226: Can you really change your identity overnight?

226: Can you really change your identity overnight?

Welcome to this episode of our short daily podcast - A Slice of Therapy.

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With Alun Parry https://liverpoolpsychotherapy.co.uk

Automatically Generated Transcript

00:01
you’re listening to a slice of therapy
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with me alun parry
00:06
[Music]
00:12
if you ever listen to a biography
00:16
of a football manager
00:19
whether they’re kind of very old-school
00:22
ones say from the 60s and 70s
00:24
or even some of the more modern ones
00:26
that i’ve listened to
00:28
recently you’ll notice that
00:31
one of the things they all kind of have
00:33
in common is
00:35
the issue of how to kind of deal
00:39
with a wayward player so somebody for
00:42
instance who’s
00:43
got quite a bit of talent so they they
00:45
really want them to stay in the team but
00:47
they’re
00:48
they’re not particularly training very
00:50
well and they’re not working
00:52
particularly hard
00:53
and despite the fact that they’re
00:56
professional athletes they’re not
00:57
necessarily looking after their bodies
00:59
as a professional athlete might
01:01
you know they’re going out on the town
01:03
and all that sort of stuff
01:06
and one of the things that always crops
01:08
up that i notice is what these football
01:10
managers are really
01:11
keen to happen in the lives of these
01:15
wayward players
01:16
is they’re always keen for them to get
01:19
into a long-term relationship
01:21
and and have kids
01:25
and what they really want is for them to
01:26
settle down
01:28
and then when they settle down their
01:30
hope is as the football manager their
01:32
hope is that this player will then
01:33
become more professional
01:35
and more reliable and and they often do
01:39
you’ll hear these biographies and then
01:40
you’ll hear this kind of talented
01:43
but kind of roguish player suddenly
01:46
really settles down
01:48
because they enter a relationship and
01:50
they become
01:51
a father so why is it that these players
01:56
will settle down why is it that these
01:58
football managers are wanting that
02:00
for some of their players well the
02:02
reason is is because
02:04
once they settle down and become a
02:06
father
02:08
it changes their whole identity
02:12
when they become a father there’s a
02:16
switch in our
02:17
identity which brings all sorts of
02:20
changes
02:21
and these changes happen fast because
02:24
when you switch your identity
02:27
a lot of things kind of happen almost
02:29
like a domino effect
02:31
once they embody that new identity
02:34
it results in behavior change that tends
02:38
to be fast
02:39
rather than slow and so what these old
02:42
football managers
02:44
understood even all the way back then is
02:47
that
02:48
when somebody’s identity changes so does
02:51
everything else
02:54
now the thing is it doesn’t really need
02:59
for the situation to change in order to
03:01
embody a new identity
03:03
in that example they were really hoping
03:05
for their situation to change that they
03:07
would
03:07
settle down and have some kids and
03:10
become a father and take on the role
03:12
and identity of that but
03:15
the reality doesn’t actually have to
03:17
change in order for us to take on
03:20
a new identity we can choose that
03:22
identity
03:23
whenever we want you know if we want to
03:26
take on the identity of loving father
03:29
for instance
03:31
you can do that even before you’ve had
03:34
your first child
03:36
now the reality change obviously helps
03:38
it really invites you into a new
03:40
identity
03:42
but the identity change can be something
03:45
that we choose and in our own lives we
03:49
can
03:50
choose an identity for ourselves as well
03:54
so we can decide to choose the identity
03:58
of
03:59
whatever it is that we want we can
04:01
choose to be
04:03
to take on the identity of a prolific
04:06
writer
04:06
we can choose to take on the identity of
04:09
a good friend
04:11
we can choose to take on the identity of
04:15
a successful business person
04:17
or a loving partner or a caring parent
04:19
or
04:20
whatever identity it is that you would
04:23
really like to be
04:26
and you can start being that right away
04:30
you don’t have to wait for any outcome
04:32
to happen you can simply start
04:35
wearing that identity taking on that
04:38
identity and
04:39
being that person as soon as you like
04:43
you can become that person right now
04:48
it doesn’t need a life
04:51
it doesn’t need your life to change in
04:53
order to do it you simply need to embody
04:55
that role
04:56
and that identity in fact there’s even
04:58
an argument to say
05:01
that it’s the identity change that will
05:03
bring about
05:04
the wider change so if you wanted to be
05:08
a prolific writer for instance it’s
05:11
going to be taking on
05:12
the mantle the identity of a prolific
05:15
writer
05:16
that is going to turn you into one
05:19
because after all a prolific writer
05:22
writes and so
05:25
that leads us into how you actually take
05:27
on the identity
05:30
in the first instance you choose it but
05:32
then what you do after that well
05:35
the best way is to ask yourself well
05:37
suppose
05:39
i was already that thing suppose
05:43
that i was a prolific writer or suppose
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i was
05:47
a good friend suppose i really was a
05:50
successful business person
05:52
suppose i am a loving partner suppose i
05:56
am a caring parent
06:00
or whatever it is that you want it to be
06:02
suppose you were
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already that thing like what would you
06:05
notice
06:06
about yourself if that were true
06:10
what would you see yourself doing if
06:13
you’re already
06:16
a successful business person if you’re
06:18
already
06:19
prolific writer if you’re already a
06:22
caring parent whatever it happens to be
06:25
if you are
06:25
already that thing what would you see
06:28
yourself doing
06:31
and how would you be interacting with
06:32
others as
06:34
that person what would you notice about
06:36
yourself
06:37
as that person and then you can actually
06:40
sit there and make
