I have lots of thoughts about who I am and like other humans, I am not always aware of how these thoughts enhance or limit my life.
For instance, identifying myself as “a person who loves to take a morning walk by the lake”, is a thought that works well for me. It aligns beautifully with what I want for my life. Not only does my morning ritual help me get some fresh air and exercise, but it allows me time to clear my mind and set my intentions each day.
Some other thoughts I have about myself have also worked well for me.
For example: “I am a person who never gives up” and “I am a person of integrity” are thoughts that have helped me be successful in both my business and personal life.
However, there are other identities that I have carried around for as long as I can remember that haven’t worked well for me.
For instance, for much of my life, I thought health-conscious people seemed too controlled and uptight about their diet and exercise to have fun.
I used to say, “I am someone who enjoys food too much to monitor what I eat.” Then, this became, “I am someone who can’t lose weight.”
I would say this like it was a fact I was reporting on the evening news. I believed it. I even collected “evidence” to support this “fact” that solidified it in my brain.
Then, when I finally decided to do something about the weight I had gained over the years, I had to really come to terms with this identity I had created for myself.
It was difficult at first because I believed it so strongly that I had to really challenge old patterns to move forward. I eventually embraced a new identity: “I am a person who is fun AND has the self-control to lose weight.”
Most of us consider the way we describe ourselves (a.k.a. our identity) as a permanent part of our personality. Often, we have heard others describe us in some way as children and these labels just came along with us into adulthood, unchallenged.
This time of year, I cringe when I hear someone say, “I don’t bother setting goals for the new year because I never follow through with them anyway.”
Seriously, I hear people say this as if something inherent inside of them is preventing them from setting goals and accomplishing them. It’s as if they have no choice in the matter.
And if these folks actually do end up making some new goals, it’s no surprise that they rarely get past the first few weeks of January because their thoughts create their results.
So, I’m wondering, how do you talk about yourself?
What parts of the identity you’ve adopted for yourself is working, and what is getting in the way?
Did you know that you could let go of a thought and choose a new one that better aligns with what you want for your life?
You don’t have to work around a fixed personality trait or be limited due to a perceived flaw.
Isn’t that awesome?
You get to decide.