First, be clear about who you really are. Most people have it wrong and it has a great, great cost to them. (See also Who I Really Am main page.)
This is not a bunch of philosophical hoo-ha. This is core, practical knowledge.
In looking at this in perspective, the Pure YOU is capable of creating all the rest, as it is equipped to learn anything learnable and to think. Of course, given that you have the ability to learn, you should learn better how to learn better and learn better how to think more effectively - which are the key core skills you must have if you are to make good decisions and create a happy life. See The Essential, Core Life Skills Without Which There Is Little Personal Power Or Happiness.
REALITY ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND
HOW TO ACHIEVE UNCONDITIONAL HAPPINESS
PURE YOU + ADDITIONS AND OBSTACLES = THE WHOLE OF LIFE
(Complete and whole, (These are not you, but added items
high functioning unit) that can cover up or hinder the real you)
You take on beliefs from various sources, but you can correct, change and remove what doesn't work.
If you concentrate on building the core self such that you have adequate skills to produce what you need, you need not be dependent on getting that from the outside. The outside is only a bonus.
You do not waste energy on the lower payoffs of trying to control the outside non-effectors, such as getting approval.
If you build the core and are not dependent on "out there", you will be able to create:
A GREAT LIFE, COMPLETE SELF ACCEPTANCE/LOVE/COMPASSION/HAPPINESS
THE LAYERS, AND IMPACT:
The "layers" also represent actual degrees of control, diminishing as one goes further away from the core. In other words, since there is greater control closer to the center, one will have a greater effect from exerting control on the center, and a smaller and smaller effect as one goes further from the center. Trying to exert control where there is little actual control is largely ineffective - a poor use of your time and effort, plus it can be frustrating. Spend your control efforts on the core and stop spending your effort for little or poor results.
Efforts in the further out layers bear less and less fruit. Accordingly, foolishness and ineffectiveness in life is the end result for people who seek happiness from other people and other things (those are only bonuses, the icing on the cake, but not the cake). As you concentrate more of your control efforts closer to the center, your power and influence beyond that will increase, as suggested nicely in Stephen Covey's classic The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People. Read and know the key concepts: Control.
FALSE IDENTIFICATION, "USING" A PERSONA
False identification with a created and/or voluntarily-used persona is harmful, as we set about protecting something we think is us, but isn't, so we waste effort and get no good results. Sure, defending it may feel like it benefits us, but we are playing an unwinnable game, for there is nothing to defend, as there is no real threat to us (our core).
Identifying with the young, defended, immature ego causes one to "come from" more of a victim position where the power is "out there". In the victim position/persona, one is not choosing to be responsible for one's life but is hoping someone else will be. Power, of course, is used only when we choose to be responsible, meaning we go into action to try to produce a desired result. (Power = exerted force via an action to get a result. We all have power if we choose it. We don't have magical powers or the ability to never make mistakes, but we can "cause" results out there. See Power.
The signs of adopting the persona of being a child or victim are:
"Feel" (actually, think) you are powerless
"Feel" (actually, think) there is no hope (since you believe you are powerless you therefore believe you cannot do an action to produce a result)
Seeking rescue from others
Others have the power and you are dependent on their actions to rescue you or make you happy
You must have their approval (love, etc.) in order to feel good about yourself
"Feel" (actually, think) we are unworthy, not enough, not good enough
We "compare" and try to be as good as others, in a fruitless unwinnable game
THE CORRECT "PERSONA"
The correct persona, the one that works, is that of being the creator of your life, having the power to create results, though, of course, not perfectly. You must protect yourself from actual physical harm so that you can still function, but need not feel a threat from anything else, for the real you, the core you, is still intact no matter what else occurs in life.
My persona is that "I am the creator." "I am he who has the ability to think and create due to having a brain that is capable of an incredibly high level of thinking that I am the lucky recipient of. I need nothing more, for I can create create happiness no matter what. I am completely free of made-up fears. I am whole and complete."
None of us are inferior. We are 99.9% the same, with variations due to how our lives unfolded and a little serendipity to the good or bad side. We all have the necessary equipment to make life work for us.
Believing otherwise is strictly believing a false belief.
The Dalai Lama: "Right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness." (The higher thinking of the mind is the actual core self, the see-er, the experiencer as an "I", the creator of beliefs and thereby happiness itself.)
See also: Who I Am main page, for a similar discussion, but in greater depth.