What is Your Identity?


"People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates." Thomas Szasz.

Often we hold on to beliefs about ourselves because they have become our identity and what we are known for - an addictive person, a smoker, not a morning person, someone who is always late, etc. The more often we say it or others say it about us, the more we reinforce it. Repetition builds reputation!

"If you say to yourself "it's difficult to get up in the morning", "it's hard to cease smoking", then you are already using hypnotic suggestions on yourself..." Richard Bandler, the co-creator of NLP. That's right! The more you say it, the harder it will be to change.

The good news is, we can change or update our identity just as we created it. To loosely quote Anthony Robbins, "identity is like having a dog, you own it, train it and when you call... it comes".

Often our first response is, "I can't change". Fritz Perls, a noted psychiatrist and psychotherapist, used to respond to clients who said, "I can't ..." by saying, "Don't say I can't, say I won't". It shows the possibility of choice; we have a choice and we are choosing not to do it .

To change, we have to want to change. We need to first examine if we really want to change? On a scale of 1 to 10 what is our motivation to change. If it's a 4 or 5 we need to question why it's not a zero instead. That will give us our reasons to change. Then we need to know how to change and give ourselves time to change.

Often clients say to me,"I will try to change...." And my response is, "either you are doing it or your not". By saying "try" we are not fully committing to change ourselves.

A great story about identity comes to mind.

Once a farmer found an abandoned eagle's nest and in it was an egg, still warm. He took the egg back to his farm and laid it in the nest of one of his hens. The eggs hatched and the baby eagle grew up along with the other chickens. It pecked about the farmyard, scrabbling for grain. It spent its life within the yard and rarel looked up. When it was very old, one day it lifted up its head and saw above a wonderful sight - an eagle soaring high above in the sky. Looking at it, the old creature sighed and said to itself, "If only I'd been born an eagle."

©Charmaine Pandya www.charmainenlp.com