Our Many Personalities

I feel like there is a stigma around the topic of having multiple personalities depending on our situation. As you heard that, I bet you thought of the mental health definition of multiple personality disorder, but that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is the difference between our personality with one group of people or person compared to our personality with another person or group of people. 

We had some friends over for dinner and to help move our rooftop tent a few weeks ago, and it took a couple of days, but I realized that I have multiple personalities depending on who I’m around. When I am working, and around coworkers, it is easier for me to be confident about what I do and the decisions that I make….as long as I don’t incorporate my personal life. When I’m around friends, my confidence all but disappears. When it’s just Eddie and me, I am somewhere in the middle. When I’m speaking in front of strangers, there is yet a different part of my personality. I am generally different in each situation I am in. My confidence is usually on a different level depending on what I’m doing.

When I’m working and have kept a lot of my personal life separate, I am generally quite confident in my decisions and recommendations. I know what needs to be done, and I get it done. I work confidently with my coworkers and employees. When I’m around friends, I am confident in my cooking, but I limit myself and my accomplishments. I try not to stand out. When I’m with Eddie, I’m confident in so many things, but then I limit myself and put excessive pressure on myself to perform up to societal standards. When I’m presenting to people I don’t know about a topic that I’m passionate about or have a good deal of knowledge about, I am confident and feel fantastic. But when I’m in a group of strangers in a networking or social setting, I’m a big pile of nerves and can’t wait to get out of there.

It feels like I have multiple personalities based on the situation that I am in. I become a chameleon and lose confidence all at once. That night we had friends over that I mentioned earlier; that was a telling night for me. We were sitting and eating dinner, and one of them asked about a mutual friend and what was up with her because she hadn’t posted any YouTube’s in a long time. We talked about what she is doing instead, and I promoted her new endeavor. Topic changed some, then a plane flew lower than usual, and the friend asked what the noise was. We went into a conversation about how loud the planes can sometimes get since the path for landing goes right over our home, and I mentioned that sometimes it is exceptionally loud when recording my podcast. Neither of them knew I have been putting out podcast episodes. And there it was, I lost all of my confidence around my friends.

I’ve been thinking about that situation for a few days and realized that I lost my confidence because I don’t express all of myself around my friends. I limit what I share as not to draw attention to myself. I don’t want to come off as cocky or better than someone, nor do I want to be judged for things I do. As of writing this post, I still haven’t shared with my network that I’ve been recording. In fact, if I look right now as I’m writing, I would venture to bet I’ve had zero listens on any of the platforms. 

Because I limit my confidence and just, in general, myself with those who I’m closest to, I am holding myself back. I am realizing that I partition parts of my overall personality into these sub-personalities. These make up the multiple personalities I talked about earlier. Put another way, the various personalities or partitions of my personality are merely sub-personalities of my overall personality. I divide myself based on who I am in the presence of. 

Why? Fear. 

I am afraid I will offend or push my friends away because I am different from who I once was. But yet, as I’ve talked about all of the changes I’m making in my life, I distanced myself from other friends because we don’t have the same views or similar goals. I’ve created a catch twenty-two that I am just identifying. Thanks for letting me work things out here with you; sometimes, I learn more when I’m sharing with you than I do by trying to figure it out on my own.

Here’s what I need to do: I need to start breaking down some of my partitions. I need to unite my sub-personalities into the amazing woman that I am. I need to spread my confidence across all of my sub-personalities so I can be one whole person. I say need because I want it. Need is a strong word that so many people throw around, but the reason I say need is because I’ve identified something that I want, and to get it, I need to make changes. 

And now I’m going to challenge both you and me. My challenge is for you to sit down and think about all of the sub-personalities that you might be living with that make you who you are. Write it down and write out who you are as a whole. If you want to be that same person with everybody and in every situation, start identifying changes you can make to unite your sub-personalities. 

My challenge for me is to unite the confidence I have in my career and in presenting to strangers with my sub-personality who shows up with my friends. I challenge myself to unite that level of confidence across all of me. I also challenge myself to share my podcast with my network. I will never get it to be sponsored or to reach the masses if I don’t start sharing with people that I know.

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