Out of CharacterAug. 28, 2022
"Did you see what so-and-so said? It was so out of character for them."
Out of character. It's a fascinating phrase when you consider all the possible meanings of the word character.
Character can refer to a person's true nature, their genuine way of being. But it can also refer to the act they've adopted, the behavior or personality they've layered on top of who they are underneath, usually to be perceived a certain way. An ambitious person might wear a folksy veneer to get others to like them. A playful executive might wear a serious facade because they think that's what's expected.
It's useful to put your best foot forward and be aware of how others perceive you.
But sometimes we get so caught up in maintaining the character we think others have of us, that we forget who we truly are, and lose the power of expressing ourselves.
A few questions:
- Who are you, at your core?
- What part of YOU gets suppressed, in order to maintain some character?
- What are the costs of maintaining this character? What energy does it take? What do you give up?
- What part of your character would you like to shed, in order to tap into what's underneath?