The Sources Of Identity

When we talk about things like self image, what or who is this self that has this image? Is this self really us? Or is this self only the outside worlds idea of us that we bought into because at the time we had no idea of what was going on? How many of us ever stop and wonder who and what we really are? And is that idea perhaps a little too scary to pursue because we instinctively feel that here might be one of those mysterious cans of worms that we hear about that shouldn't be opened? And when we reach this point, why don't we ever question why we shouldn't open them? What might we find if we began to search for our true selves and find out if that self has an image too?

The idea of a self image and the self esteem and self confidence that rely on that concept is not new, or at least we don't usually think so. Like so many other things in our lives that we just take for granted, our self image is rarely brought into question. It is easy to understand why we take it for granted, we have been living with it all our lives from the time it was formed during our early childhood. But think back, do you remember anyone ever asking you what self image you would like to have? Or did we just inherit it from our parents, or peers, or some authority figure like a teacher or councilor? Or perhaps even the media such as video games or television. Don't laugh! In the absense of any strong parental influences, we are left vulnerable to the outside worlds influences.

Even with a strong parental support base, the outside world exerts a powerful influence on us in the form of pressure to fit in and conform to societies expectations and needs. I have never heard of a case where parents or anyone has ever advised a young and vulnerable human to not be in too much of a hurry to adopt a self image but rather wait until they have more knowledge and experience to do it. Also there are those who believe that our self identity can be a very restrictive prison if not crafted with great care. Think about it, once we have an image of ourselves, are we not then bound by it? Does it not then demand that we behave only in ways that support, maintain and perpetuate itself? It is almost like walking into a room when we are children and living our whole lives there, assuming of course that we don't at some point begin to mature and exercise some kind of influence on our original self image.

Our self identity is built from the activities of our own mind and if we have little awareness of what our mind is doing, then we are pretty much susceptible to associating any of the ideas of who and what we should or shouldn't be with those our mind comes up with for us to identify ourselves with. Those ideas will comprise our image of ourselves, upon which so many other things in our lives will depend such as self esteem and self confidence to name a couple.

The Maturing Process

Of course, expecting a child to not begin to develop a self image or identity from which to obtain some measure of peace and security is not very practical. It is practical to expect that as we grow we learn and as we learn we grow and under these circumstances we can then regularly examine our image of ourselves for relevance and appropriateness and make the proper adjustments. This in fact should be a natural part of the normal maturing process, but all too often our normal processes get interfered with as a result of internal influences such as subconscious issues.

And then there is society itself. Even without the added handicap of those internal influences in our lives, society today doesn't encourage maturity because that does not serve any of the many controlling forces we see today such as political and economic interests and agendas. A consumer producer based civilization needs to keep consumers as ignorant as possible in order to sustain itself when it reaches a point in its development when it is no longer an appropriate system for the current world environment. But what about the individual who just wants to find a measure of peace and happiness in their life by examining their original programming with an eye toward remodeling? What hope is there?

The Power To Change

The good news is that even though we may spend most of our lives trying to deny it, personal responsibility is always there and represents our only real hope for change. It is because of the unlimited personal power that personal responsibility implies that we have, that we can change anything any time we genuinely desire to do so. Personal responsibility means that we are responsible for everything us, and that includes our self identity, self image, self esteem and self confidence. Our entire mindset and core beliefs are within our power to access, understand, evaluate and effect any changes that we find necessary. This being the case, it is in our best interests to insure that our identity and self image and core beliefs are constructed in such as way as to allow us to deal effectively and efficiently with the world around us and our fellow life forms that share that world with us.

But by effectively and efficiently, I don't mean by and for the material world and its needs and demands. I am talking about the needs and demands of our hearts, humanity and our spiritual natures. I'm talking about core beliefs that are based on love, compassion, understanding and faith in ourselves.

Upon those core beliefs will be built our mindset, that in turn will build our self identity, self esteem and self confidence which will be strong because they are built on a platform of valuable enduring ideas that we call wisdom.

Self hypnosis is one of the most effective ways to quickly build your self esteem.

Author's Bio: 

Robert Darby is a self change and personal development specialist who writes for many organizations including The Agenda Of Life Foundation He focuses on developing personal power and development since that is usually the cause of all Human problems. Largely due to his fearless exploration of the true nature of our inner reality, R.E. Darby is emerging as an important writer of our time.