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The Actor Metaphor. The Confidence of Knowing Who You Are!

Human beings organize their behavior as a function of the milieu they are in or think they are in. Seldom, do we realize that it is the milieu that controls our behavior patterns, not the behavior itself. Our overall demeanor at a bar is different than at work, at home with our children or while giving a speech at a University. The milieu also called the circumstances or situation acts as a very powerful behavior organizer and modifier.

The famous maxim from Socrates is: “Know thyself.” But it should be completed – it is incomplete. Before “Know thyself” another maxim is needed: “Be thyself”; otherwise you may know only some actor that you are pretending to be. Knowing thyself comes second; first is being thyself. Osho

…from our coaching perspective yet another maxim is needed which is that to “be yourself” you must “know thyself” as well as “be thyself”, the two are inseparable and feed each other critically. One (know thyself) begs for testing and verification to feel secure; the other (be thyself) begs for myself to become an engaged witness or passenger inside the physical form I am in so that the being myself becomes seamless and transparent. Also only certain types of people are here to “know themselves”, others are here to “know others” and to “impact others” not “know themselves” per se but through what others mirror back to them get to know themselves better.

The other two master behavior dynamics are:

1- Role-Playing (Who I am to myself and person or group I am communicating with.)

2- Intention(s) of the communication or speech at hand. (What I want to see happen.

Role-playing is by far the most immediately understood dynamic. Depending on the circumstance, we constantly assign roles to each other and ourselves: husband, wife, son, daughter, etc. in the personal realms, boss, employee, partner, etc. in the professional realm, and friend, neighbor, democrat, republican, etc. in other realms.

Depending on the socio-economic, cultural or national background and heritage of an individual, role-playing is usually well defined, highly specific and yet mostly transparent. Role-playing permeates every layer of our personality, interactions, relationships and activities on the following planes: physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual.

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