“Who am I?” Thoughts on Authenticity…

by | Dec 16, 2015 | Blog | 0 comments

road-924566_1280

“How do I figure out who I am?” This question was raised recently in a consultation session… but it joins a mighty chorus. Many people struggle with this issue at some point in their lives, but the issue of personal identity becomes more complex for many Third Culture Kids, due to the multiple cultural selves they have developed over their time abroad. 

In UK culture, the culture in which I am embedded these days, there is a preoccupation with Authenticity that fascinates me. There is a race to discover our ‘authentic’ self, to be authentic, to act authentically. A race that suggests we will at some point arrive at a consistent Self… one that could be pin pointed on a map and independently verified.

If we take ‘authentic’ to refer to something not false or copied… this goes some way to explain the TCK’s frustrated journey of authenticity! After all, the way we travelled through multiple cultural environments was through ‘copying’ the cultural norms of those around us! We adapted, imitated, reflected and yes, copied. So how can a TCK be ‘authentic’? How can we figure out our ‘true selves’?

In response to this question posed me in consultation, I suggested we adopt another paradigm. What happens if we replace ‘Who is the self I am?’ with ‘Who is the self I want to be?’ Immediately we can take the pressure off discovering something ‘authentic’ in our inner core. The second question suggests instead that we have choice over the self we are… it also reminds us that our selves are always in motion, in the process of becoming rather than something set and static.

“Who do I want to be” doesn’t need to condemn us to a future of faking it… instead it offers a plethora of opportunities. Who do I want to be? I want to be a Rachel who worries more about having enough cake ingredients in the cupboard than the calories involved… I want to be a Rachel who remembers the sunrise on the sand dune… and loves the autumnal sunshine in England… I want to be a Rachel who loves flowers, be they bougainvillea or geranium… I don’t have to be limited to my one Authentic Self… and neither do you.

If you are struggling to settle in your self… drop me an email and we can set up a free consultation. I’d love to be a part of your journey!

rachelcason@explorelifestory.com

 

 

 

 

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from my blog

Third Culture Kids and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Third Culture Kids and Adverse Childhood Experiences

I knew it’d be hard to read Tanya Crossman and Lauren Wells’ recent research. I was right. As much as I eagerly read the methodologies and results of their work, “Caution and Hope: The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Globally Mobile Third Culture Kids”, I could feel a heart clench of pain for the many TCKs I work with who know the pain of adverse childhood experiences all too well.

read more
Third Culture Kids and Repatriating Well

Third Culture Kids and Repatriating Well

A client shared with me recently how they had been looking for accounts of Third Culture Kids repatriating, and how little they had found to very little to inform them. This challenged me in more ways than one – first to consider why the narrative of TCK repatriation...

read more
The Third Culture Kid drive to “be good”

The Third Culture Kid drive to “be good”

I’m currently sat at my desk in a mild slumpy grumpy space. It’s because I’ve eaten too much sugar, and drunk too much coffee and now I feel I need a good long lie down. I want to hide from myself, because I’m cross that I over-indulged. However, given that I’m me, I’m feeling curious as well as grumpy – why did I do it? Why did I eat and drink more than was good for me? Now I’m getting all philosophical and asking the BIG question – why do we do what we don’t want to do, and why don’t we do what we want?

read more