Who are you?
Most people will answer this question by describing what they do, the roles they play, their job title, their nationality, or their gender. For example, I’m a man, husband, American, entrepreneur, and a Certified High Performance Coach.
We are these things and so much more. Since all of the meaning and understanding we place on these concepts lives inside our heads, then it could be said that our identity is really just an idea that we keep creating and living into each day.
The cool thing about this subjective state of self-conceptualization is that we can change and upgrade that internal idea or mental construct of who we think we are and what we want to be in life. We can decide the qualities, skills, and characteristics with which we will identify and align our actions going forward.
Some folks think they just are the way they are and that’s just the way it’s gonna be until they die. Unfortunate and limiting belief? Definitely. Excuse for not changing and growing? Possibly.
Regardless of who you think you were in the past, what you become in the future is largely up to you. This begins with an idea and is supported with your imagination. Then, you must decide to commit to bring your new self-image into reality with new routines and habits.
If you’re the scientific type, then you might like to know about something called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is our brain’s ability to continue to grow and change, creating new neuro-pathways based on how we think and feel in each moment of each day.
What this means is that if we accept self-change as a possibility and allow ourselves to be exposed to new information and ways of thinking, speaking, and acting, then our brain will begin to rewire and change physically and chemically. We become a new and different person!
I remember the day I decided to pursue a college education. I was shoveling sopping wet compost in the cold rain on an organic farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. One of my co-workers was talking about how she was going back to college, “for, like, the 3rd time.” Before that moment in time, I’d never thought of myself as someone who would seek out a higher education. I had a bundle of stories and limiting beliefs about myself that included thinking of myself as someone who didn’t enjoy and wasn’t good at school.
There was some magic in that moment. My discomfort and dissatisfaction at work combined with hearing this person talk about going back to school caused something to shift. I thought, “If she can do that, then so can I!”
So what changed? In one moment I was a guy who didn’t like school, and in the next moment I was someone who decided that I was ready to seek an education. In both instances, my external reality reflected my inner beliefs. I went from being someone who barely graduated high school to someone who earned a full scholarship to university and graduated with honors. This happened because I decided to change my beliefs about myself.
Now, think about your life:
Have you ever suddenly changed your mind about who you were or what was possible for you?
Is there some part of your life that has remained the same for a long time that you would like to now change?