Our identity is nothing but a story that we tell ourselves about who we are. Sometimes it is easy to forget that we play a big part in creating that story and it can become something that traps us.
The cloth from which we weave our identity is woven from a number of different strands. The culture that we are born into moulds us more than we would perhaps like to think. Every culture contains codes that tell us who we are and what we can do as a result. They are only codes, but we operate within them as though they are facts with no other alternatives available to us.
Our identity is also formed by how other people view us. If you asked all your friends and family to describe you, they are likely to have many different views of you. If you asked a lover and an ex lover what they thought of you, they would both have very different opinions when in fact neither is ‘true’. Not only do people cast us in roles in their life and project different attributes onto us (friend, lover, foe, funny, generous, uptight and so on), they can be very loath to let these views go. You might have a childhood friend who relates to you as if you were still seven years old!
Alongside these factors, science has shown us that each thought we have sparks up a neural pathway in our brain. The more often we have the thought, the more pathways become motorways that our thoughts speed down to familiar destinations. As a result, the more we think something, the more we make it difficult for ourselves to think in any other way. It becomes easy to forget that we created that neural pathway in the first place and we have the power to set up a different one!
The reality is that we are creating ourselves every minute of the day. If you aren’t sure that this could be true, remember how much your identity has already changed since you were born at many stages in your life. When you know that your identity can change and that you can change it, it no longer becomes something that is set in stone and can trap you.
In addition, the very cells that make up your brain regenerate each day. For a long time it was thought that brain cells die and are not replaced. Research from Princeton University has indicated that this long held view is not true, and that our bodies do indeed replace brain cells. That means that every single part of you is already constantly changing.
You literally have the ability and the power to recreate yourself anew.
We are free to be whoever we want to be and the more we allow ourselves to become who we want to be, the more our spirit evolves.
So how do you see yourself? Look at the positive and the negative, are you seeing yourself clearly? Try imagining yourself as the person you would most like to be. How far away is that from the you that you see yourself being today?
Also avoid casting other people in your life in roles they can’t get out of or seeing them as having static personality traits – good, bad, generous, tight – as this can stop you moving forward and evolving the relationship.
Ultimately we have the freedom to transform from our own self imposed bonds. When we do, we release our creativity and potential and step into a new zone of energy and power. When we know that we are constantly changing each moment and can choose who we want to be, then we are free to choose an identity that empower us. We don’t need to believe other people’s perceptions of us. We are magicians and have a choice about who we are and who we become.
Read more about the Princeton Study
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