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The Science of
the Self

WHAT DOES SCIENCE TELL US ABOUT IDENTITY AND OUR SELVES?

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Image by Paige Cody

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

Finding Ourselves

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Sense of self, self image, identity - all these things effectively refer to knowing who we are, recognizing our personality traits, preferences and values.

People who have a stronger sense of self report better emotional health and self worth and experience more fulfilling relationships and lives.

On the other hand, a poorly defined sense of self can make it hard to make choices and carry with it a general dissatisfaction with life.

Consciously checking in with your identity can also lead to greater self acceptance, making it easier to navigate life's ups and downs and more likely we can unlock purpose and meaning along the way.

Image by Jason Goodman

WHO ARE YOU?

Tell us a bit about yourself...

Do You Have a Stronger Sense of Self?

HOW IT WORKS

Are you confident in your life decisions, regardless of others' opinions?

A strong sense of self means it's more likely you can confidently make choices without second-guessing yourself. Taking responsibility for your decisions and their outcomes feels comfortable, regardless of what other people in your life may think.

Are you confident in your life decisions, regardless of others' opinions?

A strong sense of self means it's more likely you can confidently make choices without second-guessing yourself. Taking responsibility for your decisions and their outcomes feels comfortable, regardless of what other people in your life may think.

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One way of visualising the steps to your ideal future or goal effectively is to visualize choice points. 

A choice point is a fork in the road moment when your actions will either lead you toward your goal or away from it. That either equals more traction, or more distraction.

 

So if you’re trying to build calmer, more communicative and more connected relationships, visualize the choice point you’ll face when someone does or says something that gets you angry or annoyed. Mentally rehearse what the scene will look like and what you will do and say, in advance to stay calm and moderate your response.

The trick is focus on the path that will lead you to that point, not the outcome itself. What will it feel like along the way? What might you need to do or not do?

 

It's like a golfer visualizing the whole swing, not just the moment the ball goes into the hole.

For visualization to be most effective, you need to literally see it.

 

So it can be helpful to spendsome time with your eyes closed imagining the scene, drawing a picture, creating a Pinterest board, creating a vision board out of magazine cuttings or anything that visually supports your vision or goal.

 

As an example, when Jim Carey was only a struggling comic, he visualized having a successful and lucrative acting career.

 

To make his vision concrete, in the 1970s he wrote himself a check for $10 million for "acting services rendered" dated for Thanksgiving of 1995, which he placed in his wallet. By 1995, Carey was already an established comedic actor commanding far more than $10 million per picture.

 

Writing down a personal vision statement or creating a vision board can be a powerful thing

Enjoy the Moment

USING VISUALIZATION

Steps to Creating

Your Vision Statement

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Pick 5 Core Values

When you identify and know your values clearly, you can craft a clearer picture of an ideal future.

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Start Visualizing

Even a few minutes spent imagining can help you access and clarify your vision.

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Document it

Locking your vision statement into a written sentence, or depicting it on a mood board is a key step.

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Step 1:
Pick 5 Core Values

Tapping into your vision can be easier when you’re clear on and honor what's truly important to you: in other words, when you understand your personal values. 

 

That’s because some of life's tough decisions about where you want to go are really about figuring out what you value most. 

Although our values are usually fairly stable throughout our lives, they can evolve.

 

Things that were important to you in the past may not be anymore. For example, earning a high salary versus nurturing more work-life balance.

 

Taking some time to understand the true priorities in your life as they are today, even if you think you’ve done this in the past, can help you find the way forward that serves you best. 

Writing a Diary

When you know your own values, you can use them to make decisions about how to live your life, and make it an easier process answer questions like:

  • What balance is right in my life?

  • Should I accept this offer?

  • Should I take the risk?

  • Should I compromise?

In other words, questions that can help you craft that end vision. 

Step 2:
Start Visualizing

Reserving a few minutes for calm reflection before writing it can help you access and clarify your idea about how you want to feel. 

 

What’s interesting, is that some data shows that visualizing the process to achieving a goal  is more likely to make us take those steps, rather than just picturing the end result.

 

Close your eyes and spend a minute imagining the future.

 

  • Imagine yourself being 90 years old, and having lived a dream life. 

  • What were the steps along the way that you accomplished? 

  • How do these accomplishments make you feel?

  • What you are most proud of?

 

Open your eyes and write down a few sentences about how that future you had lived their life: what was true for them? What motivated them? 

Step 3:
Document Your Vision Statement

Take the keywords from steps 1 and 2 as inspiration for you to now spend a few minutes writing down your personal vision statement.

 

One way to think about this is:

 

What would be said about that 90 year old person in their eulogy, or be written on their gravestone?

Portrait of a Confident Man

CREATE THE LIFE YOU CHOOSE

For personalized help with your visioning process, connect with your ELANZA coach in a 1-1 session.