In families, we tend to get a branded identity.
Maybe you're "the creative one" or "the smart one."
Or maybe you're "the rebel" or "the black sheep."
Perhaps you've been called "a homebody" or "the shy one."
Or alternatively, maybe you're "the loud one" or "the opinionated one."
It was whatever your mom or dad or other family members/ teachers/ etc. told you that you were.
That label became who you thought yourself to be in the world.
Now, sometimes branding can be positive, like in the case of "the creative one" or "the smart one."
But if you've been branded something negative or some other sibling was branded as the thing that you wanted to be, you might just be a little pissed off and/or resentful and/or quite sad that you're simply not that.
That was me.
My sister was "the creative one."
And my best friend was "the musical one."
I was "the shy one" and "the good one."
(Sidenote: "the good one" might seem positive, but with it come a boatload of responsibility and expectation and also pit me against my sister (who was "the bad one" lol) which I didn't realize until many years later into adulthood... tap tap tap...)
While I didn't mind being "the good one" for many years (Hello, I mind now.) -- I always wished that I was "the creative one" and "the musical one."
(I was also told that I was not musically inclined which made me firmly believe that you were either born with a magical musical gene or you weren't..... And I sadly, was not. ...Thanks, Mom!)
No, but seriously, I love my mom. She's wonderful.
But what I learned -- how I was "branded" -- was as the less creative sister with no musical talent.
Why does all of this matter?
Because we take these identities with us into adulthood.
And left unchecked, we might actually take them with us our whole lives, never realizing that they were just some stupid labels that some well-meaning adult branded us with when we were little.
It's super important to become aware of how you've been branded.
And maybe you picked up your branding in high school or college or at your first job. It doesn't matter when -- but somewhere along the way, someone placed you in a box.
The question is -- Is that the box you want to spend the rest of your life in?
If you're walking around thinking "Gosh, well, I'm just not the creative one in my family. No wonder I'm having a hard time figuring out how I want my website to look. I'm not good at this stuff."
"I'm just not smart. I always have to put in extra effort. I always have to work just a little harder than everyone else, just to keep up. No wonder I always feel behind."
...then you've got some faulty programming running your life.
And you're much more likely to cower in the face of adversity because you've internalized your identity as "not creative" or "not smart" as a hard fact, rather than something you have the power to change.
Here's the thing, friend.
Just because someone else thought you belonged in a certain box when you were little, doesn't mean that that's the box you need to live in now.
No one gets to tell you who you can be in the world or what you're really capable of except you.
But breaking these beliefs around your identity can be tough because you've probably gathered a whole lifetime of experiences proving them true.
See, what happens when your brain gets the message that "I'm not smart." or "I'm not creative" is that it then goes out in the world looking for reasons why that must be true!
(Google "Reticular Activating System" if you want to know more about that.)
So with tapping, your job is to figure out what those old identities are that you've been branded with and then tap through your resistance to letting them go.
You might have to tap through being angry at your mom for planting that seed.
Or being sad that you "wasted" so many years not playing guitar when you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar.
Or anger at yourself for believing the lie for so long and holding yourself back in some big ways.
It's these old identities and stories that can really keep us from full self expression both in our lives and in our businesses.
We need to drop these identities like their hot and create the identity that we most desire so that we can have the life and business we most desire.
What old identity are you holding onto that's not actually true? What was one of your "branded identities" growing up? Is that true for you now? What would it take for you to start believing something else?
Leave a comment below and let me know! I love hearing from you.