Your True Identity Lies Beneath Several Layers

Dig Deep for a Deeper, Truer Meaning

amy poehler - woman with eyes closed

Nicholas Bate is known for his thought-provoking articles. The most recent one that caught my attention was a Sunday post about looking beyond the surface identifiers and labels to determine our true identify. Labels are short-cuts. A lazy way to “know someone” and make it easier for us to categorize people for our own convenience and benefit. 

But let’s not forget that we ourselves often employ this method of external identification as well. Sometimes it’s a barrier, a method of self-protection or chosen projection. With the right title, clothing, etc., we can advertise the labels we wish to be applied to us. Some could say, this is lazy as well. Especially, when we don’t make the effort to become what we want but choose to invest in the outer shell instead.

So, on this particular Sunday Nicholas Bate wrote the following piece titled “Dig Deep. Dig Deeper”:

You are not your school reports, your zip code, nor your choice of beverage at Starbucks. Dig deeper. You are not your brand of fridge, car nor smart phone. You are not your job title, job grade nor job expenses policy. You are not your business class seat, your slide deck, your gold card. Dig deeper. You are not your routine at the gym, your scrabble strategy nor your views on Cameron, Obama or Merkel. Dig deeper.

You’re not the thought that suggests you are rubbish at photography, speaking out in meetings or swimming. You are not the guy who always does the barbecue. You’re not the girl who always ensures her inebriated friends get home safely at 3am. Dig deeper. You are not a worrier, nor a winger: you’re not a label, any more than a spade actually need just be a spade.

Dig deeper. You aren’t a Monday morning feeling, a ‘I need a coffee’. You’re on a path, a mission, a ‘no one messes with me’ journey. You could teach Jason Bourne a tip or two.

Dig deep. Very deep. That’s where the spade comes in.

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Categories: Self-Awareness

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2 replies


  1. Psychotherapy and Self-Deception – Nowhere to Hide | Sherry Clayton Works
  2. The Power of Self Talk | Sherry Clayton Works

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