If you read my about page, you’ll see that I’m an author, an engineer, and a dog lover. But is that really who I am? And that begs the question, who are you?
We all define ourselves in some way or another. And often times it’s fluid, and many times not so kind.
For example, as of writing this, I’m a failed author with chronic back pain and a developing addiction to soda.
In psychology, this is called your categorical self. This is separate from our existential self; it’s how we see ourselves physically. Much like we’d define an apple is red, round, crunchy, and somewhat sweet.
The problem with the categorical self is it involves something called “self image.” And self image is not always rooted in reality, or at best is a subjective reality.
If self image is subjective, why not change it?
The first time I heard this concept was in college. A song by Sister Hazel called “Change Your Mind” played on the radio.
Take a listen.
Here’s the chorus:
If you want to be somebody else,
If you’re tired of fighting battles with yourself
If you want to be somebody else
Change your mind
And then again just last year I saw an even more powerful version of this concept when Tyler Figueroa, a 10-year-old violinist, took the stage on “America’s Got Talent.”
It’s astonishing to me that a 10-year-old figured out a concept that most people in the world never figure out.
He realized he “didn’t want to be the kid with cancer, so now he’s the kid who plays the violin.”
I’m still working on who I am, are you?