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The Writer's True Self and Success

By Howard Gluss

There is little doubt that your ability to communicate your inner world as a form of creative expression will be greatly enhanced by a strong sense of self -- a self which comes from an ability to discern who you are and who (for the sake of others) you try to be.

First and foremost, your knowledge of who you are inspires your goals in life. Your dreams --your hopes and desires -- are what will give you the ability to manage the harsh anxieties and assimilate complex feelings as you mature and grow. What you want out of life will, in return, create and nurture your sense of self. Furthermore, success -- the kind of success that becomes a life-long success -- requires that you not only have a firm grasp of your identity but that you are capable of redefining that image every step of the way. This chameleon characteristic is essential in how it interprets your anxieties and fears as well as the joys and rewards. If success requires becoming a creature that feels foreign, then you are much more likely to sabotage the process rather than face living in a state of unfamiliarity and turmoil. In such a scenario, you have but to routinely destroy opportunity.

The truth is you make mistakes and destroy your most cherished goals because quite often you don't know your true identity. If you fail in your ability to integrate, assimilate and individuate you will be faced with a life filled with ruination rather than the attainment of purpose. You will become someTHING instead of someONE.

There are many reasons why you sometimes lose the battle between something and someone. The most significant reason for not controlling the outcome is your inability to recognize and delineate between the two visions of self. I call them the 'Imposter' and the 'Believer.'

The Imposter is a false inspirational force that from an early age is forced upon you, causing you to override your feelings, wishes and thoughts. Later, you will translate this into other versions of the familiar old dance -- with friends, school, relationships and careers. You realize that if you serve the needs of others you will be graciously accepted, rewarded and adored.

Never forget, the job of the Imposter is to overthrow your intuitive dreams. It grows from the belief that if anything resembling your true nature presented itself there would be a debilitating affliction filled with the fear and anguish of abandonment. To avoid addressing problems in such areas as career and romance, the Imposter creates idolized visions about the nature and quality of your life and prevents you from ever confronting the real and very serious problems lurking within. This by-path only creates a desire to look outside of yourself to see both the dilemmas and the answers to questions that only you can truly solve.

Living the life of the Impostor has a rigid unyielding way in which it will cause you to address difficulties. The purpose is never to deliver the goods, but to circumvent the deep seated wounds around abandonment and inferiority. You become blinded to the mayhem you are bringing to your life. The image you create for yourself is quite happily straying through life -- trapped in a limbo, unable to make crucial and positive decisions about the future.

The end result is you reason to the point of paralysis.

How much of the Imposter are you? Here are eight questions that you must answer 'yes' to before you can leave the Imposter behind:

1. Are you willing to experience the fear and anguish of abandonment?
2. Are you willing to affirm your true spirit?
3. Have you stopped feeling insufficient, inadequate and defenseless?
4. Are you willing to let go of anger and dread over submission?
5. Can you see past idealized visions about relationships?
6. Have you stopped looking outside yourself for blame?
7. Have you stopped straying through life?
8. Have you forfeited your fixation or complete immersion with superficiality?

With these eight questions affirmed, there will come a time when you will move with strength and conviction from something to someone.

Opposed to the life you cut out for yourself as the Imposter is the life of the Believer. Inspiring the life of the Imposter are the images of a past; this time the fantasies are bold and adventurous images about the future. Perhaps attainable, possibly not -- either way they feed and fuel the honest intuitions you have about your life. The Believer in you is driven by inspiration to not only perform your promise in the world -- but to do so in ways you may have only imagined.

In writing terms, your personal 'Third Act' occurs when you recognize that within the transition from this false life to a life of authenticity there is the ability to not only take action, but also face the consequences and be accountable. You must become responsible for your future. You must begin to recognize and accept your singularity and manifest these feelings in the real world. You must develop a sense of certainty regarding yourself -- knowing that the freedom of such knowledge will allow you to embrace solitude and not feel forsaken. You must acknowledge that this creates a sense of authority about your own life -- that your life is just and right. The reward is the opportunity to embrace imagination and creativity.

So, how do you stack up in the area of authenticity? Here are the nine demands you must put upon yourself:

1. You must have the power to handle and navigate problems.
2. You must always have the ability to recognize the uncommon, singular and special within.
3. You must believe in the ability to overcome.
4. You must never fall victim to self-pity.
5. You must be capable of taking actions and facing the consequences.
6. You must have a positive sense of who you are.
7. You must honor and embrace solitude.
8. You must experience ownership -- you must have authority over your life.
9. You must never forget how the pieces fit into the puzzle -- the big picture is an integral part of your life.

There is a very distinct path between ill-conceived hope and the inspired essence of making your dreams come true. The transition into this 'real' world is a trial and error process. And, it is precisely this trial and error process from which your rightful internal strength is gained. Through a specific, forceful and protracted deployment of small risks taken in expressing your true spirit, confidence will begin to reveal itself.

With this confidence will come the ability to manage the anxiety related to such a dramatic, internalized and emotional growth that this transition offers. Always remember, seeing yourself and your dreams coming true is both awe-inspiring and more than a little unsettling. Yet ultimately, the task is your responsibility. You alone are the guardian of your intuitive nature.

It is my belief that the road to developing into the 'Believer' may be attributed to something I call, 'The Six Thriving Principles,' -- six specific personal characteristics.

Do you believe that you have the ability to thrive in the face of resistance? Can you see yourself possessing the following attributes?

1. VISION -- Do you see the forest through the trees?
2. WILL -- Do you have the fortitude to face your own resistance?
3. METTLE -- Have you developed a sense of courage?
4. CULPABILITY -- Do you see success as a guilty pleasure?
5. CREATIVITY -- Are you spontaneous enough to create 'the Good Accident'?
6. CADENCE -- Are you aware of the rhythms of success?

Finally, the confrontation you have about the transformation within the emergence of self and the encounter with the worlds of the Imposter and the Believer are something you must learn to live with. The bottom line is the self as success must embrace a doctrine of 'no guarantees.' Without guarantees of anything, without established doctrines to follow, you can -- along with running the risk of feeling your most anxious -- be your most creative. Without question, these high-pressured stakes of creativity push your evolution into being highly communicative. The doctrine of 'no guarantees' will create an intense creative state that sets the groundwork for a constant need for creativity and invention that will not be based on external rewards solely.

Copyright @ 2002 KeyLight Company

Meet the Author: Howard Gluss