We tend to underestimate the importance of our identity and worth.

It seems to be a universal human experience this idea that we do not know why we are here nor how important and vital our individual existence actually is. This mystery; who am I and what is my worth may have more influence on our daily life than we realize.

Think about it, would you really need affirmations and validations from friends and family if you knew the authentic answers to those 2- critical questions?

How much easier would it be to fly right by misinformation about yourself if you actually knew the absolute, the buck stops here truth.  Answers like those are like code and software in a guided missile. If that sense were present and accessible, your sense of worth would expand with each moment that you embraced and expressed your genuine purpose. But alas this sense seems to elude us and like a radio that can’t seem to find a station all we get is static. This leads us to search for our source code which brings us to another critical question; where do we look to find our true north? Is the location of our identity and worth source code external or internal?

External Locus of Control

While cultures vary on direction regarding source code location, North America is almost exclusively external. External source code believers support the notion that the authority on their identity and worth is strictly located with some authority in the external universe. This means that they place the responsibility for defining their identity and worth in the hands of authority figures, (parents, teachers, preachers peers, coaches, etc..),  in the external universe. These authority figures are viewed by you as being experts on the truth about who you are and what you are worth.

It’s like arriving in a new town after a long flight. As you walk through the airport carrying your identity and worth suitcases you look for someone who might take care of them and carry them for you. This makes sense to you because they seem quite heavy and your not sure what to do with them so maybe, you think, someone else will know. You must find someone qualified you think to yourself, someone who knows what they are talking about. The one thing you do know is that whoever you end up giving your suitcases to will become enormously important to you.

This is external locus of control; assigning an authority to do the work of defining your identity and your worth.

Once you find that qualified expert all you will have to do is believe what they tell you and believe it like it is the gospel truth. While you also realize that you might be beholden to the assurance of your expert that is okay, because when it comes to your identity and worth they are more qualified than you anyway, right??

The appeal of Social Media

Social media offers you a plethora of possible experts with whom you might locate your suitcases. Of course once they have them it will be important for you to constantly check in with them as your identity and worth information is constantly being edited and reformatted. It’s best to keep your phone under your pillow at night not only because you don’t want to miss anything but more important what if something, like, happened to your suitcases. Yikes!! let’s not even go there.

The message here of course is that if social media becomes the location where you choose to get your information for defining your identity and worth then for you social media is not just about social connection. It’s about something far greater, including how you define your very existence here in this life. Hopefully this might lead you to question the idea of leaving your suitcases with the expert or experts, of your choice of course, on social media.

Internal Locus of Control

Internal locus of control asserts that the true authority surrounding the definition of your identity and worth is located within you. This deep inner self sometimes called the authentic self or the divine intention of you has all the information you could ever need regarding who you are, why you’re here, and what you are worth. Clues to that truth are woven into your instincts, your values, and that inner character who whispers words of wisdom and authenticity in hopes that you will begin to believe in yourself.

It’s like arriving in a new town after a long flight. As you walk through the airport carrying your identity and worth suitcases you decide deliberately that you will not allow anyone to carry your suitcases, they do after all have your name on them. Although the cases are heavy you are looking forward to figuring out what the weight is all about. Your uncle once told you that it was called the weight of your existence. It’s a good weight he’d said it keeps your feet on the ground. Sometimes you even get excited about unpacking the suitcase and sorting through the contents. Moments ago someone came up to you and offered to help you carry your suitcases. You declined of course thinking to yourself why would anyone give their suitcases away, as if someone else could figure out the importance of things that only you had eyes to recognize. Who would be crazy enough to do that?

So this brings us to that final question;

Do you know where your suitcases are??


Author: Larry Marshall, LPC

sex addiction therapist