How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The ChangingMinds Blog!
We all have a fundamental need for a sense of identity and tend to go through stages where we question and reformulate who we are.
A friend recently asked me to help her get back on track after she had lost her way and had been stumbling about in the dark, not knowing who she really is.
That happens, doesn't it? You receive sudden news that shakes you to the core. Or your life turns a corner you knew was coming, and suddenly you no longer know where you are. And sometimes it's a long, slow slide until you wake up one day and look in the mirror and don't recognize the person staring back.
It can be a thunderous shock, but it doesn't have to stay that way. Rather than seeing only a negative side, you can take the opportunity to make new choices that redirect and reinvigorate. You can be happy being who you are, no matter the circumstances -- and the good news is that there are many ways you can do this.
One approach, that worked for my friend, was to use 'you are...' and 'I am...' statements to uncover the fundamental beliefs she held about people in general and herself in particular. In this, she found that she had come to believe other people to be basically right and herself to be somehow bad, and to blame for most ills. After some reframing and revising of beliefs she found 'I am...' statements that made more sense and was soon talking about ways to make them happen.
You can stop and take stock at any time -- you don't have to wait for a crisis. And you can, if you do choose, make a new start to be the person you want to be.
i am really leading a very dull life. i feel that every one and evry thing is
against me, all circumstances are HORRIBLE, Even my personal life, I love some
one who only respects me, Could any one offer me help?
First, everybody is not against you -- mostly other people don't notice us
and think about us as much as we believe -- in fact they are more likely to be
worried about what we think about them!!
I found this a very interesting page. I used to have a very clear sense of
identity which I lost once I began puberty and have never fully recovered it.
Instead, I seem to have many 'faces' none of which work into a cohesive whole. I
don't feel I have a very sure sense of identity at all. The problem with stating
"I am" is that I recognise "I am" many things, but only sometimes. They don't
define me. I wonder what other people do to find themselves, or find an
identity/identities with which they are comfortable?
Hello Tasha. We always do have a sense of identity though, as you say, it can be fragmented and unclear. It is normal to have multiple selves -- I am a different person in some ways when I am at work, with old friends and at home.
One of the enduring questions to ask is 'Who am I'. The trick is to do this with curiosity and openness rather than any fear. It can be a lifetime's fascinating exploration as you discover more and different facets of yourself. I'm not young and am comfortable in my own skin, but still find internal journeys very helpful.
I too have been having problems to define who i really am. I feel so
lost, having lost a friend and a partner at the same time and starting to
re-build my life again. I feel totally silly when i copy others all the time
(automatically) it seems to give me a sense of self. Do you think i am mad? I
question myself this. It is nice to know that at least i am not the only one
going through this!
hello reader, i feel v fortunate in that i found my real "self" on a beach in
scarborough. north yorks. england,2005. whilst in a treatment centre for alcohol
addiction. believe me or not, but i was a thousand different people to a
thousand different people. wearing many different masks. which was simply
exausting. i used to say i had more personalities than a mini-bus full of
schitzophrenics...haha. i was always acting like this or like that...the point
being i was just acting, mostly in ways i thought people expected me to be. i
had very low self esteem due to being so afraid of rejection coz i didnt think
people would like the real me.(who ever that was) as i didnt like me (the person
i believed i was) up til that time i was put thru a 12 step programme which is
simply a pathway to find self acceptance. im not perfect never will be, & thats
ok, i dont have the looks of brad pitt, & thats ok,..i make mistakes..& yes,
thats ok..im just me & that is deffinately ok..im human.
-- colin w