It’s possible you thought you were at one place on a spectrum (patient vs urgent, thoughtful vs shallow, shy vs outgoing), and in reality, you were in a totally different spot on the spectrum.
Take patience, perhaps you always saw yourself as the most patient person around. Then one day, you are struggling to teach someone something and another person around you teaches people who take twice as long to learn sd your students. All of a sudden, your patience seems average.
What does that mental shift do?
It may change your identity. Most of us define ourselves by the areas that we think we are on the far sides of different spectrums on.
If you are highly athletic, average at math, average at science, never read literature. Your identity is most likely athlete.
If you read more literature than anyone, average at math, average at science, never play sports. You might identify as a literary scholar.
As everything moved online and people put their entire selves online (and even fake curations of themselves), many people found themselves in far different parts of the spectrum as their world opened up to everyone instead of a tiny subset they were previously surrounded with. In some cases, identities were even changed based on false, curated personalities that never existed in the first place.
There are two ways this happens:
- Your identity shifts, and you seek out a new identity to understand your new spot in the world along various spectra.
- Your identity holds and you find yourself becoming even more patient (or any other trait that lies on a spectrum) as you realize you can be even more of that trait once you’ve seen someone else be.
At times, you may take path 1, and others path 2. If you understand this, try to use it to better yourself. A new identity can be a great thing if it isn’t a form of hiding, but at the same time improving our strengths is also a great thing.