Who am I?
There have been volumes written about this one simple, yet profoundly meaningful question. Have you asked yourself recently, who am I?
Markus Aurelius, as far back as 161 AD understood the value of this question. He said that “your life is what your thoughts make it.” Your thoughts, your concept of self, is your most powerful tool for success. What if I told you, that you have it within your means to become your most authentic you, simply by harnessing the power behind this question? That is just the beginning.
Thoughts and a sense of self are useless without action. A healthy self-concept encourages a positive attitude, an ‘I can do anything’ mantra. Simply put, positive thoughts provide each of us with a solid foundation for a successful life of fulfillment. Our self-concept in turn affects and directs our actions and behaviours.
Are you making the most effective use of your thoughts? Have you become your most powerful self? Well, it can be a bit of a work in progress.
Self-concept is actually made up of a small sampling of events that we choose unconsciously from our vast number of experiences and memories. A healthy sense of self occurs when; your picture of “you” remains the same over time, you are in tune at a subconscious level with your thoughts of “self” and you are connected to your feelings about yourself. It is no surprise that a change in our self-concept can create a shift that is widespread. It can impact a great many areas of life, with positive or negative consequences.
Think of those free and easy days of childhood where your family supported and encouraged your passion for music, or art or dance. You were so happy then! Do you remember how upset you were when the kids in grade school made fun of those same passions? There was a sense of loss. You questioned your “self”! Some of you may have trudged forward, determined to pursue your passion anyway. Or you may have given up your passion under this pressure from the outside. What parts of your “self” have you lost or given away over the years?
Let’s try a quick exercise to test Markus Aurelius’s theory. Make a short list of items or characteristics that you would like to change about your self. For example: I’m shy, I procrastinate, I’m a lousy artist, musician or dancer. Now review the list out loud and ask yourself this question: ‘Is this list something that sounds/feels/acts like me?’
Now, go through the list out loud and in the third person. Instead of using ‘I’ statements, use ‘You’ statements. You are shy, you are a procrastinator, you are a lousy artist, musician or dancer. Did you hear someone else’s voice when you said the statements out loud? Can you determine who the speaker was? Are these criticisms yours or do they belong to to someone else? Are these the characteristics that you want to be known for? Do you want to own them?
The last step of the exercise is to adjust your list and revamp it with new, more positive statements and read them aloud in the first person. I am out-going, I get things done, I enjoy playing the guitar, I like to dance and I love to paint. I think Markus was right! This feels better, more authentic and more motivating.
Just going through this basic exercise can help us start the process of recalibration. We can all use our thoughts and sense of self to re-work our feelings. This selective perception happens every day. We simply have to activate it to work in our favour.
When we change our thoughts and change our self-concept, these adjustments will change how we act and behave and allow us to become the “self” that we want to be in the future. Now ask yourself the next question; ‘Am I who I want to be’?
If you want to learn more about your sense of self and how important it is for manifesting your own success and to live a life of your own design, please call to book a 30 minute phone session with Simone Usselman-Tod, Dynamic Visioning Coach, Certified Life & Business Coach and Certified NLP Master Practitioner. Learn more about Dynamic Visioning.