Moving from a mindset of ‘being’, to a mindset of ‘becoming’

What do you think is your identity?

Is it who you are now? Or, is it who you are becoming?

If you believe that your identity is who you are now, then you have a fixed mindset. Your identity simply can’t change in that mindset – with the result that you stagnate. You are who you are and you stay that way.

If you believe that your identity is who you are becoming, then you are, like the famous anthropologist Edward T. Hall, perceiving identity as a process. Since it is a process, it is malleable and constantly changing towards the fulfillment of your true identity.

You gain experiences, reflect on these experiences, gain new insights, change your beliefs, and ultimately change your behaviour. And this process only ends with your death. In other words: your one ‘true’ identity is nothing more but an illusion.

It is your choice to make: do you want to make progress, or do you want to ‘stay true to yourself’?

Do you really want to get trapped by the illusion of ‘being yourself’, which completely diminishes your chances of ever making progress in your life?

And don’t get me wrong: what I mean with this is not that I am asking you to stop behaving according to your own values and beliefs. That simply is called inauthenticity, and is certainly not advisable.

What I am asking you to do, however, is to constantly remain open about diverging viewpoints, and belief systems that are different from the one you are currently holding.

Perhaps your current beliefs are holding you back, and perhaps they aren’t. Whichever it is, beliefs are just that: beliefs. They are not accurate reflections of reality.

As an expatriate friend of mine said: “the key to being successful overseas is to be able to acknowledge that your own beliefs aren’t the only ones are out there, and to let go of these beliefs if necessary. And yet, the reason why so many people are unsuccessful in adapting to life overseas is that it is a very painful process to go through”.

So lastly, I encourage you to really go inside yourself and ask yourself this question: do you believe that you are who you are, or do you believe that you are who you have the potential to become? If you believe that you are who you are, then I want you to go deep inside yourself. Do you really think that this is a positive belief for you to hold? If yes, then that’s totally fine. But if no, then ask yourself the question what you can do to change your belief to a focus on becoming instead.

Tim

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