from our meaningless thoughts. Pulling at our heartstrings and sensing our true selves moves us away from familiarity and towards the unknown. In that uncertain future, we challenge ourselves to be the best possible version of ourselves.

Author's Bio: 

Kathleen Blake is a leader in the field of career coaching. She brings to her clients a diverse and unique set of business, educational, and experiential skills, deeply rooted in a perspective that is both pragmatic and intuitive. Kate has been a successful entrepreneur and marketing professional, coaching numerous businesses and fellow entrepreneurs in gaining market position and expansion. As a successful coach, trainer, and dynamic speaker, Kathleen combines humor with rich content keeping her audience engaged and stimulated.