Desire vs Identity
Desire vs Identity
When working with clients as a Life & Business Coach, Corporate Trainer, & Adjunct Instructor, I often have executives, corporations, & clients book a session, come in, or call in who want to
- accomplish a specific financial or personal goal,
- break a destructive habit,
- overcome a negative mental barrier, or
- feel amazing about who they are or their potential.
This is often great, but sometimes it comes from faulty or unproductive internal meta-models and that is what really needs to be addressed first.
However, once we identify meta-models are not the issue, the first hurdle to overcome for us is to identify whether there is a desire issue (resulting in a negative behavior) which just needs to be reframed & viewed from a different perspective within the individual or group or whether this is an identity issue. If you think you might benefit from understanding the difference between a desire issue which drives our behavior or an identity issue which can change everything, this short article may be for you.
Desire Drives Behavior
Desire is mostly driven by the unconscious/subconscious; this basically means: “we don’t know why we want what we want,” but once we desire it we act in a way which results in outcomes which are either positive (+), negative (-), or neutral (/). What often happens is that supervisors, society, peers, and even we ourselves often focus on the behavior as being the issue to be dealt with and never turn a head to the desires which caused the behaviors being examined.
There are many different ways of handling behavior modification. Many clients pursue traditional “talk therapy” as a solution while some studies show our habits and behaviors are driven by something more subconscious which leads many to prefer a solution which can be installed in their subconscious through neuro-feedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP, Hypnosis, EMDR, etc. No matter which method someone uses to move forward, they are addressing their Desires or their Identity.
Dealing with Desire
In traditional talk therapy, these issues are addressed by asking the client or subject to look inward to investigate reasons why they did the behavior, how the behavior makes them feel or affects their well-being, and finally develop ideas of what to do instead of the behavior if it is indeed deemed “destructive.” This often allows the individual to examine themselves and identify the effects of behaviors socially and individually with the intent to rationalize reasons why they should adopt different behaviors and uncover a narrative or the origin story behind why they act in that specific way.
In NLP, we often follow a different protocol. First, utilizing the Presuppostions, we work with the client to uncover a well-formed, desired outcome (I use the P.U.R.E. model.) This is harder than most would think as it must follow strict rules to align with our unconscious model of how the world works. We then, will utilize a series of techniques (varying from practitioner to practitioner) to identify the method the client’s unconscious mind is currently using to determine and represent their likes and dislikes, their desires and repulsions, & their goods and bads to themselves unconsciously/subconsciously.
For example, you, like most people, have your own idea of what a “duck” is which pops into your mind now. When I ask you to describe what it is, you may give me a picture, sound, or describe how the feathers feel, or how you feel when you need to suddenly move out of the way of a moving object. No matter what though, the individual way you represent that concept of “duck” is yours and yours alone. There may be similarities between you and another, but what’s occurring in your minds won’t be identical to one another.
By understanding this example, we can use the same principle to identify the way your brain represents things you like and those you dislike and how your mind represents the difference to you and then use that method to alter the way you represent a desire to yourself and change it into a repulsion in your subconscious and vice versa which will alter your behaviors from undesirable to desirable.
Identity Changes Everything
Sometimes, desires or behavior are not the issue but something deeper causing someone to feel empty regardless of accomplishments, success, social status or relationships. When a client tells me they feel like a loser, failure, or undesirable, I will begin a consult by determining whether or not this person needs to adjust the model they possess of their identity.
When someone changes what they believe about “who they are” often referred to as “self-image” or “personal identity” it can literally change everything including desires and behaviors, but sometimes even more areas such as values, posture, breathing patterns, tastes, character, ethics, and activism so this is not something to take lightly; the consequences need to be examined closely before adjusting these models.
Note: This often happens when someone has a religious experience or “spiritual conversion.”
Developing Ideal Identity
In traditional “talk therapy,” the issue of identity is sometimes addressed by a client being asked to investigate their idea of their worth or value. Questions about what they think they deserve, what they have allowed for themselves in the past, and what value they add to their family, friends, or company sometimes lay the groundwork for the client to investigate rationally how they should view themselves in a way which will make them most productive, happy, and fulfilled. For many people, this experience can convince them that they need to adopt a healthier view of themselves and happily they can accept many aspects of themselves and adopt new ideas of their identity which will serve them better in the future.
In Neuro-Linguistic Programming, I utilize a slightly different protocol. First, we begin with a technique to uncover what the client or subject unconsciously values most in the world. Using a model which takes some time to master but seems conversational and somewhat mundane, clients comfortably and casually describe what matters most to them in concrete and abstract terms.
Just like in the “duck” example of above, those terms are represented to that individual in a unique and specific way to them unconsciously by their own mind; therefore, we use a similar NLP model to map out those visuals, sounds, and feelings. Quite often, the abstract terms are more important to clients than the concrete. Things like, impact, happiness, peace, success, love, etc. take priority over jobs, hobbies, cars, etc. . .
The Process: we then run through an NLP exercise determining an individual the clients know or have seen, are around them, or whom they have a relationship with who has
- character, and
- the mindset
needed to maximize the areas which they have expressed matter most in the world to them. By using a series of NLP techniques, we uncover a version of themselves which already possesses and could implement all these areas into one identity. Finally, we utilize several NLP patterns and sometimes hypnosis to fully embed the desired identity into the subconscious to unconsciously alter everything about the person’s internal model of their identity and adopt/program the new model into the subconscious.
What to do Next?
Now that you know the difference between Identity, Desires, and Behaviors, you may want to join thousands of others who have committed to altering some area of your life. If that is the case, it may make sense to reach out to someone like me to schedule a Corporate Workshop, a Consultation, or a Session.
Below, I have a pay by the minute option or you can always send me an email through this site, and as always even if I am not the best option for you, I am happy to help you find a way to Be Your Own Hero.
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