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Unintentional identity

We all know a thing or two about the concept of nature versus nurture. Scientists agree that about half of your personality is shaped by the genes you inherit. Your encounters in life shape the other half.

In my previous blog post, “Getting out of a Negative Cycle”, I wrote about thoughts shaping beliefs, beliefs shaping character, character-shaping life. The step before forming your thoughts is having an idea. 

When you are the object of your thought, it means that you had formed an idea about yourself before it became a thought. 

Here’s a quick exercise for you to understand how you came to be:

Go as far back as you can remember, dig deep into your memories and try to recall the seemingly unimportant conversations and behaviors you witnessed, especially with parents and siblings or your school teacher. Do you remember being declared a problem child at school or the responsible big brother at home? Have you ever been told that you were the pretty one and your sibling was the smart one? Take a moment to remember.

Now let’s funnel your memories down to single out the conversations and behaviors that were repeated.

Separate the one-timers from the repeated messages.

The repeated messages you received from the environment in the form of words, behaviors, verbal cues, and body language have made you form an idea of yourself and impacted your brain circuitry to eventually have you form a thought about yourself.

The human brain is a marvel in its own right and one of the role models in operational excellence. Do you know how our brains excel at efficiency? They categorize and label – the pretty one, the problem one, the smart one. Then you get used to the label and tend to act in line with the characteristics of the label because it feels familiar.

Think now about how many of the patterns you think you have in life are directly linked to the thoughts and beliefs based on the categorization and the labeling I explained above.

Let me know your thoughts on this in the comment section below and share this post with people you believe will benefit from it.  

Have a great day!   

Ferruh Tumer

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