Sammy Davis, Jr. wrote and belted out a signature song, “I Gotta Be Me!” He sang:
I want to live, not merely surviveAnd I won't give up this dreamOf life that keeps me aliveI gotta be me, I gotta be meThe dream that I see makes me what I am
That far away prize, a world of successIs waiting for me if I heed the callI won't settle down, won't settle for lessAs long as there's a chance that I can have it all
I'll go it alone, that's how it must beI can't be right for somebody elseIf I'm not right for meI gotta be free, I've gotta be freeDaring to try, to do it or dieI've gotta be me!
He certainly did that. He was one of a kind and he made his mark. But to BE me, I have to know who I am. A leader can never lead others well until he or she leads his/her own soul inward and find out who this person is, and how to be true to themselves. Have you ever been in a group of people and suddenly realized you were play-acting, not really yourself? We are often not true to ourselves when we are in groups, and we project an image to the world that we think will work better than who we really are.How about these pretend people? Do you ever masquerade as one of them?High Performer– Perhaps when you were growing up, you got your parents’ approval and recognition by performing well, so you came to believe that being a high performer is the way to be loved. Therefore, you may always go to great lengths of perform well, exceed expectations, and set the standard very high. Falling short of your own expectations is devastating, and causes self-defeat and blame. High performers are also often very critical and judgmental of others.Conformist – If we were loved and encouraged every time we adopted our parents’ desires and fell easily in line, we can easily assume that the way to get along and get ahead is to go along with prevailing opinion. Conformists often get resentful because they have no voice, even though they are the silence.Diplomat –Trying to avoid conflict may turn you into a diplomat, a person who keeps their true feelings to themselves. His main goal is to minimize conflict and keep a congenial atmosphere. That is where he finds value. Diplomats can experience great angst when they can’t still the conflict.Poor Me – The poor me person has been programmed to believe that the only time she is worthy of attention is when she is needy, in trouble, or struggling. Therefore, she presents her troubles to the world every chance she gets. Every new audience is a new opportunity to tell a piece of the drama. People eventually tune her out.Aggressor – This person has learned that intimidating through anger and a and show of superiority is the way to get attention. He feels the distance people maintain from him is evidence of his superior status. Eventually he is avoided.Critic – Some people constantly find fault with others in order as a shield against their own inadequacies. If others look bad enough, maybe their own needs and failures won’t be discovered. It never works. People judge them even more harshly because of their critical nature.Bragger – This puts people off by constantly trumpeting his resume and skills and accomplishments. He always has a better story. He is always one-upping others. Sooner or later people get sick of this and mentally roll their eyes and move away.Do you ever become one of these people? You have to own it, become aware of the times you are performing or pretending in order to have a satisfying life or lead well.