self concept

"If I don't know who you are and you don't know who you are, and you've had, maybe if you are lucky, a couple great views into the expanse of your awing soul, you might as well create something good for the day. Make yourself good, instead of making yourself bad all the time. That's a control matrix of a society that controls people who don't feel good about themselves." - Guru Jagat

All of us are storytellers in our own way. We arrive to the planet, engaging in our very first act of creation: the birth of self. From day 1 until year 7, we are like sponges. Soaking up the messages given to us from our parents, the community and the world at large. A lot of our identity is shaped during this time period. So much so, that it can be difficult to alter these ideas of self later in life. 

The roots of our negativity often lie in the subconscious. Just out of reach from the conscious mind, this part of the brain accounts for up to 95% of belief systems. And these belief systems have a huge influence on our identities. Hence the reason why it is so damn hard to shake insecurities, unhealthy patterns and self loathing. Many have tried using positive affirmations as a way to shift the brain. While these were once all the rage, there is nothing more irritating than repeating "I love you" to a reflection in the mirror that you hate. You can say something over and over till you're blue in the face, but until you really believe it, it won't change a thing. 

It's interesting how nature doesn't expend any energy towards wanting to be different. Animals, plants and mountains just are, and their lack of awareness enables them to live a life without self criticism. But us humans are different. And since we have the ability to mold dis-eased identities, it means we also hold the potential to create something useful. While it may be challenging to alter the subconscious belief systems, it is not impossible. 

Here is how you can begin to create a new self concept- 

CRAFT YOUR VISION: What sort of person do you want to be? Decide on some key qualities that you admire in others. Make sure these are coming from a place of love and service, not from ego. Examples could be powerful, loving, graceful, kind, strong, wildly creative or free in body and/or mind.

ACTION STEPS: What steps do you need to take to feel and act powerful, loving etc.? Let's say that as a child, you were shy. As an adult, you still carry the identity of being a shy person, but you want to be braver. Great action to step into this new self concept would be going to an event or class that you would normally say no to. You could also try public speaking, stand up comedy, an improv class or a blind date. Getting outside of our comfort zones is an excellent way to break limiting self identities. 

SHIFT THE TAPE: Like I said earlier, our minds are very powerful. It is unrealistic to think that you can pick a new self concept and automatically feel like it is true. Sticking with the example from above, your mind will continue to tell you are shy, even though you are trying to break this idea. This will require some daily work. Every time your mind attempts to place you back into the old identity box, replace it with the new concept. Rely on examples of yourself acting in a new way ie I was brave when I showed up to a party alone. I am completely capable of being brave. 

SQUAD VIBES: It is important to surround yourself with people you aspire to be like. Find those who have what you want and learn from them. Recently an old travel friend came to stay with me. I was inspired by the appreciation he has for life's simple treasures. I was also reminded that joy and gratitude are choices. Thanks to our time spent together, I am attempting to bring these qualities into all of my daily actions. These are just the sort of vibes that are crucial to manifesting!

Photo: Basquiat