Yesterday’s post highlighted what I see as an elephant in the room of personal change, in that it appears there is a social stigma in place that hinders our willingness and ability to share our more personal struggles with others, rather than facing them alone. This then creates a gap between our external experiences and how we absorb those experiences to frame our perspectives about our change.
To narrow this down further, I plan to highlight what I see as differences between our external and internal connections to our change and how they interplay with each other.
Relating and identifying - what's the difference?
Understanding this interplay between our internal and external worlds offers us a great opportunity to shape our internal perceptions and beliefs and influence our external experiences and behavior. More on this later, but for now, I'd like to introduce two key words/phrases that will be used frequently in the next several posts: Relating to, and Identifying with our change.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know how much importance I place on our personal definitions to the words that we use, because even though there is usually a generally held belief of what these words mean, when we internalize them, we often do so with a slightly personal twist. So in this spirit, I here are my interpretations of Relating and Identifying:
Relating to our change.
Relating, in the context I’ll be using it, represents how we externally connect with our change. By this I mean how we see ourselves within the larger context of our world, our friends, family, work environment, society and so on before, during and after the change.
We relate to our world both actively and passively, through things like experiences, observations, and various forms of communication. How we think, feel and behave around our change can be influenced by what we see, hear, and experience around us.
Identifying with our change.
Identifying, on the other hand, is how we’ve internalized made sense of our relationship to the change. It represents who we believe we are before, during and after the change and associated transition, and it shows up in our perceptions, beliefs and behaviors. This can include how we believe we fit with, or stand apart from, others during our transition and change.
These perceptions along with other perceptions and beliefs about ourselves, our world, and our change, then drive our behaviors that show up in our external world.
Awareness is key.
We may or may not be conscious of our identity within the change. It is more likely we’re aware of how we relate, but even then we may not realize the effect that our relationship to the change has on how we identify with it. However, as mentioned earlier, the more aware we are of the interplay between how we relate to and identify with our change, the more opportunities we have to shape our perceptions and beliefs, and influence our behaviors and experiences.
How we relate to and identity with our change can manifest in many ways. Tomorrow we’ll look at an example and break it down to better understand this interplay and why it matters.
What do you think?
I invite you to share your thoughts:
Please leave your comments and let’s have a conversation!
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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