Reidentify your identity
Have you heard of Manson’s Law of Avoidance? It states that “the more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it”. That means: the more something threatens to change how you think of yourself, the more you will avoid doing it. Let’s make it specific with a couple of examples.
You avoid telling your friend that you don’t want to see him anymore because ending that friendship would conflict with your identity as a nice, forgiving person. You avoid giving presentations, because you view yourself as a bad speaker. You avoid sharing a fantastic idea with your boss because you think of yourself as somebody who is not an innovation champion at all. So we say “no” to opportunities because they threaten to change how we view and feel about ourselves.
In our minds, during our lifetime, we have built a picture of ourselves. We have created a set of ideas of who we are. And we protect these ideas. And we try to live up to them and we justify them and maintain them. Even if we don’t mean to, that’s how our brain is wired: “If I believe I’m a nice guy, I’ll avoid situations that could potentially contradict that belief”.
However, do not let beliefs of your identity define your actions. Don’t put yourself into a strict role. It simply limits your potential and it closes off opportunities. Have the courage to develop a stronger view of yourself. Indeed: reidentify your identity.
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