Some people lacked the opportunity to develop a cohesive core self in their earliest childhood, so when they grow up this question continues to absorb much of their energy. Their parents were likely too intrusive or too neglectful. Whether or not parents meant to do harm, children who receive inadequate parenting assume that they are inadequate children. So, they decide it’s better to take cover, hide their real self, and fake one that pleases the adults on whom they depend.
Depending on the severity of the inadequacies and the degree to which we’ve become separated from our true selves, we may find ourselves faced with the task of developing a solid, real sense of self before we can get on with the next question, What do I want to do with my life?
We need to learn to be more like ourselves.