Originally posted on Facebook HERE
What if we gave up all the ideas about who we thought we were for just a moment and really explored the possibilities we have going forward? Everyone has a self concept. “I am (insert everything you are here – your job, your relationships, what you own, drive, where you live, how you vote, religious beliefs and anything else you can think of)”… and once we get set in our mind exactly what it is we think we are, we have our identity. I might say to myself, “I’m 63 years old, I’m a financial advisor, I’m a bass player, I’m a vegetarian, I drive a Nissan Rogue, I live in Wisconsin, I’m married, I’m a husband, a stepfather, a grandfather, I make this much money, I’m worth this much net worth”, etc, etc, etc… Sometimes we have dreams that would alter our identities if we started to really consider them. It can be changing jobs, moving, beginning or ending a relationship, a new hobby, starting a new business, writing a book, starting a band – and if we really went through with them they might require altering our self concept. And our identities usually do not like to be called into question at all. So, let’s say inside me I have a burning desire to learn to play drums better, and all I really want to to is become a drummer and play in a band from now on. For a living. In Florida, too, because I don’t like the cold weather. Am I really going to consider it? I could sell everything I own, quit my job, move to Florida, and change my whole self image just like that. That particular dream might also alter a few other things as well – like whether I still stay a “husband” or not… (because this scenario might also change my relationship status). So, what happens is we sometimes have unfulfilled dreams, because it’s much easier to stick with what we know and believe about ourselves that stretching the boundaries – really stretching them, considering all options available to us… becomes not an option at all. Therefore, we don’t really put a lot of effort into things that challenge our identity, and in so doing we severely limit our growth. Our lives will be what we believe they will be. If we really want to learn to paint, or if we’re already good at painting, let’s say, and we would love to be a full time artist – instead of looking for ways to make that happen, we shoot it down before ever really giving the idea a chance at all. It’s much easier to just paint for yourself here and there and think about what could be than to actually step way outside that comfort zone into a new identity. So many limits are self imposed. Don’t let your concept of who you are today stop you from making a change to create a new identity tomorrow. We can change everything anytime if we believe it for ourselves and have the inner drive to make it so.