Protect Your Identity From Theft in 2019
Identity theft can happen in moment of a judgement, assumption or conclusion
The desire for power has opened the floodgates for negativity to pour into our culture. Power struggles have destroyed societies, marriages, companies, well intended nonprofits, the media, reputations of our youth through bullying behaviors and at times lives.
Power over others says:
"My reputation is not where I want it to be so I will destroy those around me to exalt myself as others fall around me AND I will hide in my virtual cave so no one will find me as I destroy those around me."
As Eckhart Tolle said:
"Power over others is weakness disguised as strength."
The insatiable desire for power is one of the motivations behind identity theft: The power you give to outside circumstance to define your worth, value and what you believe you are capable of handling successfully.
The cool thing about this kind of identity theft is you are an active participant in the process, which means you can choose to take it back.
During the experience of advanced cancer, I lost my physical appearance. My very wise mother picked up on my distress and said: “You know, there are cultures [that] do not have mirrors because they believe the mirror distorts and robs the person of their true identity.”
That statement deeply resonated with me. I covered all the mirrors in my house for three days to give myself some time to anchor my true identity.
When the sheets came down I looked at the image in the mirror and remember saying: “Wow, my physical appearance does not define who I am." I did not give power to the image in the mirror to define my identity.
When the quest for power consumes someone, the result is a dark, lonely cave of negativity. The fuel behind this quest stems from fear.
Negativity has become the new norm and along with it desensitization to what is good or true. Our moral compass has spun in the direction of shiny objects that continually feed the ego with drama, confusion and judgment. We have lost ourselves in the fetish.
It’s no wonder stress is the No. 1 cause of 97 percent of all doctor visits according to recent studies.
The first step to take back your identity, is to recognize the situation or thing you have given your identity over to. You can usually brainstorm when you complete the following statements: “I will feel successful when_________________” or “I will accept myself and feel that I have worth and value when______________________________.”
This is valuable work as a leader in this world. You cannot give out what you have not mastered within. If you are in a management or mentoring position, your ability to empower those entrusted to your care is linked to your ability to feel empowered and anchored in your identity from the inside-out.
Are you being pick-pocketed by one of the following: position, power, popularity or possessions?
Some of the culprits of identity theft can seem unassuming and innocent to start. Some of the major identity theft offenders are our modern-day culture (power and possessions); success in marketplace (position); family and the way we were raised and the values that were passed down to us; relationships that are around us and the relationships we are involved in (popularity).
These culprits of identity theft don’t seem very suspicious on paper, however at the very core, if left unchecked, can rob us of our identity and tell us the lie that we don’t belong here.
The first step as we navigate and unpack our identity journey is awareness. The good news is you are in control of your thoughts, words and actions and when you become aware of a pick-pocketer of your identity, you are in control if you allow them to rob your identity and who you authentically are.
As I reflect on 2018 and think about the moments and opportunities, I keep thinking back to one moment where someone’s words had the potential to rob me of my identity: When someone told me that I was a great understudy, instead of focusing on all the good that 2018 was filled with, I was concerned with position.
Thankfully, I know my worth. I am now aware of and filter everything through the lens of coaching and questioning. I coach myself often and this was one of those moments.
When you find yourself in an identity theft moment, pause and ask yourself, what did I just give power away to? A conclusion? Assumption? Judgement?
This year, explore a technique that I practice daily to help your anchor your identity: start each day with an intentional declaration of who you know yourself as being in this world:
Studies have revealed that to override negative self-talk you need to replace one negative thought with three positives to create a new messaging system in the brain.
Perhaps a remedy for identity theft lies in our ability to fast from negative thinking and linger in positive self-awareness: “I am not the opinions of other people, an outcome or struggle … unless I choose to be.”
Jenn Chloupek has a Masters in Adult Education and is a Master Sherpa Executive Coach, Author, Facilitator and Leadership Development Trainer. She has served in a federal leadership position at the National Cancer Institute as well as worked in academia, and local government. Please visit Jenn at http://JennChloupek.com