Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Grace Kelly by Mika is a catchy little number speaking of the frequent insecurity and lack of clear identity many in the showbiz industry experience. Yet, I don’t think this is a showbiz phenomenon, one of the most significant questions we can ask of ourselves is who am I?
The song explores how much of our personal validation is insecure because we base it on what we think others perceive of us: Do I attract you? Do I repulse you …? Do I like what you like? … Why don't you like me without making me try?
And our response? Rather than seeing it for what it is, we often look to those we admire to influence how we present ourselves. I’ve noticed this in myself. If I go and see a comedian, I frequently find myself the next day trying to structure what I say in the same way that they present their act. On one level, this is fine. It’s good to learn from others and good to be inspired by others too. The problem is I can only be me. As the song puts it: I try to be like Grace Kelly. But all her looks were too sad. So, I tried a little Freddie, I've gone identity mad!
But even when we don’t try to be like others, it is likely we will still fall into another trap; trying to behave in a way which is designed to meet the requirements other people might have of us. This inevitably leads to frustration; I could be brown ... blue … violet sky … hurtful … purple … I could be anything you like … Why don't you like me? Why don't you walk out the door!
So, if it’s not about basing our identity around others, either as role models, or responding to their expectations, how do we develop a secure and healthy identity? I think this is a life-long journey of learning in which every day we can choose to become just that little bit more ourselves. This takes a conscious decision and some effort on our part.
For me, being Dave doesn’t always come as naturally and effortlessly as you might expect. But, ultimately, I think it's worth persisting as the only real secure and healthy identity I can have is that of my own: the journey of becoming maximum Dave.
Looking to grow in your own unique identity? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood of Realign Coaching via Keia.