Our identity is defined by our conscious beliefs, values, passions and motives. For most, we do not know our true self, what we believe and value. We are taught values before we have a vote in what they are, so many of us do not consciously know what we believe, we just believe.
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “Why?” Why what? Why anything. Why do you not like the things you believe you don’t like? Did you have a bad experience? Have you ever had the opportunity to try it to start with? Or did someone teach you not to like it? Like the man who saw a black cat and believed it was bad luck. Was it because he had a bad experience with a black cat? No, it was because he accepted an old wives’ tale.
QUESTIONS TO GATHER EVIDENCE FROM YOUR TRUE SELF
Here are some suggestions on how to examine your beliefs to see if they are what you think, or what you have been taught. Basically, we are going to compile evidence about who you really are by examining your memories and your reactions to events.
First, quickly write down a handful of events you remember, in no particular order of time or importance. They can come from any time of your life. When you’re done, pause. Look over the list and star the ones you think are the most important.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT THE EVENT
What do you remember about the event?
What were you told about the event?
What belief about yourself did you develop as a result of this event?
What belief about life did you develop as a result of the event?
For example: In the first grade I got slapped on the legs in reading group. I remember reading being hard and the words confusing me. My mother told me that the teacher would get impatient with me because I did not try. I believed I was dumb. I thought that life was too hard for me and I would be a failure.
THE NEXT STEP: EXAMINE THE EVENT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF AN ADULT
What I realize is that in spite of finding reading aloud difficult, I loved to read when I was alone. I made good enough grades and got a college education. There is a difference between being stupid and having difficulty in reading.
When you are in touch with your true self you can begin to see past the Harsh Inner Critic which would define you in the most negative way. You will be able to see that you have strengths even within your limits.