Newton’s Third Law of Emotion: Your identity will stay your identity until a new experience acts against it.

Our identity is a network of value-based narratives—stories about the experiences that gave us positive or negative feelings. The longer we keep the story about any experience, the more fundamental it becomes for our identity and the harder it is to change due to the attached emotions. The Feeling Brain doesn’t know the difference between the past, present, and future. When we allow it to try new values and see what they feel like, the Feeling Brain gets accustomed to these new values and starts to believe in them.

Instructions

  1. Reexamine the experiences of your past, and rewrite the narratives around them.
    Look from another perspective to get a clearer view of your self-worth. Remove guilt and shame from the stories of the past.
  2. Write narratives of your future self.
    Envision what life would be like if you had certain values or possessed a certain identity. Develop a clear vision of the future you desire and of the values you want to adopt. Visualization should be a little uncomfortable. It should challenge you.
  3. Accept the idea that any attempt to break free from old values through new or contrary experiences will inevitably be met with pain and discomfort.
    There is no change without pain.  
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