Do you have particular personality traits that you've accepted to just be a part of who you are?

Do you have particular personality traits that you've accepted to just be a part of who you are?
Do you have particular personality traits that you've accepted to just be a part of who you are?

Some of these traits you might have demonstrated in your childhood and your family and close friends still won't let you forget them. For example, since childhood, I've been known to be scatterbrained (I have lost or misplaced way too many things in my lifetime), impatient and unable to just relax and do nothing. Sometimes carrying these traits into adulthood is less that they are a part of who you are and more that you've grown attached to those labels. You now self-identify as being scatterbrained, impatient and high strung and so it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy - you never work to change those traits because you've fully accepted them as a part of who you are.

Then there are the traits you've developed over time. Maybe you get stressed before meetings or hate large gatherings because of how they make you feel. In either case, you might now say, "I'm not good in meetings" or "I don't like socialising" without seeing an opportunity to change those characteristics about yourself.

One of the things I've learned over the last five years is that in either case, our personality traits are NOT set in stone. They may have become a part of our self-identity but they are a malleable. We can change them.

After a while our self-identity can become an armour and a crutch. If we are attached to the idea that our self-identity is fixed, it can limit us from true growth. We'll self-select future opportunities for ourselves based on how we see ourselves today.

On the other hand, if we recognise that we can bridge the gap between our self-identity today to the person we would like to be in the future, our approach to our identity is more flexible, allowing us to change.

"What stops us from playing full out is our attachment to our current identity"
- Giovanni Marsico

Our self-identity feels safe. We know this version of ourselves intimately, we understand her. But just as nature intends for an acorn to grow into a tall, healthy tree, our natural inclination is also towards growth. Nature intended for us to grow too.

One way to begin changing our identity is to first recognise that whether we do anything or not, the way we see ourselves today WILL change in five years. In five years, whether we craft it or not, life will happen to us and we'll respond and in turn create more stories about who we are and why.

What if instead we looked ahead to the person we'd like to be in five years and intentionally began becoming her?

Maybe you want to be able to give speeches in front of large crowds. Maybe you want to become a runner. Maybe you want to start a business or become an investor or spend more time with your kids.

We can today, start to think the thoughts, feel the feelings and do the things that will eventually turn the 2022 version of you into an intentionally designed 2027 version of you.

“Start to act from now as the person you want to be.”
- Benjamin Hardy in his book, Personality isn't Permanent.

I want to share a simple trick I use in moments when I feel my current view of my identity is holding me back.

I use the the phrase "I'm the kind of person who [fill in the blank]".

So for example, when I travel for business I often have trouble sleeping. One morning after a horrible night sleep I was feeling anxious because I had a presentation to give that day. My usual story is, I didn't sleep well so now I won't perform well. This story goes back to my college days when I had trouble sleeping before big exams.

This time, I sat upright, took a few slow, deep breaths, closed my eyes and repeated to myself, "I'm the kind of person who performs well even with little sleep. I'm the kind of person who isn't affected by a bad night's sleep. I'm the kind of person who doesn't let one night of lost sleep get in her way." Then I visualised myself moving through the day with vitality and ease. I imagined myself choosing nourishing foods and getting moments of fresh air to keep my energy levels up. I imagined myself being present in every interaction.

To my amazement, it worked. Next time you find a part of your self-identity limiting you, try this easy tip in the moment. We all have the power to transform our self-identity on a daily basis!

I hope you have a beautiful day and the week to come is full of love, growth and joy.

With love,