Continuing from my previous post “M-identity”…
Before I get started: I’m not a doctor, medical professional, health professional or licensed psychiatrist. I don’t suggest or intend to treat or influence anyone as such. I do not recommend or assume responsibility or liability for anything you choose to do because of any of the content of my writing. I’m writing for informational purposes only…purely hypothetically and about my own experiences. “You” is being used in these posts to refer to “a person” hypothetically and not specifically any individual. Please refer to a professional before taking any sort of action. For a more complete disclaimer please see my “About” or “FAQs” sections of my website at CorEnergyShift.com
Why is identity such an important topic to discuss and what role does it play in our day-to-day lives?
To put it simply, the way you see and define yourself (your identity) determines every thought and (more importantly) action you take or neglect on a day-to-day basis. The accumulation of these thoughts and actions (or lack of) create your regular experiences, which will support and give evidence back to you in order to confirm your beliefs. The more your views about yourself are proven (or rather, perceived as being proven) the more solidified they become. Once they’re firmly set in place, you will be unable to reach beyond these limits having cemented yourself into a very particular box. In this box it’s extremely difficult to move forward, it’s very suffocating and there’s always a roof on how successful you’ll allow yourself to be.
So what if I have a healthy identity? Can’t that work to empower rather than confine me?
Yes, positive and optimistic beliefs about ourselves can be absolutely unparalleled when trying to create happiness and achievement in our lives. The trouble is most of us are dealing with extremely old, outdated and improperly programmed ideas about ourselves and life in general, so most of us aren’t dealing with a super healthy perspective to begin with. If we were, we wouldn’t see so many signs of self-abuse, pain and inner-conflict all around us on a daily basis.
It’s not possible to change our pre-programmed, preconceived notions about ourselves is it?
It’s absolutely is! But can be difficult…not because it’s actually hard work, but because it requires a vivid imagination and the motivation to continue practicing until you’re able to progress into the mindset which will serve your needs and desires. As far as I know, there’s no magic pill…trust me, I’ve searched all over the world for it! But with a little bit of originality, imagery and stamina…you can create something that’s much more long-lasting.
Enter…Characterization. In characterization you use your creativity and imagination to dream up and construct the version of you that you’d choose if you were given the option…then you assume those identities, gradually replacing the one’s which no longer serve you.
This is how it works: Phase 1: Creating your Character. Grab a pen and paper or create a new document where you can dream up some ideas. Start listing characteristics, traits, facts, accomplishments, roles, experiences, preferences, etc which you’d LIKE to have as part of you and your reality. Make sure everything you list is set in positive-energy perspective. For example, if you’re single and would prefer to be in a flourishing relationship, you’ll want to avoid phrasing like “I’m no longer single,” but instead use something similar to “I’m feeling confident and independent in a loving, supportive and happy relationship which is continually progressing into new forms of love which I had never before considered.” Clearly that’s just an example, but you’ll want to use as much description as possible so that when you read and study it, you’ll really be able to identify and connect with this new version of yourself.
Once you’ve created your ideal life story, you’re now ready for Phase 2: Naming your Character. With your current programming, you won’t be able to fully accept most of the things you’ve probably written down. I say this to preface what I’m about to suggest: Create a name for your new character. You’ll want this name to be completely different from any name you already currently identify with (no current names or nicknames) and you’ll want to avoid any names with which you may have any kind of negative association.
See, when we’re born and as we grow up, there is really only 1 thing which has (likely) stayed constant for us: our name. Most of us are given a name at birth and carry that name with us through every experience in life (good and bad) until we die. For all of the good moments and positive memories it’s been great to be who we are, but what about the unfavorable and hurtful times? Those occasions are also associated with your name. In fact, many times when we negative self-talk, we’ll even refer to ourselves using our name. We fully identify both the good and the bad of who we are (and what we’ve experienced) with the name we were given at birth. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking or suggesting that you legally change your name. What I’m asking you to do is mentally assume a new identity by giving it a new, positively associated name which will have no negative influence or evidence yet and with which you can create new positive mental connections to. This will aid in surpassing your brain’s “believing” mechanism as it doesn’t currently have associations with this new name and thereby won’t know how to judge whether something is a limitation or possibility yet.
Naming your character leads into Phase 3: Practicing Your New Character Role. Think of this phase as researching and practicing your character role as an actor would. The goal is to become one with your part. The best way to do this is to make sure to review your character description at least once daily (although the more you review it, the more accurate your depiction of the character will be). If you really take this seriously (as an actor would in order to get jobs) you’ll start to think and act in the ways that your character would act…if he or she was real. You have freedom and flexibility in this role because you get to also be the director of the show. In each situation you come across, instead of acting as you have or would in the past ask yourself, “What would <Your Character’s Name> do or how would he/she act in this situation?” Then step into the role of the person you’ve created and DO what they would do!
The more you practice and think about this new character, meditating on and visualizing yourself AS this part…then assuming his or her identity throughout the day…the better you’ll get at it and you’ll quickly see that you’re able to accept and adapt to this role much more easily than if you had set goals in another way. As an actor taking on a role, you have a sense of immunity and opportunity to accepthabits and traits that are normally inconsistent with your learned behaviors. This is the key!