Methods For Changing Your Identity and Your Motivations
Because your identity is at base, in large part a set of beliefs, it can be examined and altered using cognitive techniques such as cognitive restructuring as described above. Indeed, the use of cognitive restructuring techniques to challenge beliefs about the necessity of depression or anxiety in your life can lead to an alteration of your identity. As you use the cognitive technique to successfully challenge and re-challenge your beliefs, those beliefs start to change. As your beliefs change, so too does your identity.
Before you can have any hope of making changes to your identity with cognitive or other techniques, however, you must first decide that that exploring your identity is a worthwhile thing to do. Some people resist identity exploration. They may (mistakenly) assume that they are already perfect; that their current perspective on things is the sole and only correct one to have and that any problems they might be experiencing are caused by other people (a mistake known as "externalization", described below). Alternatively, they may lack the necessary insight or intelligence required to realize that their experiences are filtered through the lens of their identity and perspective. Such people fundamentally don't get the idea of identity, naively assume that everyone else must see themselves and the world as they do, and never realize that it is important to pay attention to perspective. We hope that you will not make these (or similar) mistakes and will be willing to look at your own perspective so as to best figure out if and how it can be improved for the betterment of your life.