In the post The Nice Guy Syndrome, I discussed how people must first have a sense of who they are before they can relate to anyone. However, many people only have a distorted view of their true self. Self is a concept composed of our internal dialogue, our innate human traits, and outside influences upon our perception. When we cast about for an existent self in our mind we find nothing. Certainly we see thoughts be behind those thoughts what is there? Silence. Now this isn’t to say we don’t really exist. We do exist, but only as a composite of our internal views of self, our innate human traits, and how people view the interaction of both.
People who live based upon the external do not have an identity. The seek to please others but lack a self to offer them. People pleasers rarely please anyone. They are insecure and lack personal direction. Identity is rooted in the type of thinking we have. Thoughts generate action; action generates behavior. Behavior develops into character, and character into identity. Many people work backward from identity in an effort to be what other people want them to be. We are our thoughts, and we define those thoughts.
Identity is decided upon by the thoughts we choose to nurture. Humans are naturally compassionate. Identity can either work with or against human nature. Thoughts and actions are a feedback loop. One reinforces the other. If we think racist thoughts, greedy thoughts, or harmful thoughts our actions will reflect such thinking. Those actions in turn will reinforce those thoughts because people will react based upon your actions. If a guy thinks all women are bitches, he will treat them so. In reaction many women will react based upon his treatment to reinforce his faulty thinking. This loop quickly becomes a part of his identity.
We have to love and understand ourselves before we can enter into a relationship. The Golden Rule comes into play. But how can we cut away all our faulty thinking and truly see our personality?
- We do not exist as we think. We exist from moment to moment based upon our thinking. Change your thoughts, change your identity
- Humans are naturally compassionate. Any thought or action that goes against this natural compassion isn’t your true identity.
- Be aware of your thoughts moment to moment. Replace thoughts that make you unhappy with those that do
- Decide who you want to be and take action. Shape your thinking to shape your character
- Don’t try to please everyone. By trying to please everyone you will please no one.
- Take time to quietly reflect upon your mind. Awareness is key to change.
- Develop and nurture hobbies that bring you happiness. No matter how odd they may seem. They are a part of your true self.
- Realize that you will die. This may seem a bit morbid, but it provides motivation to use your limited life effectively. Selfishness is a sad way to live.
I will repeat: identity isn’t a static thing. It changes moment to moment based on our thinking. Change your thoughts, change yourself. If you don’t believe me, examine yourself to find the self you considered static really doesn’t exist in an unchangeable way.
It saddens me to see so many people rush about without a sense of self. Their identity is their job, their family, or their friends. Their identity is everything but who they really are. They live in a fog that abruptly ends without ever seeing their true self. Change is difficult. Don’t get me wrong, but even the attempt is better than living on the whims of others and not living at all. People live so selfishly and shallowly because they don’t understand the nature of reality.
In reality all we have is the period at the end of this sentence and the thoughts we take away.