I have been the new kid a lot in my life. In my earlier years we moved around a lot, so it wasn't until around high school that I was able to stay put long enough to develop relationships.
While there are drawbacks to always being the new kid, I feel that through these experiences I was able to stretch myself as a human. I was able to, unknowingly, develop the super power that allows me to quickly get to know people and bond.
What is my definition of Self?
To me "Self" is all of the different facets of individuals that Freud defines as the Id, Ego, and Superego. But to add to that, I would say that Self is all of the undeniable things that make us who we are.
On the flip side, I feel there are two sides to self though. There is the one side where you naturally reside. In other words, there are characteristics that one cannot change if they tried and no matter how much you try this you always resurfaces.
The second side is the one that can adapt to any situation. This is the chameleon side of you that can change your appearance, personality, what you find funny, etc to fit the group of people that you are surrounding yourself with.
The evolution of Self
Everyone has experienced a shift in themselves that seems monumental at scale. You look back at things that you were into as a kid, and now thanks to technology at its present state, we can see the evolution into the person we are today.
If you take a second to think about it, you can see where the chameleon side of you did somethings that you aren't excited about today. You probably are saying something to effect of "why did I dye my hair black and have an all black matching wardrobe?" Not to pick on the Goth phase, I had a phase where I only wore Polo shirts and khaki pants-- apparently my Jr. High self was foreshadowing to how I feel comfortable dressing today, like an old man. The only thing I was missing is an attache case.
In that same breath, you can take a look back on the things that have undeniable remained the same. There are parts of our personalities and character that throughout time, that still reflect who we are today. Like Lady GaGa says, you were literally born this way. Through experiences in life you have shaped and developed this part of yourself, but the root you remains the same.
Square peg in a round hole
While the two sides of Self are separate, there can be a shift of power in which the chameleon tries to take over the mothership and attempts to transform the immovable Self. I believe that when this happens your mental ecosystem becomes toxic.
The part of you that feeds on change and drives on acceptance from others is now engaged in a power struggle for your attention and you begin to do things uncharacteristically of what you feel to be right. There may even be a sense of outer body vision that takes place, because you are not jiving well with your true Self.
It is in these moments I feel that you begin to feel different about your own energy. There is something nagging at you, but your clouded judgement will not let you course correct. If gone unchecked, people will lose sight of who they are which can lead to a host of problems driven by the desire to fill a void.
Everyone has Spidey senses. The mind and body connection is the smartest machine on earth, and its intuitive nature allows us to know when the vibrations are off in an atmosphere.
The problem is not everyone chooses to follow this intuition.
We can feel when the chameleon is taking over, but do not have the resilience to stand up for our permanent Self. There are a few reasons for this one being we don't truly trust ourselves most of the time. We often seek external validation which we use fragments of other peoples thoughts to shape who we are, instead of going with our gut feelings.
I would assume that everyone has seen the movie Mean Girls. This is a perfect example of a 360 degree turn around. Once Cady realizes that she is so far removed from her core, she begins to self correct to vibrating at her natural frequency.
A point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.
If we get to the point that the chameleon has hardwired the permanent Self, you will often find that it is a non-transferable change. If you decide that one area of your life, say co-worker or classmate acceptance, means more to you then other areas of your life may begin to suffer.
There has to be a choice made in order to maintain balance.
You have to:
Understand who you are
Define your core values
Stick to the script
Continuously assess yourself
There are a lot of people who we deem impactful or successful that have a part in influencing who we are. The problem only comes when we lose sight of who we are based on the desire of what others have.