• Dave Beam

Changing Your Identity


This is not an article about identity theft! Nor is it really an article about psychological theory. It is about a simple practice that can increase your satisfaction, participation, and results in business and in life.

Please set aside any beliefs or assumptions that you have about personality, mood disorders and chemical imbalances, long standing habits, and self esteem. Just be curious, open-minded, and experimental!

I propose that personality is created, and not static. Though we all have tendencies from our genetics, and our emotional demeanor has been influenced by our rearing and environment, I propose that both nature and nurture are not the final determination of our identity. Please set aside your skepticism and consider this question. What if you could choose who you want to be?

What follows is a menu of personal characteristics. Please choose what you want:

Kind, listener, even-keeled, finisher, disciplined, joyful, happy, excited, upbeat, people person, reflective, thoughtful, courageous, fearless, bold, calm, peaceful, lovely, decisive, confident, understanding, smiling, learner, energetic, dependable, engaging, conversationalist, outgoing, quiet, pensive, insightful, creative, curious, zestful, patient, loving, giving…… need I continue?

You can choose any item, embrace it, and then practice it as your new personality trait.

That voice in your head is protesting; "You hypocrite! Isn’t that fake? You just can’t be somebody you’re not! It is ridiculous to try to change who you are. You need to be true to yourself!”

If you will silence that little pesky frightened voice that wants to hold on to what is familiar, you will discover that your identity is manufactured, usually from your recollection of the past, your interpretation of the present situation, and your beliefs about the future. Your identity is all between your ears. It is the story of you, and is mostly fiction. This is great news!

If you want to be authentic, then author your personality. Pull out the menu and choose the attributes that you want. Who do YOU want to be today? What type of person would best serve your current situation? Choose your attributes, declare your new identity, and then begin practicing it. Before you know it, the new you will be you, at it will be time to re-invent again!

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