The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “identity” as, “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual”. Your identity is composed of the qualities and characteristics that make you different and unique from everyone else on this planet. When describing your identity you may describe your gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical attributes, profession, personality, or who you are in relationship with others.
Your identity impacts the relationships you have, your finances, your educational and professional decisions, your emotions, how you feel about yourself on an ongoing basis, and your overall success in life. Your identity can empower you and allow you to continue to dream bigger and take big action, or it can limit you and cause you to hold back and shrink. Where your identity is today started when you were very small. It is the result of messages you received about your strengths and weaknesses, your importance to others, your life experiences, the comparisons you make to others, and your contributions to the world. Without examining and managing your identity, it could be working on autopilot in a way that does not serve you well.
For example, if you want to start your own business but don’t view yourself as a leader or as a disciplined individual, you will likely struggle or fail to create a successful business. On the other hand, if you show up each day and act like a CEO (even if you are the only employee of your company), you will take different actions that will move your business forward. If you want to find the love of your life, but don’t think you are enough or worthy, you will likely not attract what you are looking for. On the other hand, if you believe you have a lot to offer someone and are confident in who you are, you will likely find someone who appreciates you, respects you, and loves you for all that you bring to the relationship. Finally, if you want to get into great shape, but you don’t view yourself as someone who is capable of losing weight and becoming fit and toned, you will struggle to take consistent action that will move you towards your goal. Instead, you will show up and behave in a way the counteracts what you say you want.
It is much easier to create the results you want in your life from an identity that supports the thoughts, feelings, and actions you will need to get those results. Just because you may have a current identity that limits you in some way, does not mean you have to accept that identity ongoing. Just because you have certain thoughts about yourself based on the past, does not mean those thoughts need to continue to impact your future. Just because you have been telling yourself stories about what you are not good at, what you are not worthy of, or what people like you can’t have in life, does not mean you should keep telling yourself these stories.
You get to decide how you want to think and feel about yourself and therefore, you get to decide the kind of life you want to live. Your brain will do what you tell it to do. It will work for you instead of against you, if you are intentional with it. Write down your answers to the following questions to examine your current identity, and to create a more empowering identity if needed.
Your brain will do what you tell it to do, and it will also follow what it thinks is most important to you. If you start to focus more on the empowering parts of your current identity, your brain will respond and help you think of more empowering thoughts, feel more empowering feelings, and take more empowering actions. When you start adding in empowering ways of describing yourself that you are not used to (characteristics you see in others or ways you wish you currently felt about yourself), your brain may want to fight you. It may want to tell you that you are lying to yourself and try to highlight all the things that counter these new words and phrases you are using to describe yourself. If this happen, it is normal and it is okay. Instead of saying, “I am ____ (new word or phrase you want to use to describe yourself)”, say, “I am working towards being ______”. In doing this, you are telling your brain the direction you are headed, instead of telling it you are already there. When you make this subtle change, it will stop fighting you and will help get you to where you tell it you are wanting to go.
Your identity is a powerful, driving force in your life. Don’t allow an old, disempowering identity to hold you back or cause you to miss out on what is possible for you in life. Go through the process above every six to twelve months and make sure what you come up with is empowering and helps you think, feel, and act in a way that supports you in creating the life you desire. Once you come up with the words and phrases that empower you, repeat them often and allow your new identity to take hold and positively impact your life.
Live your best boss lady life!
Karen Vincent Solutions
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