Have you wondered about whether you are actually being who you think that you are? Does your perception of who you are as a person match how you are thinking, feeling and behaving?
So much of our life is on auto-pilot that it is easy to gradually step away from the attitudes, values and behaviours that we believe make up our sense of identity. Plus, advancing years can make this happen outside of our awareness because the excuse is often “that is who I used to be when I was younger”. Well, can it still be true of you now?
Many of my clients show up feeling frustrated and with low energy because they know deep down that this is happening to them – they do not feel themselves any more. For example, they know that really they are an honest person, however they are realising that they are not being truthful in their relationships with others. Or, they used to be the life and soul of the party: always first on the dance floor, yet now they don’t feel as confident and are more likely waiting for others to initiate the moves. A frequent concern is that they are not as motivated, as productive, getting as much done and as such, writing a to-do-list is a complete waste of time, because all they see at the end of the day is stuff not done and as a consequence, they feel unreliable. “I am not really like this” is a common refrain.
All of this causes cognitive dissonance in the brain. This is a form of psychological stress because the thoughts, beliefs and values are contradicting each other. The brain hates this. So the brain will work to minimise it. The simplest way to reduce the dissonance is by the brain “changing” the perception of self to fit with the new identity that is being demonstrated so consistency of predicted behaviour can be achieved once more.
Of course, the challenge is that we may not want to become an unreliable leader who does not follow through on what they said that they were going to do. Or desire to be the person who now shops in the comfortable non-descript clothes store that you swore that you would never visit. Or the person who is too tired to go out and have some fun (or stay in and have a more intimate party!).
So to check in on how you are being, here are some questions to start the exploration:
If you consider yourself a reliable person, how reliable are you being to you? What about to others?
If you love expressing yourself creatively, when was the last time that you gave time for this?
If fun is one of your core values, how much fun have you allowed yourself to have in the last week?
If you are tidy and organised, take a look around your office, home, briefcase / handbag and car: does it reflect the real you?
If you think that you are a brilliant lover, how much focus have you given to this part of you recently?
Integrity can often be an overlooked and an underdeveloped value, however by examining whether you are maintaining your own standards of conduct with your sense of self will enable rewards of strong confidence and a super-fast increase in mojo.
How about making it a competition with yourself to improve an area and tracking your progress?
Where do you think that it will be beneficial when you improve your integrity? I would love to hear what you discover so add a comment in the box (and please remember I’ve heard it all so nothing surprises me… and deep down we all want to be our best – always).