Redefining you.

What we label ourselves is very important.  
When you name something, you integrate it into your perception of your world.
It becomes what you label it, in your mind.
For instance....the mean dog down the street.
You know, the one that growls at you as you pass on your walk.  
You name it every day.
As you pass..(in my case, I call the dog cujo)

 Now say one day the dog gets out, and it is standing on the side walk.
It isn't growling or acting aggressive..
But what would your reaction be....
Not good.

I think what we call ourselves becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
So if you are the "fat friend". Or the "class clown" and you ARE that for years on end....how much does that color how you interact with your environment.
How does it color your perception of what you are capable of accomplishing?

Maybe it's something as basic as your name? 
What if you were named for something or someone who you don't respect, or admire.
You may feel like your identity was stolen before you had a chance to create your own.  
Beginning to Reclaim your identity can be as simple as renaming yourself.
Shortening your name, lengthening your name...changing it entirely perhaps.
Writing a list of attributes you admire next to your name....old or new...
Stripping of self given names and trying on new ones.
 I'm the empathetic friend..
The mathematically inclined friend..(not me btw!)
The artistic friend..
Creating positive connections between your name and your inner self is really key to feeling good about who you see in a mirror...
My associations, before I got well were:
Chris is the fat friend.
Chris is messy and unorganised.
Chris is a product of a dysfunctional upbringing.

When all of your inner dialogue is negative and disempowering, there isn't a whole lot of room for those 'moving forward' thoughts.

When there is only discomfort and shame associated with WHO YOU ARE...it doesn't lead to feeling very capable.  

Begin your redefinition.  
One step at a time, you can begin to create a new definition of who you are.
Have a great day.


Jill A said...

For a long time, I felt like I was just "Mom". I'm slowly learning how to be Jill again.

katie said...

I really disliked the first name I was given at birth. SO the day I arrived at college I introduced my self with my new name - one I chose :) It worked out perfectly to this day.

PS I did not change my surname when I married...

Christine said...

I was named after my bio fathers ex wife. Christina. That's why I go by chris

Robin said...

Hey Chris,

I wanted you to know that I read your post on Channa. I sat for a long time and thought about what to say. Came up empty and thought I'd get back to it sooner rather than later. Turns out it was later. My thoughts are short and sweet. I was aware of her passing at the time, but not of your relationship to her, so I appreciate the glimpse you gave into her life and your lives together. I believe that she will go on in you and the people who loved her. She made an enormous impact on you that will never go away. That is a beautiful thing.

Names. Beliefs. Things we think about the world. Things we think about our ability to succeed in this world all have so much to do with how our lives turn out. This is a big part of the work I'm doing in therapy right now. My therapist calls it Core Belief Systems.

We end up in enough bad places that we believe things like "I can't make good decisions." or "I'm not worthy of good things happening to me." These things aren't true, but they are there. Deeply rooted. Weeding that shit out and replacing it with real truth is key to turning a life around. It's key to getting rid of migraines. It's key to losing weight. It's key to good health. It's key to forming and maintaining relationships. We are built for all of these things, but when our core beliefs are topsy turvy, so is our world.

Thanks for posting this. I hope people read this and think about their internal dialogue and what they believe about themselves. Is it true? Is it not true? What's really true? Am I happy? Do I DESERVE to be happy?

E. Jane said...

Identity is such a powerful thing. I still think of myself as the chubby little 10 year old, and no matter how thin I have been, I assume that others see me the same way. Perhaps this is one of the reasons people regain weight after a large loss. Just losing the weight is not enough. Thanks for addressing this topic that often goes by the wayside.

Weighing Well said...

Yes! I love it!

Your creative friend,