I’ve been fascinated by identity for many years, ever since I realised the biggest issues in my own life had been caused by identity, and the biggest positive changes had always come about right after I changed how I saw myself, or how I made others see me.
Both coaching and psychology usually work with your beliefs, your emotions, or your behaviours – why you think what you think, feel what you feel, or do what you do. And I can understand that, because it’s usually the belief, or the emotion, or the behaviour that you want to change. But for me, all of those things are effect, not cause. They all come from something else – and that something is your identity. Which makes the big issue: why you are who you are.
Identity and self-concept are the basis of what you believe, what you feel, and what you do. So that’s what I work with.
Identity is a narrative, a story that we tell ourselves. We start to shape it into a meaningful tale in our teenage years, and it develops through our lives. Everything we believe about ourselves, others and the world is based on that story. Everything we feel is in response to it. And everything we do is in line with how we feel it’s meant to play out.
It sounds simple. Being the authors of our own stories gives us a great degree of control. We’re writing the life that we’re living, and that we plan to live. Unfortunately, it can also mean that we write in an awful lot of the junk we’re carrying around, and that can make things difficult for you. Because the beliefs, emotions and behaviours coming out of your narrative may be stopping you in your tracks.
If you’re not getting the results you want, you need to change your story.
Sometimes, elements of the story are forced on you. Life events, crises and traumas can change the narrative in ways you don’t like. Family, society or cultural norms can limit your freedom to write. Bad choices or lack of opportunity can leave you stuck in chapters that don’t fit, and you don’t see the opportunity for change. You may not be able to present yourself in a way that lets others see what you’re capable of, or that lets you believe in yourself and your ability to reach your goals. And sometimes society has negative ways of looking at things that make up your persona, so you hold back on being who you are, to try to fit in.
All of these things are challenges. But not unbeatable ones.
I know so many people who’ve struggled to make the changes they need. Tried a ton of different products and services. Spent months and years of effort, and thousands of dollars trying to make the changes they need. Relived uncomfortable past experiences, consumed countless self-help books, attended workshops only to have the effects melt away when they’re no longer in the room.
I don’t believe it has to be that difficult, expensive or painful.
If you want to:
- Be comfortable being yourself
- Find confidence in your ability to reach your goals
- Learn how to write a better story
… you’ve come to the right place.