Accidental identity anyone?
How often do we think about creating the life we want? Living continues whether we plan it, or not. Life by design is a choice. Either you plan your identity, or it happens and accordingly creates life by default. If life is on default dictates how we define ourselves, and we are less than content-satisfied-peaceful, change is up to us!
According to bloggers at PsychAlive, changing our sense of identity is a mindful choice and easy if we thoughtfully ponder decisions. First, we have to realize that identity is the furthest thing from being fixed. A person can come to be who they want to be by changing their actions in any given moment. So, how can we challenge a prescribed sense of identity…?
Following are a few adapted tips:
Stand Up to Your Critical Inner Voice. One technique for shifting [a] distorted self-concept is [employing] Voice Therapy. Voice Therapy is a method developed… to help people… act against… a negative internal dialogue that criticizes…, undermines…, and limits us in our lives. [Repress the internal voice that conveys,] “You’re so stupid, fat, ugly, lazy, annoying, unsuccessful.” … [When] we respond with a kinder, more compassionate, and realistic point of view… we take actions… from a calmer place of understanding and a belief in our ability.
Cultivate an Inner Companion. The more inquisitive, patient, and open we [are] toward ourselves… the more… we change to become who we seek to be. A friendly attitude… of regard for ourselves the way we treat a good friend. In the same way… we’re curious about their story… we can be curious about ourselves [how we feel]. We’re there to root for and support friends when they face challenges, we can be compassionate and optimistic about ourselves as we seek to achieve our own goals.
Create a Family of Choice. Choose to be around people who have a positive orientation toward themselves and toward us. Our family of origin may be supportive and loving, or critical and destructive. For most of us, it’s a little of both. As children, we didn’t have a choice to separate from negative influences, so we internalized them… to try to make sense of our experiences. As adults, we choose our environment. Spend… time around people who support us… who share meaningful goals… or are supportive of our goals.
Realize You Have Power. At any point, we can change [and] reshape our identity. Realizing our personal power is a liberating process… when we challenge our negative sense of identity. [Please know] our critical inner voice will usually get louder at first… [feeling] uncomfortable and compelled to retreat into an old shell. Continuing to remind ourselves that we are no longer helpless … and can make different choices is… empowering. Ultimately, the new behavior will become the norm, and our inner critic will quiet down.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Meaning. To become our true selves, we have to continually ask ourselves, “Who am I really? What lights me up?” We have to be willing to… question what… reflects who we are and what makes life meaningful to us. What… shapes my choices… and what really matters? Am I interested in this subject? Do I want to be on my own or am I afraid to venture out and fall in love? Is this profession satisfying? Seek our own sense of meaning. Recent studies have shown that seeking meaning, as opposed to happiness, actually leads to deeper, long-term well-being. When we seek [what]… makes us feel the most fulfilled… we have the most to offer the world around us.
“It is not what you are that holds you back… it is what you think you are not!” – Unknown
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