The minds goal is to try its best to predict the future.
It does this by creating a mental model of the world and everything in it including you. This mental model of you is likely the most important construct inside your mind because every computation inside your mind goes through this construct.
Every action you take is determined by your own belief in who you are.
We can simplify this further by stating the following.
Your actions in the world are a determined by a collection of I statements about yourself.
I am smart, I am funny, I am kind.
We can translate these into math.
W1 = I am smart = 22
W2 = I am funny = 20
W3 = I am kind = 18
You = W1 + W2 + W3
In a mathematical neural network the computations of the networks are determined by the values of weighs and biases within the network.
So when we compute you we take everything you think you are and we compute the output of that to get a value. So you are 22 + 20 + 18 = 60.
Negative values attached to the self are catastrophic for mental health because every time you have to think you will experience negative feelings because you will get negative output when you compute yourself.
I’m pretty certain that just reading negative stimuli slightly changes the weights and biases within your mind but perhaps some people aren’t sensitive enough to pick up on this slight change in the computational models within the mind.
If we would add “Im a fraud” to the mix, you will suddenly have a new computation
W4 = I’m a fraud = – 25
You = W1 + W2 + W3 + W4
You = 35
To further complicate things you can decide on a meaning for a word in your mind that makes it so that it doesn’t influence you negatively. A famous example.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
Here being crazy is good.
No matter what you perceive yourself to be your belief in yourself influence you.
These beliefs in yourself determines what actions you perform and what actions you don’t perform. They are a sort of rule based schematic of how to navigate life that you have imposed on yourself to handle the absurd complexity that is life.
Not having an attribute for yourself will also influence your actions. This is an unknown unknown. I’ve painted for almost a year and I self identify as an artist. This highly influence my thought process and I’ve had a lot of thoughts in the last year that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t identify as an artist.
So how do we solve this problem? You can’t really lie to yourself too much
because your mind will require proof that you are doing something. If you say that you are a runner you need to run. But you can start by deciding to be a runner and then start running. There’s a gap here that you can use to get started with any activity.
Once you self identify as something and determine that it is important for you to be that thing your mind will give you the resources you need to pursue that goal. However nothing comes easy. I spent months doing nothing but paint to learn how to paint. This is how it works regardless of what you need to learn.
But it is important to understand that you have the choice to be whoever you want to be. You can literally change overnight and decide to be a concert pianist and after a few thousands hours of practice you will probably be pretty good.
By convincing your mind that you are something you will gain an edge and over time you will become what you convinced yourself that you are.
As the old saying goes.
Fake it till you make it.