You might not even realize it, but you’re likely attached to an identity. Do you ever say, “That’s just the way I am” or “I’ve always been this way?” Do you believe the way you are is something you can’t change? When we put ourselves in a box because of past experiences or who others have told us we are, we develop an identity and this will block our transformation.
Growing up I was always told that I am shy and remember feeling painfully shy at different times in my life. My first job in high school I remember taking 5 minutes to eat my lunch in a bathroom stall, so I could avoid entering the lunchroom because I felt so shy. In school, the teachers biggest complaints about me were that I was too quiet.
Just yesterday as I was cleaning out my desk at work I came across performance appraisals from the past 6 years. As I read through the comments, a common theme emerged. The comments included:
- Richelle needs to speak up.
- Richelle can be very quiet and shy at times.
- I would encourage her to speak up more and contribute to discussions.
- Richelle though soft-spoken is building skills in assertiveness.
- Needs to speak up more often.
In childhood, I was put into a box of being shy and developed that identity that I took into adulthood. This identity that I felt so deeply ingrained into me prevented me from putting myself out there plenty of times. It’s held me back from being my best self and doing things I wanted to. It’s prevented me from expressing myself authentically.
Now, I am in a place of questioning the beliefs I have about myself.
I’ve embraced a curiosity to discover who I am in each moment. I’m opening up to fluidity and possibility by checking in each day to see how I want to BE that day. I get to feel into what feels best in each moment. It feels good to dismantle that structured identity I was attached to and explore that place of uncertainty.
When we are stuck in a rigid belief of who we are in the world, it prevents us from expanding and stepping into other possible ways of being.
You don’t have to be any way you think you are. And by attaching to the way you think you are, whether that’s a people pleaser, an angry person, a broken person, a lazy person, etc., it will block you from transforming into your highest self. These identities we have around ourselves are supported by fears, beliefs, mask and protectors we developed in childhood.
We all know in our core that we have a greater potential and purpose and by peeling back those layers and questioning those identities we get to step into our power.
This can feel damn vulnerable and our ego loves identities, which is why we get to also change our relationship with that uncertainty. When we can see it as opportunity, creativity and get curious about the possibilities we can discover so much more about ourselves.
I attended a retreat with my mentor from Hungry For Happiness that I just got back from early last week. I had an aha moment around why I still feel stuck in my shell at times, which is another piece to the identity I had. Over the years I have worked to get out of that box of being shy. The realization came from the deep connection and integration with my inner child. I have suppressed my inner child’s need and desire to play and express herself. A shy person doesn’t put themselves out there and express themselves in front of others. Now I get to explore how my inner child wants to express and play which is also exciting.
To uncover what identities you have, notice the stories you tell yourself time and time again that don’t make you feel good. Pay attention to what others say about you too and check in with your body to see if it feels true or not. By releasing identities we create space to be what feels good, whether or not it’s considered right to others.