Are Your Problems as Big as They Seem?
The Power of Identity and Perspective
Are your problems as big as they seem? It’s a question you might not have considered. After all, when you’re mired in your own problems they feel huge…
But are they really?
Whether their problems are as big as they seem is a question many people never consider. For some, they don’t understand that they control their perception of an issue. The concept is outside of their awareness. They simply have no idea that they can choose their thoughts or that their thoughts shape their reality. Other’s might have an inkling that they can choose the meaning they give things. But asking themselves if their problems are really as big as they seem might cause them to pull back, to gain some perspective and think about things differently. Gaining a different perspective of their issues might cause them to understand that things aren’t as bad as they thought.
What’s wrong with that? Understanding when things aren’t as bad as they thought is a good thing, right? You’d think people would welcome new understanding of their problems. But the sticking point is that many people wrap their identity up in their problems. When that happens they’re unlikely to be proactive about them.
What happens if their problems go away it? It threatens their identity. Yes, you read that correctly. Solving their problems causes them to have an identity crisis.
When someone’s identity is intertwined with their struggles, solving those issues endangers their ego’s foundation. If there’s one thing the ego can’t stand it’s having an identity crisis! Our identity is the bases for our behavioral theme—the type of actions we take consistently. If a person’s identity is that they are generous, then most of their actions will align with generosity. If their identity is that they’re tough, then most of their actions will help reinforce—to them at least—how tough they are.
Regardless of how Helpful or Harmful Their Identity is, People’s Behavior will Reinforce Their Beliefs about Themselves.
We all have a primary identity, the cornerstone of our behavior, and many sub-identities that we live out. In fact; it’s possible to have one sub-identity for each major area of our lives. And each of these drives our behavior in those areas. Any shift in behavior or thinking that challenges our identity causes the subconscious mind to fight back.
Why? Our subconscious minds are constantly working to make sure our behavior aligns with our identities.
When you alter your behavior without modifying your identity it’s hard to make lasting changes.
What does this have to do with how big your problems are?
If part or all of your identity is related to your problems then your subconscious mind and ego both have reason to keep you from solving the problems. You might consciously want to fix the problems but your subconscious will work against you. One of the methods the subconscious mind will use is to look for evidence that problems are insurmountable. It exaggerates them. This often leads to feeling overwhelmed, which is a primary reason many fail to address problem areas of their lives. It can also cause feelings of hopelessness—that the problem is unsolvable—and that also increases the likelihood that the issues will remain unaddressed.
Since you’re reading this, you’re the type of person who either wants to change something in your life or are committed to being better every day. And you’re probably wondering how to combat this.
The first step is awareness. Yes, if part of your identity is attached to your problems this is going to be very uncomfortable. That’s okay. Discomfort is prerequisite to growth. Just being aware that your identity drives your behavior, and that your subconscious might be working against you, allows you to take action.
Here’s a great place to start. Ask yourself, “What is my life like when that problem is solved?” and, “How do I act when that problem is gone?” Grab a pad of paper and jot down the questions and the answers you get. Now take the answers and on another page write them down in present tense. Then take the page and post it somewhere that you’ll see it a few times every day. Read these to yourself, out loud, at least twice a day.
As you’re going through your day, remind yourself of the new actions and choices you’re making and how your life is when the problem is resolved. And do your best to be that way. When you do this, you’re helping your subconscious mind adopt a new identity for that area of your life. As your new identity becomes stronger, your behavior will start to change!
You Are The Master of Your Destiny!