I am Not What I Do – and Neither Are You

My Executive Coach encouraged me to read Terrence Real’s, I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression. The post that follows is indebted to this book. 

There is desire inside me that craves being fed. Reading the latest book satisfies it. Writing a blog post does as well. Exercising is another way to earn a check mark. 

Such is the reality of performance-based esteem. 

Ever relentlessly check your email? 

Ever fail to officially stop working? 

Do you rationalize that this is what you have to do? As if what you do is not replaceable? Take it from me. You are replaceable. I know I am. Hoffer Plastics had one of its best months ever the month that I was in the hospital for a week and gone for two more. This realization is not depleting. It is actually freeing. 

I do not have to hide. I am not what I do. Neither are you. 

The things that we do to conceal the inner-self, the addictive defenses, are often shields. But what are they shielding? 

All the “to-dos” that I do, especially the good ones, what are they hiding? 

Perhaps, nothing? 

Perhaps, everything? 


Why is it that when I hide my true self I am tempted to show grandiosity externally, and yet feel shame inwardly? What am I hiding? 

My inner-self wants to hit delete rather than “post” this right now. It feels like the plank is coming to its end and it is time to jump. But, where does the jump lead? Does it lead to the deep end? Is the deep end safe? Or, is the preoccupation with being safe the problem? 

What is the point of all this anyway? 

Why do I care so much about what others think? Acceptance, and popularity, actually never satisfy. 

So, I will ask again, what is the point of all this anyway? 

My self-critic just said that is what you all, the readers, are probably wondering, “what is the point?”

Am I the only one that has a self-critic inside my head? I doubt it! 

I was not depressed when I started reading this book, but it uncovered something. Maybe this post is doing the same for you. 

If so I am sorry. 

Ok, maybe I am not sorry. 

I have discovered that much of my doing is nothing more than a vain attempt to placate the noise of my self-critic. The reality is that I am self-critical and at times shameful. I am more aware of my inner-dialogue now. Some say this is enlightenment. 


It feels like there is a lot more discovery that needs to happen for that word to be used. Maybe that is the self-critic winning again. But, this is a start. 

As I peak inside, there is also pain from the past. Some of it brought on by my own decision making, some brought on by others. 

Lord Jesus, help me forgive both myself and others. 

Help me be restored. 

Help me find peace in you. 

Help me realize this peace comes from “being” with you, and not “doing.” 

Help me stop. 

A final note. 

Wherever you are …….. stop. 

Ask yourself where you are on the continuum of shame and grandiosity. 

What are you hiding? 


If not, just be. 

If so, what is it? 

Next week we can go back to focusing externally, but for now, have the courage to look inwardly. 

I feel the discomfort too. 

Let your emotions out. Get help if you need it. Discover you, the authentic you. 

The point in doing so is not to end there, or even to be fixated there. But rather to be begin living outwardly, focusing on others. 

It is brokenness to wholeness to otherness. 

It is the start of healing. 

It is the process of self-leadership.