Identify yourself

individuality

Hypnotherapy and Psycho-therapeutic counselling, REBT, and NLP Transformation Coach based in Marlow, Bucks.

Identity, according to Psychologist, is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person chooses, so others can recognize them. It is an impression of oneself through one’s own eyes. You can also called it a label.

It is a way of being identified. And the process of identity can be expressed creatively or destructively.

I once went on a training workshop, a woman introduced herself to me, “Hi, I’m social-phobic!” She identified herself as someone who fears social settings, because she believed herself to lack social skills.

The way a person introduces themselves to other people, is their self-identity and self-perception. Based on self-belief and self-worth.

However, there are other factors that determined identity. Some of which are:-

  • Role – a person’s employment or job title. Work and career identity is important and often closely associates with stautus identity.  How a person perceive their role identity says a lot about the person.
  • Health – a person’s health, illness and disabilities. In the case of my social-phobic friend. This person closely identity with their disadvanated health.
  • Status – a person’s class. Status identity is symbolic and dependant on finance and wealth. A person who identifies themselves with their status is proudly presented, with views of class or importance. This include famous celebrities.
  • Race – a person’s ethnicity and original of birth. A person who identifies with race is one whose accepts their birth rights, their ethnicity and their original. Acceptance of race means accepting cultural differences. There are great dissonance in societies regarding race today. The colour of racism comes in many guise.
  • Religion – a person’s religious beliefs. A person who identify themselves to religion is often seen preaching and disregarded for their belief. Religion plays an important role in the formation of society. It is a way to bring community together. It is a way to unite people to gather peacefully and congregate in social settings.
  • Weight – a person’s body size. A person who identify with their weight is often
  • Intellect – a person’s intelligence is concern with their mental capacity to brainpower. The sharpness and alertness of their mind. Someone who value their mental awareness and aptness for witty and quick response is seen to be on the ball.
  • Interests & hobbies – a person’s general leisurely activities. If you are a person who identifies with your interests and hobbies, this expresses creativity and art.

We are so caught up in our history and our habits that we became to identify ourselves with what others tell us. I know that, I was one. I used to identify myself using the factors above.

I used to intrapersonally think that; “I’m quick witted, intelligent, highly driven in my career, striving for independence and stature.”

And now? I realized that I am more than my identity. I am more than my body, my mind and my feelings. I am all of it and much more, expressing my transpersonal self.

Recognizing my identity means knowing myself and know my will.

Recognizing my identity means that I have a choice how and who I identify myself with in the interpersonal relationship and in communication. Identity does not have to be set in stone, nor does it has to be rigid, and according to NLP presuppositions, those with greatest flexibility exerts greatest impression.

How you identify yourself to others is important because you will imprint an impression. Did you know that the first 4 minutes matters a lot? The first 4 minutes of meeting someone new is the time that it takes for that person to form an impression of you.

Have a go at being impressive in the first 4 minutes. I love to hear about your experience of it.

The layers of change


growing-copy

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”  ~Pauline R. Kezer

Change is inevitable – like the prevailing southerly breeze. Change needs to happen and should happen. A seed can remain a seed. But if the seed is planted, it will bud and change. After all, a budding plant cannot remain just a budding plant in the right conditions, it will change, and through the seasons become a blooming flower. We are like the seed. We can choose to remain a seed, and there is nothing wrong with that.

But, if you feel stuck and want to change, there are processes and procedures a person goes through in order to being themselves to change. It’s easy to said than done. Change is really difficult for some people because of the fears of the unknown. For these future-focused people, it often leads to procrastination.

Change is like an onion, it has many layers. There are misconceptions that change need to be big, huge or enormous. Significant change doesn’t have to be big, it can be small changes to everyday’s life. It could be just taking the stairs rather than the lift, to increase your daily steps. It could be just having less red meat and more fish in your diet. It could be drinking more water rather than pops. Whatever it maybe, it doesn’t matter, as long as you can take this tiny dolly-steps approach to change. The big change such as moving house, getting married/divorced, changing career etc needs a different strategy. And I will get to that, after all, you can’t run before you can walk.

The next layer is to increase the dolly-steps. Make the steps bigger. How? Here are a few examples of comfortable safe dolly-steps:-

  • Change your pace.
  • Change something that you have been comfortable doing, safely. Such as change your route home, if you have a fear of being lost, even better, change the directions of your journey.
  • Change the colour of your bedroom wall, if you owe your own home, look at the room with a different perspectives from a different colour.
  • Change your mask, if you often wears your Halloween mask, change it to a Fairy mask. Whatever you change, notice what you notice.

This next layer is an even bigger dolly-step. Change something that you will be uncomfortable changing. Change something for the sake of changing. Change something that you are less confident in doing. And change your mind. Now, don’t forget our little friend – the ‘subjective experiences’. Here are a few examples of possible uncomfortable changes:-

  • For some people with long hair – changing their hairstyle to a short hair will be really uncomfortable and difficult. This dolly-step will be your turning point in that maze I referred to, in my article on stuck state.
  • Try changing something that is out of your comfort zone. Like changing your thinking – if you have a problem with this – try some of my relaxation techniques. Perhaps you think that you don’t have time to relax, I won’t stress that every need to find time to relax, it is your choice not to relax. Another quick way to quieten the mind from all your thinking is – curl your tongue up to the roof of the mouth, where the gum meets the top teeth and rest it there.
  •  Change your car – change the make of your car could be symbolic to your status. Think about how you feel if you used to have a Mercedes and if you were to change it to a cheaper less expensive car like the Micra. I am being extreme, the point here is the uncomfortable feeling and the status of the car. And as you think about this, notice the discomfort.
  • Change your job – almost as high as 70% of people in the UK hates their job.
  • Change your lifestyle choices.

