From the Golden Rule to The Platinum Rule, a book about how to “do unto others as they’d like done unto them,” we can learn how to treat and interact with other people. Today, we’re examining how the relationship with yourself is shaped by the way in which you speak to and teach yourself to participate in the world, which serves as the foundation for how you treat others.
Each day, as we process the many thoughts that flood our minds, we tell ourselves what we believe to be true about who we are. We become attached to those labels, and they form our identity. It seems as though the labels we have created, along with the ones others have fed us, have become a part of us- but do they capture who we really are? Do they tell the whole story?
The challenge is that we often see our identity as a separate part of us that has already been defined, rather than as something that we form through our thinking. This belief traps us from shaping our identity over time. We end up thinking that we are good at one thing, bad at another and so on. Is that an accurate assessment? Or, are those actions a result of our limited thinking?
Of course we all have natural gifts and passions that we are drawn to. However, the point is that we can build our identity with the thoughts we choose to think and by the way we speak to ourselves. Those thoughts then determine how we act in the world, and in turn, how we treat everyone around us.
If each thought forms a part of our identity, that gives us an incredible amount of power to choose productive thoughts that allow us to act in ways that yield the results for which we are seeking.
For instance, if we believe ourselves to be late because we have been late more often than not in the past and others have fed us that thought, we will continue to act in ways that make us late. What if being late no longer has to be a part of our identity? What if we choose to tell ourselves we are always on time because we have learned that we value our time and desire to be seen as more responsible? Would this not begin to permeate our subconscious and influence us to act differently?
Consider another example: When we feel our emotions are out of control, or that the world is happening around us without our input, have we simply lost control of our thoughts?
With every thought we choose to hold onto, we are teaching ourselves how we should be treated, and we are teaching ourselves how to act in the world.
In essence, you can choose the labels that become attached to you as well as choose your actions, when you learn how you would like to be treated by yourself, which is a direct result of your thinking.
If we want to peacefully interact with others, the relationship with ourselves shapes our ability to do that. Do you value kindness? If so, are you kind to yourself? How can you act out kindness if you have not yet adopted the thought that you are a kind person and choose to be kind to yourself?
The identity you form, the habits you adopt, the relationships you create, and the life you build will all be influenced by the way you treat yourself. This process begins with being selective of the thoughts that you feed yourself as you shape your identity. You can become anything you desire, and it’s always a good time to begin that journey!
I believe you are a wonderful human being with limitless potential. Do you?
What thoughts do you want to shape your identity? It is never too late to adopt a new way of thinking or discover that you no longer have to walk around with a label that someone else attached to you.
Treat yourself in the way that you would like to be treated. Be forgiving of your mistakes and kind to yourself as you navigate life’s challenges. Determine what is most important to you and assess what thoughts you need to feed yourself to reach those goals.
You can control how you act when you take control of your thoughts. The power is within you.