Looking for quotation re internal self image matching public persona

This is a plea for help with homework: I’m writing a paper based around this half-remembered idea, and I have no idea to whom it should be attributed.

It goes something like this: the main conflict in everyone’s life comes when we try to reconcile who we are with who we wish to be. We all struggle to measure up to the self-image we hold. I think this might be by a psychologist. Or possibly James Thurber. Or possibly I’m thinking of James Thurber because this idea makes me think of Walter Mitty.

Any clue is appreciated.

Well here’s sort of a similar quote:

“The adventurer is within us, and he contests for our favor with the social man we are oblidged to be. These two sorts of life are incompatibles; one we hanker after, the other we are oblidged to.” - William Bolitho

I was able to find 4 Thurber quotes in my quote dictionary but none of them were close to your explanation. The one above I found under the heading “Conflict.” Also there was no heading for “Self Image” and no close entries under “Self.”

Hope that helped?

The Bolitho quote doesn’t ring a bell, but maybe I can use it. Yeah, I’m having a horrible time searching because I can only remember the idea, not how it was stated, much less where I read it. I’m not positive that any of the words I’ve used in my paraphrase where in the original!

Thank you.

Thoreau’s quote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation” might work. What the hell, I usually start with something I like and then try to fit it in to what I’m supposed to be writing about. Sort of ass-backwards, but it keeps me going.