This outer layer is the biggest change. It is the penultimate change. Now some people may have more category of change – but you get the gist. This level of change is often life changing and significant changes, that is why it is the last change to be made. It is the most difficult and most people are reluctant to change this stage. Some of the changes here include:-

  • Moving house for a lot of people is really traumatic. For many elderly people it can lead to poor and deteriorating health.
  • Getting married is often a time of great joy but the change is under-estimated. It is a big adjustment if two people have not live together before. It is a big adjustment to commitment to one person for the rest of your life.
  • Getting divorced – what goes up, must come down. Divorce rate in the UK is higher than marriage rate.
  • Having a baby is a milestone but change in lifestyle is required and adjustment have to be made to the home in preparation for the new baby.
  • Your physical attractiveness is often the unspoken change that a partner often wants in their spouse. This change is evolutionary as our biological clock tick away. Tick tock. And often many people seek surgical assistance to delay their aging process.

Some change is not easy to swallow. Whatever you decided to change or not, the choice is yours and yours along. Change should be made by your will and not anyone else’s. I’m not recommending any changes, in this article, that will cause any form of irreversible distress. They are simply my observation within modern society. Whatever you decide to do with the knowledge, it’s up to you, but please note this – you can only change what you do for you. If your aim is to change others and if you change for others, your outcome might not be as you want.

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Self-help Books vs Face-to-Face Therapy


laurens

Before I started training to become a therapist, I had lots of self-help books on my shelves, gathering dusts. You might be familiar with that. I regularly buy self-development books, with a very good intention to read it. If you are like me, you might have a list of all the books and their costs on spreadsheet (for a quick reference). But, out of the hundreds and hundreds of books, have you got time to reading them? There is nothing more welcoming in a home than seeing a house full of literature.

However, some of the self-help books are contradictory, confusing and condescending. You know and you have the resources to change. You know what it take to shed that last few pounds. You know what you need to do to quit smoking. You know how to reduce and prevent your anxieties. You know why it is that your mind goes blank in certain situation. And you know why it is that you can’t hold a conversation in social settings. See…you already know without reading. But, I won’t discourage that reading is extremely helpful to give you another perspectives base on the author’s subjective experiences. I love books especially self-help books for the different ideas and methods to resolving something that I may try and tested it for myself.

During my training, I had to buy lots of reference books to accompany my training, so that’s my excuse for not reading the books I already have gathering dust. And you know what, I don’t want to part with it until I finish reading them. Once, I’d read a book, I can discard it or sell it on. And I see many sellers selling old books, although I am not sure if I can sell mine, as I marked, referenced and written on them. My point is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with self-help, self-development books and I praise them. The book that I cherished are shared on my Instagram page. Check it out for yourself and follow me on social media.

However, nothing beat face-to-face interaction of a therapy session. As you are getting to know your therapist, you can really engage. In the first few sessions, you are still getting to know each other in therapy, which is why therapy sessions should be a minimum of 6 sessions. Don’t forget, you’ve only just met for about an hour. How can you expect to know each other in just an hour. These things take time. Time is a great many things. Time to reflect. Time to heal. Time to get to know each other.

Often, clients come into my therapy room, not knowing which way to turn. They are stuck in their old shoes. A simple answer would be to put on a new pair, right? Well, if only it was that easy to find a new comfortable pair. That’s often why, generally, people find it hard to get out of their comfort zone and change, as they compare the safe comfort to the competitive change. Did you know that comparison and competition both drive to control your actions, it is what kept you lost and stuck.

When you walk into my therapy room, you’ve made a change and broken free from your old routines. You want to make the change with face-to-face therapy. You are curious about what you find out. And it’s good to be curious. It’s good to be afraid of change too. It’s good to be worried about what you might uncover. Do you recall reading a really good book, the one that you can’t put down, that’s right, that one? Imagine that the book that you are reading is a book of stories of your life. Imagine reading it and imagine being curious and encapsulated with the story. Imagine that the next chapter is your therapy work and as you work through your issues, imagine the rest of your story unfolding. No wonder you can’t put that book down!

So turn the page and explore face-to-face therapy. It offers you, the opportunity to freely express your concerns, worries, and anything on your mind in a safe space. You can learn a lot about sitting with your discomforts. You’ll learn more than any self-help or psychological books. May be you are wondering why you behave in a certain ways around your parents and family members. Safe disclosure can reveal vast arena of complex relational dynamics within family groups.

Sometimes, it is easy to read those self-help books because it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t disagree and it doesn’t question you. And because of this, those old shoes are so comfortable. However, I implore you to be curious about learning more about the why you do the things you do, be curious about the what make you do the things you do, be curious about when is it that you do the things you do, and be curious about where you see yourself doing the things that you and if you wish to continue this pattern of behaviours.

Change is possible – just think about it because you know it.