Whats It All About ALFIE

I for Identity. The A to Z of Conscious Living

A to Z I


We have many Identities, the question is, are they ones we would choose to have?

Two descriptions of ‘identity’ in the dictionary are “the condition of being oneself and not another” and “character as to who a person is”.

We take on our identities at an early age, some of which serve us well and others not. They come from how we are taught to be in our environment, the behaviours we are to display, the skills we develop to get what we want, the beliefs and values that form from this and others around us we look up to. We don’t really get much choice in this when we are very young, as what we do, who we hang out with, where we go and the things we experience are pretty much governed by our parents and carers. So as these are the things that create our Identity, we can end up having identities we may not have chosen.

Examples of this are things like being told “You’re the clever one / the naughty one / the awkward one / the pretty one… “ and the list is endless. You may think some of these positive ones are ok, however in later life trying to live up to our identities at all times can become tough.

When we grow up we continue to ‘live out’ these identities and over time they become so part of us that we think they are who we are. D for Dare to believe you are not who you think you are explains that when we are living unconsciously we go about half asleep on auto-pilot and literally just ‘act out’ our identity as the norm.

When we begin to wake up and live more consciously, we begin to see some changes we would choose to make. There is a danger here though. The personal development industry is great at helping you to believe that you need to be different and has all the answers to help you change your behaviours, beliefs, values and all sorts and to ‘be’ someone else. I spent many years and many thousands of pounds trying to do this and some of what I did was helpful to some degree and other things just a plain waste of money. The biggest issue as I see it now is that the personal development industry comes from the place of wanting you to think you are not ok as you are and that you need fixing before you can feel good about yourself.

I now know differently. We are all perfect as we are. We do not need fixing. We do, however, need to wake up and be reminded of who we really are, and that is about helping us to see who we are when the identities we wouldn’t choose to have are moved away.

A model I was taught on my NLP (neuro linguistic programming) Master Practitioner course, created by Robert Dilts, helps to explain this.


The diagram shows that there are six levels in the pyramid. From the bottom up we can see how we are born into an environment that influences our behaviours, that in turn develops our skills and capabilities which inform our beliefs and values, and then these form our identity. With that identity we continue through life living it out as we have been ‘taught’ and thinking it is who we are.

With personal development we then begin to work on some of these levels such as beliefs and values, however the problem here is that it cannot make the difference we are looking for if we still live out the identity we believe is ours. The real change comes when we look at and consciously choose our identities. When we do that, the levels below fall like dominoes and we influence our beliefs, values and the rest from a place of choosing who we are. We can only do this when we are living at a higher state of consciousness, which is the sixth level (‘spirit’ in the diagram) and connect to the higher energy or Universe as discussed in H for Heart.

This is the most powerful tool I know to give us choice and allow us to be who we really are.

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Until next time,

Alfie X

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