I don’t know what it is about divorce, but it has always seemed liberating to me.
I’m not talking about divorce from a spouse here. I am nowhere near qualified to advise you on that subject even though I absolutely advocate for leaving situations that make you miserable.
I’m talking about divorcing your own identity when it’s a relationship that’s driving you to physical, emotional, spiritual, and often financial ruin.
I’ll give you a great example of what I mean-
A person that’s very close to me in my life has, for about five or more years, told me how they don’t learn anything new.
“I never learn anything new.”
It’s been a constant narrative for years, and I’m being kind when I lowball with “five.” This person probably has been going on about that way longer.
A lot of people have this story playing in their minds, that they’re not the sort of person who does X, Y, or Z. They’re “not an athletic person.” They’re “not the kind of person who likes Yoga.” They’re “not the kind of person who needs mindfulness.” They’re “not the kind of person who gets up early.” The list goes on.
Yet, you never hear a person saying “I’m not the sort of person who takes antibiotics when I’m deathly ill.”
Nobody says that. They want to get better as soon as possible.
Just like a disgusting, pus-filled, festering infection that needs a shot of Penicillin, a lot of what you’re doing right now that you lump into “identity” will lead you to misery, regret, anger, hopelessness, and illness later in life if you don’t take care of it. And many of these things are rooted in things you are telling yourself about yourself.
Can you imagine being 70 years old, living in regret because you didn’t “learn more,” because, through your whole life, you were a person who “didn’t learn new things?”
Or how about being a person who is 70 years old and realizing that nobody in the world cares what you dress like, look like, walk like, talk like, or any of that nonsense. Can you imagine feeling that you wasted decades because you were the sort of person who “cared what people thought of their appearance?”
Or how about getting cancer when you’re 60 because you weren’t the type of person to “give a shit about what they ate.”
It sounds as bad as the festering infection. Yet- there’s good news!
Everything you tell yourself about yourself is completely negotiable.
I’m “a person who is always late,” or “I’m never late” is completely up to you. When you tell your brain “I am never late,” you gain a keener awareness over time. Thus, you likely won’t ever be late.
When you tell yourself “I am a person who doesn’t obsess over what others think of my body,” you will begin to file everything into the “I don’t give a fuck folder.”
When you tell yourself that smoking, for example, makes you weak and disgusting, rather than “elegant” and “beautiful,” you will begin to want to stop smoking.
When you tell yourself “I am not the sort of person that accepts abuse from others,” you will begin advocating for yourself in situations you never had before.
Is it easy?
Fuck no! It’s not even remotely easy. You are rewriting a lifetime of an identity!
The problem is people go through life blind as actual fuck. They believe that a threat to their identity is a threat to who they are, and they believe that without their “identity” that they’ve created, they’ll just continue on as lifeless blobs melting into puddles and seeping into the gutter.
This isn’t what happens!
“Reality is negotiable.”
I know this quote was made famous by Tim Ferriss, but I had a sociology professor in undergrad who said that allllll the way back in 2007. I remember being so excited and elated to explore that concept.
Then, I remember telling my family (I was young at the time, almost 22,) and just having my ass ripped to shreds about how I didn’t understand anything about reality, I was ignorant, it was idiotic, only people who don’t live in the “real world” say things like that, blah blah.
Yet, here we are, many years later, and the people who I knew who “said things like that” ended up creating marvelous realities for themselves strictly from changing the process of their thoughts.
I, on the other hand, spent a decade allowing myself to be bullied into the mindset of “this is just how things are.”
Things are not that way. You’re making it up. You’re making up the story about yourself that’s keeping you in the place you’re in.
Everything is a lie.
You’re “not a social person?” You made that up.
You’re “not good at waking up early?” Complete trash. You made it up.
You’re “not good at self-promotion?” Wrong again. It’s a lie.
Do you know why I feel comfortable with using all of these examples? Because I was a person who said all of these things.
I said every single sentence that I mentioned. Every single one. I believed all of them. I woke up at 2:00 p.m. My friend circle was small and angry. I was fat, tired, drunk, bored, and unathletic. I stopped learning and growing. My whole world was trash because I made it that way.
Enough is enough. Stop. It’s time to divorce your old self. It hasn’t been serving you.
You can change. If you don’t know where to start, you and I need to talk. Here’s the link to get on my email list.
That first step can be the difference between a lifetime of happiness and a lifetime of regret.
Originally published at https://www.getthefuckoff.com on February 9, 2021.