Existential Psychology

Focus On Who You Are And Who You Can Be

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If you see yourself as a static, unchanging entity whose personality and attributes are set what you gain is powerful protection against existential anxiety but what you lose is the chance to become who you really are. If you focus exclusively on the future you gain the chance to grow but you lose the chance to appreciate all you are in the present, the only moment that truly exists for any of us.

The paradox is that each step in the life journey is both a moment of being and a moment of becoming, and if you miss this paradox your existence will be incomplete. Focusing on being fully in the present without paying attention to your future growth is a shadow, while focusing on your growth without being fully in the present is a shadow. You have to do both simultaneously if you want to achieve self-actualization in its fullest sense.

If you simultaneously focus on who you are and who you can be there will be no conflict between your present Self and your future Self. One will organically grow out of the other and you will feel a sense of continuity rather than friction while you are growing and changing. As Carl Rogers said, “When I accept myself exactly as I am, then I can change.”