What Defines You?
WHAT DEFINES YOU?
The thoughts you think
We are what we think ourselves to be. Our stories, ideas and thoughts about ourselves create the image of who and what we imagine ourselves to be. We really are simply made up in our own minds. Subtle waves of thought energy that we repeat over and over give the appearance of solidity and become the physical representation of what we know with our senses. It’s hard to believe that something as etheric as thought could define us and even give shape to our sensory world, and yet it does.
Most of us don’t really know what defines us because we aren’t that aware of the thoughts that we are choosing about ourselves. Rather we live based on a bunch of unconscious assumptions about ourselves that seem random and given to us rather than self-chosen. Most people think that its their interests, professions or roles that define who they are. You might think, well I love to ski, so I am a skier, that’s who I am. You might be a mother or father and take that role to be your identity. Or you might be a coach, therapist or business person of sorts and therefore assume that your profession is who you are. All of these examples are things you do or participate with, but none of them is who you are.
We are so accustomed and conditioned to take our cues from our experiences rather than take our cues from ourselves that we seek to find our identity somewhere out there in our experience. The thing is, that is not where our identity lives. Our identity starts inside our very own mind and it resides solely there. This is great news because it means that at anytime you can shift or change your identity. You are not static or fixed. Simply because you’ve had a repeating thought about yourself for 30, 40 or 50 years doesn’t mean that you have to keep repeating it. The only thing required is that you wake up and realize the thought you are thinking. When we realize our thoughts than we can stop making assumptions about ourselves and living on automatic pilot mode. We can actively choose our thoughts about ourselves and redefine ourselves a hundred times a day if we so choose. This may seem radical or too far fetched and yet it’s entirely possible. The person you currently think you are could be completely changed by this afternoon if you so choose.
RETHINKING OURSELVES INTO BEING
Optimally design yourself
Most of us desire to live a joyful and fulfilling life where we create impact and have a good time along way. This is what I would call epic living. This possibility starts with who or what we think ourselves to be. What happens though is that we often focus on the stuff. We think the stuff of our lives needs to change in order to living epically. So we get a new job, find a new relationship, move locations, start a new branch to our business, begin a new exercise program, and on and on. We go about redefining the stuff, thinking that it will redefine us. Yet most people continue with their current sense of identity never even giving it a second glance.
I am not suggesting that its bad or wrong to change up the stuff of our life. In fact many times when we rethink ourselves into being the stuff will change. However most people only put energy and attention on the stuff and then they wonder why nothing seems to actually change inside of their experience of life despite the appearance of change. They can’t figure out why they don’t seem to be making “progress” towards living a joyful and fulfilling life, or feeling more stability and ease inside of themselves even though so much stuff in their life is changing. This is why. The being doesn’t get addressed. It’s not automatic that the being gets addressed when we change the stuff.
Getting deliberate in your choosing of your identity is key. The first step is unraveling the assumptions you are presently making about yourself. Who do you currently think that you are? Make a list. Flesh it out. See what labels, stories and ideas you have about yourself that define the experiences that you are drawing into your life. What thoughts do you have about what you are or aren’t capable of? Of who you think you are and aren’t? And of what is or isn’t possible for you? The dismantling of the labels that come with certain limitations will make your identity more malleable and flexible.
What if you begin this new year rethinking yourself into being. Consciously deciding who and what you are rather than focusing on what you want to do, create or accomplish. Put at least as much energy and attention on who you be and what you be. Cultivate a very deliberate being that you are. Clearly know what and how you are defining yourself and see how that is working for you. If it is not producing the experience of an epic life that is joyful and fulfilling than focus on redesigning yourself, not your life. Your life will follow suite. May you take on this challenge and see what it is that you create anew.
Dr. Amanda Love