One of the most amazing discoveries that I had this past year were how many of my “key roles” I had outsourced to other people.
Here is how it seems to works.
As a child, we are vulnerable, and look to adults to “show us the way.” The hope is that as we grow older, we internalize all of the “ways” that we are shown, but sometimes, if our adult role models themselves haven’t internalized their own roles we just internalize the externalization of roles, or in other case for whatever reason we simply don’t internalize all of our roles.
I hope that was clear.
So as we grow up, we don’t really internalize the roles ourselves, rather we find other people and outsource the role to them.
I’ll use myself as an example, but honestly, I have found that I outsourced about 4-6 roles, and perhaps there are more that I haven’t found out about yet.
One thing that I mentioned in a previous post was that I had issues trusting myself in certain scenarios. What I realized was this was really about needing outside validation of my decisions. So as a child, I had my father’s validation of things, and then when I was in school, I transferred the validation to my teachers, and then later when I got married I transferred the validation to my wife. Only now that I am living alone, did I realize that I had “outsourced” this key internal source of living to others, and brought it back in house. Of course, I guess I could have transferred it to my therapist, or back to my parents, or perhaps a good friend, but as part of my process, I was lucky enough to see that I had been outsourcing such a key role for all of these years and move back to a place of self-validation.
So the issue with outsourcing these key roles is that we are not living our own lives, rather others are living for us. As we have discussed, only through not being dependent on others and self-living can we actually be our true selves, and be happy in this world, and understanding those roles that we are outsourcing to others is key.
So try to figure out what roles you are outsourcing due to fear, learned helplessness, people taking from you, or simply laziness, and take them back! You’ll be glad you did.