Carl Rogers is a chap I can relate to. His amazing forward thinking mindset led to the creation of UPR – Unconditional Positive Regard, a skill that Counsellors use in their approach towards working humanistically through the use of talking therapies.
In 1961, in his book “On Becoming A Person”, Carl Rogers wrote the following…
“…concern about the person and his becoming, in a modern world which appears intent upon ignoring or diminishing him”.
Now that strikes me as incredibly progressive thinking for someone from 1961! It sounds like it was written yesterday!
In my article “Mental Health is a Social Construct”, I explored the ways in which society at large determines what constitutes good mental health and what is expected of us in terms of material wealth, presentation and attitudes. Expectations derived from a societal construct that does not feel or empathise with our lives or our emotions. A cold, unfeeling dominant master that we empower to control and manipulate almost all aspects of our lives.
To quote one of my favourite bands, KMFDM, “we’re addicted to the things we hate”.
Hate – strong word, I try not to use it myself, but in the context, you see what I’m driving towards!
Overall, I have the impression that it’s becoming harder and harder to “become a person” in modern day society. Whereas in the past, Businesses would seek to employ a person for life, now it is advised to seek regular changes in the workplace in order to diversify our experience. So employee loyalty is at an all time record low in the world. The needs and demands of our society determine that we lower standards for ourselves in order to meet new criteria… criteria which, when you chase it back to the root, is actually NOT what we want!
I’ve heard many people talk about the instability of the workplace. A replacement for the security of a position within the company. And that’s just work!
What about our communities? Are these diminishing or evolving? It largely depends on who and what you saw as being your community, and what value you used to or now take from being a member of it.
It’s all in flux! Changes happening faster than they ever have in human history. The bi-product of our information age. Has “information” become more important than emotion? So I challenge the notion that finding yourself is something organic these days. It takes more courage, more work, more devotion, more drive and more ambition than ever to make it in the Wedding Industry. Whilst there’s more diverse work and exciting opportunity, there’s also more competition and less attention.
So at any point in your life you may decide that you need to work on “you”. You’ve decided to become someone else – perhaps that someone else is a Wedding Supplier! You begin to grow and develop as a person. You learn new skills, you discover hidden strengths, you adapt and you change. This is great!
At the same time, you may experience new emotions, new challenges. Your life experience is changed by events beyond your control. It begins to take its toll on you as your ideal self becomes further detached from your actual self. Honestly, I believe this is part of life’s experience and is as natural a progression as growing old.
Just like a car needs a service, we too need to recollect our thoughts from time to time, to check in with ourselves as we become that new person. To make sure parts aren’t worn and in danger of breaking, particularly when it comes to mental health. Change is difficult and puts great strains on just about every aspect of our being. This may even happen several times throughout our lives as the goal posts shift and the unexpected, or expected, happens and changes the rules.
So let me ask you directly. Are you 100% comfortable with who you are today?
Did you answer yes? Or did you answer no?
I’d imagine that you probably conjured up a mental description or justification for your answer as your brain quickly tried to establish what is fact from what is fiction.
What do you think would be the average result if I were to ask a sample of one thousand people?
Would you be in the mean, median or mode? Does it even matter?
Not really! Because your unique determination of what constitutes being comfortable with yourself will be wholly different from someone else’s. That is the true beauty behind understanding what it means to become a person. We are all unique and that is good.
And thus it is, becoming a person is a lifelong endeavour, a story untold and not yet written. You may become a hundred people, a thousand people, in your lifetime, as you seek your next ideal self. A constant process of learning, growing, changing and reflecting. The core value being realised at the reflecting stage. No change is worth it unless it is valued against what has come before. Is it better? Is it worse? Change, grow, repeat.
Always remember that whilst the challenges that come with change are certainly out there, the concern for the person that you wish to be is also out there! Take the time to explore who you are, and who you wish to be, how you are and how you wish to be. Be comfortable with where you’re at, kind enough to acknowledge what you have already achieved, and excited at the prospect of who you might become. If you need to talk to a trained mental health professional, be mindful of the fact that they may practice Carl Rogers UPR and meet you where you are at today. Not judge you for who you’ve been, or who you wish to become. Be mindful of your present self and find the help and support that recognises this strength and understanding already present in you!
Becoming a person is not a goal so much as it is a state of being.
Find out more about our philanthropic work with Wedding Industry Mental Health, get support or become an advocate here:
and let’s build a stronger Wedding Industry together!