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Curly Nikki

Self-Concept Thursday!

By January 27th, 202117 Comments

Self-Concept Thursday!


by Leandra of What My World’s Like

Are you who you say you are? Are you who you think you are, or who you want to be? I often like to explore the concept and believe that I am, but in reality, I’m not. In me is the range of humanity—kind, selfish, strong, weak, committed, capricious, confident, insecure, humble, arrogant, beautiful and ugly. I’m extreme, contradictory, complex. Oftentimes, I think, too extreme, too contradictory, too complex. These layers have made it difficult for me to consistently see myself honestly and positively. There are so many contradictions that even I’m sometimes left wondering who am I?

On things that don’t necessarily matter, it’s easy for me to toss an opinion around, whether it’s requested or not. However, on issues that deeply affect me, usually silence is my standard. Makes no sense. Am I outspoken or reserved?

My journey has taught me that I’m nicest to those I don’t know and more hurtful to those I care the most about. Am I kind or am I mean?

I can speak about my life, who I am—or think I am—and what I’ve learned easiest with strangers than people I’m emotionally invested in.

Why does this incongruency exist? Will the awareness of its presence create more congruency or will it persist regardless?

Perhaps the answer lies in another incongruency: commitment to personal growth. I’m much more committed to the idea than actual change. It’s easy to make my mind about the fact the change needs to happen, but implementing it is a much more delayed process that can take days, weeks, even years. The amount of time it takes to make the shift seems to correlate to the depth of the change—how deeply embedded the behavior is. Shallow changes happen faster.

There’s nothing revolutionary about this, right? I suppose what bothers me so much now is how much this incongruency is a part of my life. I’m a writer who doesn’t write. A good friend recently pointed out that I treat it like a hobby instead of a passion, or something I must do. In theory, I’m a health nut, but in practice, I eat processed and take-out foods quite frequently, usually opting out of cooking. At work recently, I was grossly offended by an extremely inappropriate and disrespectful comment someone made to me. Shock turned into disgust, which turned into a deeper offense and before I knew it, I was crying uncontrollably. Not because of the comment itself, but because of how I responded to it. I’d never been in that position before, but I still expected myself to respond more than just professionally, but with more strength and self-protection. The same strength and self-protection that exists in my daily talk. But it wasn’t in my walk.

Regardless of how much I demonstrate it on a daily basis, I do sincerely believe we’re all here for a reason. There are messages and passions to be conveyed. In order to effectively communicate them, we need to be congruent. The first step in addressing any problem is acknowledging the problem. I am incongruent. Now, I will work on being congruent and walking the talk.

Our life is our message. Actions speak louder than words. Let’s make our actions match our intentions.


  • Anonymous says:

    OMG! I'm currently at work (a job I genuinely dislike to the core) reading this and can completly relate! I looked aroud like "HOW DOES SHE KNOW?!" Sometimes it feels like I'm waging a mental, physical, emotional and identity war with myself. And after reading this it's amazing and SO helpful to know I'm not alone in this. Wow thank you..i needed this like to no other..

  • Anonymous says:

    Well written "food" for thought and consumption. I have been praying and wondering if I am truly doing the Lord's purpose for my life. At times I feel as if I am, but I have been sensing the need to get ready to branch out eventually.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, I don't usually post (but check the site every day)-can we say inconsistent! LOL. Anyway, I felt compelled to acknowledge the truth in your words, which also ring true to me.

    Thank you!

  • bholmes87 says:

    I can relate to this post so much! Thank you for writing and sharing this. I always felt that it was so weird to be able to talk about things with strangers rather than people I'm emotionally attached to. I would always think I was an open person but in reality, I'm fairly closed. It just made me think about really living what I feel in my heart.

  • Carla says:

    Leandra, thank you!!

    I've never before left a comment on CN but felt so compelled to say thank you after reading your article. As others have said, you were able to put into words what I see in my mirror. I'm a dancer who doesn't dance, and a host of other incongruencies… I'm glad to know that I am not alone! God bless you, and keep writing!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing. I struggle with this on a daily basis; more so because I am currently a master's level counseling student and being in the program forces you to take a very deep look at yourself. I am finding more and more that I do not like what I see so I am working to change that.

  • Anonymous says:

    POWERFUL. I felt like I was reading my own story. Thank you for the encouragement to make a change.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh Man! THANK YOU for your transparency and honesty! It helps others (myself included) to identify what they have been FEELING but not able to verbally express. My bff says the same thing about me and my my writing. TODAY I will commit to writing for 15 mins.

  • ChrLvsBks says:

    Man, if I could articulate my thoughts, this would be them. I can relate wholeheartedly to what you wrote. I do not know if we are not who we are due to incongruencies yet are different based on a number of factors. We as humans are adaptable and as such, we are shaped by factors that are controllable as weel as out of our control. I am going to check out your blog NOW.

  • leandra says:

    Right now, I'm so overwhelmed by these comments that I really don't even know what to say. Thanks for the encouragement. I am writing. 🙂

    I'm happy this post touches you all. It is definitely one of my more open ones. Very personal to me.

  • NitraMarie says:

    Great article! I think that most people, including myself, can relate to being incongruent in our everyday lives.

    I can also relate to your inconsistency in writing. My bi-weekly blog posting schedule has turned into an "as I feel like it" schedule. Please continue writing and stay inspired 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I loved this. So much so that I went to your blog to read more, and stumbled upon 'softening the heart'. Then, I stumbled upon another sentence that I think accurately sums up this post. You wrote, 'no one is always who they want to be.'

    I love that. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great freaking article. The CN community could really use this article. I see evidence of the incongruities you referenced just browsing the forum.


  • Anonymous says:

    There's a lot here that I can relate to here. Also, keep writing because you have a gift to give the world.

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautifully written! You are an extremely talented writer. I too agree that we must "walk the talk." And in an attempt to do just that, you persuaded me to eat the baked fish, rice, and tossed salad I brought for lunch, instead of the Hooter's wings that I truly want, but don't fall in line with my fitness goals. LOL!

  • 3 Cupcakes says:

    Very thought provoking. I often find myself doing the same things. And recently have been on a voyage of self discovery as well, wanting to get to the real me.

  • Anonymous says:

    This was a throughly enjoyable read. I agree to the tee. I believe that life is all about self discovery. My life is pretty in-cogruent in my everyday reality. But I don't usually realize the hypocrisy of my ideals until a situation a arises that makes me change my mind(mid-situation).

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