October 21, 2014

Who Are You? We all live defined by the interplay of our strengths and our insecurities

photo credit: What I Be Project // Steve Rosenfield

Recently, I ran across the What I Be Project, from photographer Steve Rosenfield.

The project photographs people filling in the blank: "I am not my ________." The subject fills in the blank with their insecurities. And it really got me thinking of how our personalities often manifest as the interplay between our strengths and our insecurities.

Rosenfield encourages everyone to really look at the photos and think. He says:

I encourage every viewer to look at each image and put yourself in the individuals shoes. By allowing yourself to feel what they feel, you might realize something you’ve never noticed before.

I love this sentiment. We're social creatures, and empathy is such an amazing component of that. Considering the insecurities we identify with--and more importantly, those we don't--seems like a fantastic exercise in identifying with the humans around us and the experiences that they live.

We are all locked in a constant struggle against our insecurities. Well, I'm sure some of you aren't--but I'd wager most of you fight it too.

Looking through these photos, taking a moment to step into these shoes, it really buoyed me. We all have these struggles. They may be different, but we still fight them, each of us. It's an amazing shared experience.

And in so many ways, we overcome. How much can we achieve if we unite in our mutual support of this inner struggle? If we all accept that this struggle is part of us and remind each other that we are each strong enough to overcome?

We're stronger together, a shared humanity.

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