Your impermanent identity

It’s just not who I am.

This is the mantra of countless opportunities missed, conversations not had and terrible commitments made!

I can’t go to the gym, it’s not who I am. I can’t speak on a stage, it’s not who I am. I can’t wear that, it’s not who I am. I can’t approach that client, it’s not who I am. You get the idea.

Often this is said on the premise that it’s not who I am AND I can’t become someone else.

Here are some truths:
• You are not the same person you were last year, or 10 years ago, or even an hour ago; you’ve had new experiences.
• You have neuroplasticity which means you can create new neural connections.
• Science, psychology, and spirituality are converging on the truth that ‘You’ are not who or what you think you are.

One way of considering this is that our identity is nothing more than a constellation of thoughts and ideas that coalesce in a single moment. This merging is then focused into a set of behaviours.

Another powerful way of looking at this is that your ‘identity’ isn’t ‘your’ idea of you but instead what others perceive. Other people’s perceptions are based on your actions not your thoughts of yourself.

If you want to become someone else, like the sort of person who achieves their goals, you need to ask what action you should take and then take that action.

When that level of action becomes what others expect of you, not only can you say you have a new identity, but others will agree.

It was who you are after all.

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