Identity is Dynamic:
The Workings of the Self-schema
Daily Practices for
Creating changes in behavior that stick!
“The motivation… for me… was them
telling me what I could not be.”
~ Pharrel Williams ~
Sometimes you hear people talking about possibilities, speculating about that which you can do and that which you can’t do, exploring what is possible and what is impossible, mapping out the limits of the capabilities of man and world.
All human beings have a mental map in their minds about the possibilities and limits of what it means to be a human being in this world. This map influences the choices we make in life.
At some point in my life, I decided I wanted to change because I wanted to be different from how I was being at that time.
I wanted to grow and develop new characteristics and traits, while I wanted to discard others that I didn’t like. I would share this with people. It bothered me a lot when people doubted the possibility of me changing, although I cannot say that my own mind didn’t doubt this possibility as well at times.
However, I was curious and open, so I started to explore the areas of changing my identity/personality (who I am being).
I originally started an University education in Psychology in the hopes of learning more about this. To my disappointment, a lot of the literature that was offered there was descriptive and mostly focused on explaining how most people tend to develop. Very little was said about how I could change myself and some schools of thought even suggested that self-change was not possible, that one idea which annoyed me so much.
I quickly realized that this supposedly professional intellectual domain of scientific education was filled with self-limiting ideas and rigid belief systems. Not all of it was bad though, I learned quite a bit, but very little of it had any practical utility.
I chose to not limit my education to UNI and design my own curriculum on the side and learn more about identity change.
Five years have passed since that time and I’ve learned a lot about the scientific field of psychology and I’ve plowed thru a great deal of resources in area’s like personal development, self-help, success, engagement, spirituality and leadership.
I originally wanted to write my master thesis on the topic of identity being dynamic, but I figured that this would not be a very smart idea, as earlier attempts of me asserting these ideas into my studies had not been received so well by staff members working at the institute of psychology. I decided to take the path of least resistance and design an experiment and write a master thesis in an area which also happened to interested me.
The contents for ‘Identity is Dynamic’ got poured into the book you’re reading right now.
Nowadays, the scientific community has very little value to offer in terms of helping people change who they are and to teach them how to grow and develop as a human being.
It still reinforces a map of what’s possible that limits people in changing who they are being.
In spite of these limitations, more people are starting to get in touch with their abilities to direct conscious self- change. There is an abundance of material out there geared towards helping you be the person you want to be. In this book I’ve integrated the most empowering insights, the most effective strategies and combined these with academic knowledge and understanding in multiple fields of psychology, plus personal lessons I’ve learned in the past years.
With this book, you will be able to rid yourself of behaviors that bothered you in the past and consciously design your life, get what you want, be who you want to be and act how you want to act. In other words, the purpose of this book is to:
Facilitate human beings in being how they want to be;
by: sharing empowering insights into human psychology, as well as providing practical tools for personal transformation.
Have fun with it!
-Edward Spruit Msc.
A distinction can be made between two ways to live life:
You can actively explore, try lots of different things and find out what works by first-hand experience.
You can wait for 100% proven scientific findings to arrive until you try something new.
I love science and I am so thankful for the kind of work many great scientists bring to the table. However, it is a fact that science has so much more to uncover and that there are things in life that science may not even be able to investigate. I know I cannot let science be my sole guide for action, as I would be missing out on so many possibilities and opportunities that might improve the quality of my life. Also, I recognize and enjoy reading and practicing science. Having said that;
This book is written in a sort of raw, from-the-top-of-my-head kind-of-manner. It is not written in an academic style, nor does it make use of much argumentation to support the ideas that are being presented. A lot of the time I am just describing concepts and ideas I want to put forth. Also, I often write from the first-person perspective using the words ‘I’ and ‘me’, because I am sharing my views and they don’t have to be yours if you don’t want to. I’m just suggesting ideas and you can see if you want to look at things from my point of view. The reason I have chosen to write in this style is because I’m not interested in convincing anyone about the validity of the ideas presented in this book. I wrote this book because I wanted to and I know the ideas in it have been of great value to me in my life. It’s really up to you (the reader) to find out if they can be for you. Feel free to try out the ideas and see if they work for you or not. This isn’t a book about writing down some ultimate truth of the universe. It’s just me sharing what I’ve found to be extremely valuable to me over the years. What may work for one, may not work for another and that’s okay. All I would suggest is that you give all things in life an honest try.
Like I stated in the Preface, the scientific community has positive as well as negative qualities. On the one hand, it produces valid research that helps us to understand and predict reality better, but on the other hand, it also promotes ideas that may inhibit self-change in people. This is especially the case because science is revered and respected by many people. Appreciation for scientific work is certainly a good thing, but in my view we need a more balanced picture of science, especially the social sciences. This book will first address the challenges and drawbacks of the social sciences in Part I.
After that, the book will teach you about attention, pain, hurt, fear and anxiety and how these play into the growth and development of an individual (Part II). In Part III, I write about the various mechanisms, processes and aspects of identity (the self-schema) and how self-change is either facilitated or impaired. Finally, in Part IV, I provide practical tools you can use and implement to change who you are being.
- Part I: The Current State of the Social Sciences
- Part II: Carefree Child
- Part III: The Dynamic Self-schema
- Part IV: Principles & Daily Practices for Self-Change
Next Post is dropping at 2-1-2012: Social Sciences Research (part I)…
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