When you think about yourself, you think “I” right? You think of yourself as a singular, whole being. One person. One unit. One entity.
That’s how most of us think about ourselves. In truth, though, each of us is not a single “I” but a whole tribe of archetypes that use the same body to express ourselves. You are not actually you. You are the Tribe of You. There are many of you.
Interesting to think about, isn’t it? You can verify this in your own experience by thinking about a New Year’s resolution. Suppose one of “you” made the resolution to lose weight.
All is well and good until you encounter fresh hot donuts at work. Then another of “you” takes control of your body, smells that fresh donut scent, and without another thought eats one! Whoa! What just happened to your resolution?
Fifteen minutes later, the “you” that made the resolution bubbles to the surface and notices that you’ve eaten a donut. Then the “guilt and shame you” comes in and starts with the guilt trip. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Each “you” in the Tribe of You has a different agenda, and you will act according to many agendas during your day, depending on which “you” has control at the moment.
How can you get a grip on yourself so you can achieve your chosen goals without causing tribal warfare? The first step is to realize that most of the time you are not yourself. Here’s a simple way to clarify this:
1. Choose a goal that one of “you” has set. It should be one that lasts for at least two weeks (and maybe one that you’ve had trouble achieving).
2. Observe your thoughts and actions very carefully during those two weeks. Every time one of “you” has thoughts or proposes actions that are contrary to that goal, say to yourself, “This is not I.”
3. Briefly jot down the situation and thought or action.
4. At the end of two weeks, review your list. Notice how many different versions of “you” there are related to your goal.
You might be surprised how many of you are part of the Tribe of You. Does this shed light on why achieving certain goals is so difficult?