Who are you?

Movies fascinate me. The way the stories are braided; they serve as an excellent escape route from the mundane and routine. Sure, there are some movies that sorely lack a story line. Nevertheless, movies have the potential to transport one to La La Land.

My favorite scenes are those dream like sequences wherein the actor thinks big. Everything is large and on a grand scale. In that dream, I can don the role of the hero and live my fantasy. Sometimes, I however, get captivated by the actor who plays the role of a sad victim, for whom life has been most unfair and unjust. Here, I often tell myself that I am that poor soul, that victim that lost out in the game of life and is down. Wallowing in pity can quickly become a favorite time pass and make time disappear!

This made me think – why am I never the villain? The bad person who is always in an attacking mood, up to no good and generally taken for someone who is heartless and has no soul. The bad ones seem to lack nothing. They have access to the best of things. Their happiness is derived by pulling others down, putting someone out of the scene and/or playing a game wherein they get to call the shots…There is only venom. No repentance.

The answer lies somewhere in always wanting to be the star attraction and that can be only by donning the role of a hero or a victim. Maybe it has also to do with an inherent human need to make peace, seek solutions and find answers. A villain on the other hand, is always up to a fight! And we all know, don’t we, that being in the fight mode all the time can be very debilitating to growth.

Let’s take a step back and reflect on the role that you play, whether at work or at home.

Who are you?

When your manager gives you a new project that you struggle finding your bearings on, who are you? Do you become the actor who rises to the occasion or are you that helpless colleague who does not know how to find his/her way around?

We play these roles day in and out in almost every situation at work and even carry them with us when we retire in our personal robes. Actors 24×7 – that is what most of us are. Because it is very easy to put on a façade and hide our true selves behind the charade, lest we bare our vulnerable souls and get hurt.

In this game of hide-and-seek that we play with ourselves, we lose touch with our own core and before we even realise, time has gone by, with us living a life of hero-victim in a vicious cycle. Always wanting to rescue someone or waiting to be rescued…

The answer to growth lies within

Long before Covid hit us and masks became common, man was ingenious enough to learn to live behind a mask of his/her own making. Remember those times when you have wondered what lay behind that ‘always cherubic smiling’ face of a colleague? Or wondered why your manager is always grumpy…what are those feelings and emotions that really simmer at the bottom of it all?

What would happen if we touched base with those feelings? Our fears would be out in the open! No one wants to be in this situation. We would rather be an imposter to our own selves and in front of others because it gives us a protective layer that saves us from hurt, grief, feeling let down, and any other emotion associated with it.

However, growth only happens through learning. And learning happens when we keep the door open to allow new experiences seep in.

Each new step into the unknown will be fraught with risks and danger. When you embrace the newness of life and learn new things, you gift yourself the ability to grow and manage your life better.


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

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