06:42
a list that if you actually already had
06:46
this identity
06:48
and was acting according to this
06:50
identity
06:51
what would you be doing what would you
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notice about yourself
06:54
how would you be interacting with others
06:56
differently
06:57
and then you can make that list you can
06:59
write it down
07:01
and now you have a template of what it
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would look like
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if you’d not just chosen the identity
07:09
but decided to actually live it
07:13
because once you’ve got the list all you
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have to do then
07:16
is follow that list is to act in
07:19
integrity
07:21
with that list and to do it because
07:25
you are that person that you’ve chosen
07:27
to be
07:28
because you have that identity
07:32
that you’ve chosen to have
07:35
after all if that’s who you want to be
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then you don’t have to wait for it you
07:39
know you don’t have to
07:40
wait for some external event to happen
07:43
you can take on that identity right now
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because
07:46
once you’ve asked that question of what
07:48
that would look like
07:50
if you really were that person if you
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really did
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live true to that identity
07:56
once you’ve got that list you know what
07:59
that looks like and so you can simply be
08:02
it
08:03
whether the external world changes or
08:05
not you can simply choose
08:08
to be that person you know the writer
08:12
james clear
08:13
said a quote that i really like and i’ve
08:16
probably said it before on one of these
08:17
episodes but what he wrote was that
08:19
every action
08:20
that we take is a vote for the person
08:24
that we want to become so every action
08:28
is a vote for the person that we want to
08:30
become
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and so when we actually connect to an
08:32
identity
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and say well because i am
08:37
this thing i do
08:41
these things i do these actions
08:45
when we do those actions we actually
08:48
vote for the person that we want to
08:50
become we actually
08:51
grow into that identity every single
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time we take that action
08:57
so if you want to be a prolific writer
09:01
or a creative artist
09:04
or a caring parent or a successful
09:06
business person
09:08
or a good friend
09:11
or a caring parent
09:15
or a loving pet owner whatever it
09:18
happens to be
09:21
then you can actually enact that
09:23
identity and take it on as your own
09:25
and do those things
09:28
and then the identity and the changes
09:31
that it brings
09:33
become yours to embody right now
09:37
not that you have to wait for anything
09:39
else to happen in the world
09:40
but it becomes yours to embody right
09:43
away
09:44
so let’s recap on that we saw didn’t we
09:46
have those
09:47
old football managers always wanted
09:50
their wayward players to settle down and
09:52
have some children
09:53
and that the reason why is because they
09:56
wanted their
09:56
identity to change and they wanted their
10:00
identity to change
10:01
to father with all of the kind of
10:04
responsibilities and changes
10:06
and a different sense of themselves that
10:08
that brings
10:10
but we also saw that we don’t really
10:13
need anything to change at all in the
10:15
outside world for us to
10:16
assume a new identity and in our lives
10:20
then we can just
10:21
choose an identity
10:24
and we can ask ourselves
10:27
suppose i am that thing already
10:31
what would that look like how would i be
10:34
behaving if i really was that
10:36
identity that i’m choosing to take on
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board
10:39
what would living true to that identity
10:42
actually look like how would i be
10:44
how would i be with others and how would
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i be towards myself
10:48
and what are the things that i would
10:49
notice myself doing what are the actions
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i would see myself taking
10:55
and in that list that we build we have
10:58
our template
11:00
and all that we have to do then is
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follow that list
11:04
and we saw how james clear said that
11:06
every action that we take is a vote
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for the person that we want to become so
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the more that we follow that list
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the more we actually take on board the
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identity we want
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and then we do the things that that kind
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of person does
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because that’s who we happen to be
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that the identity leads and the actions
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actually follow
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and so if we want to live that identity
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and take it on as our own then all we
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have to do is choose it
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and live it and that’s something that we
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can decide for ourselves
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right away so thanks for listening
11:50
if you found it useful please share it
11:52
so somebody else can find it useful
11:54
as well if you’d like to work with me
11:56
directly one to one i’m alun parry
11:58
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12:00
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12:02
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