Have your friends, coworkers or family ever made you feel uncomfortable in your own skin? Sometimes it happens pretty directly — you’ll be doing something you love, or acting in a way that feels natural to you, and those around you will judge you for it. Other times, it can be a little more discreet: you might preemptively dress a certain way around your parents to avoid their ridicule, or maybe you don’t talk about your job with your older sibling because they’re jealous of your career success.
Situations like these are enough to make most of us scratch our heads and think, “who the heck am I, really?” If we’re always changing our personality traits for the people around us, can we ever really have a solid foothold on our true values, morals and beliefs? What’s more, if our closest relationships only exist because we act a certain way to maintain them, are those connections actually authentic?
These are big questions, and they’re exactly the kinds of conundrums our coaching client is going through today. His name’s Bruce, and he’s part of a crime-fighting group of superheroes called the Avengers… kidding, of course. Bruce is… just an average guy going through average problems. He feels like he has two personalities: on the one hand, he’s a smart, thoughtful and compassionate person who values science and human connection. On the other hand, he’s a tough, strong and resilient person — one who can also be emotionally distant, headstrong and stubborn as all get-out.
Bruce finds it tiring to have to constantly switch between his two sides, but it’s his only way of maintaining the relationships he currently has. He’d like find some way to be accepted for who he is, but that seems nearly impossible in his current state. As such, he’s written to us — your friendly neighborhood Character Coaching coaches — in search of help.
Let’s see if we can help Bruce (and anyone struggling with finding acceptance!) tackle some of his identity issues.