Jill Hubbard Cleaver
4 min readFeb 27, 2021

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HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY YOURSELF?

What labels are you creating or simply accepting? You get to choose. Just decide how you want to identify yourself.

I am a health nut OR I am a sensible eater.

I am too busy OR I have peaceful steady rhythm.

I am anxious OR I am trusting of life.

I am ADHD OR I am blessed with energy.

I am bipolar OR I am wonderfully balanced.

I am too emotional OR I am blessed with a full range of emotions.

I am a people pleaser OR I love people and I also know what my needs are.

I am disorganized OR I am flexible and orderly enough to function well.

I am a depressed person OR I am content/happy at least half of the time.

Our deep-seated beliefs/identities run our show. We program our brains by repeating certain thoughts thousands of times with strong emotion. Repetition and emotion cement the thoughts into a strong belief. We identify ourselves or tie ourselves to that belief. Then we automatically act on that strong belief.

And the fascinating thing is that most of us have no idea what our underlying, subconscious beliefs are. How do we find out? Just ask and listen. The answer will come at just the right time.

For example: If we say to ourselves “I hate early mornings. I am a night person” repeatedly with feelings of dread, our action will be to either sleep in or act slow and grumpy in the mornings. Then our result will be to continue to resist mornings. If we identify ourselves as night people, and believe deeply that we cannot do mornings how could we ever change, if we needed to?

Another example: If we repeat a thought, which is accompanied by a strong emotion of confidence, such as “I am young and healthy” our brains will file that as instruction and we will automatically act on that. (By the way, it has to feel believable or our brains will reject it. So pick a thought that feels believable and ladder up over time.) Our result will be actually feeling and acting young and healthy.

This really works!

I hang out enough with our children and their friends; and our grandchildren that my brain subconsciously programs “youngness” into me. I look in the mirror and sometimes feel surprised at how old I really am. I don’t tell myself I am young. I just decided that I want to be able to do things with our children and grandchildren. Of course I am not as fit as them, but I think I am. My husband is the same way.

I’m telling you, our thoughts and feelings and beliefs are powerful!! Just decide what you want and identify yourself the way you want to be and with the things you want to do.

I told myself that it was too hard to figure out how to grow things in a greenhouse accurately, so someone smarter will have to be in charge. Then one day I realized that the bugs and fungus were taking over. Drat! That greenhouse cost us over $30,000 and a lot of labor and my husband is too busy right now to take care of it. I told a professional gardener about the problems and he told me to start caring for the greenhouse daily, like I should have been doing for the past several months! That was a blessed wake-up call. I thought “I can be a genius greenhouse gardener if I want to! I think I will. This is going to be fun!” So I made a few phone calls and started studying and putting in some time and it’s not as hard as I thought. If I mess up, I can keep learning and trying. I’m excited. I went from “This is too hard!” to “I can do this! It will be fun!” Those new thoughts were accompanied by feelings of joy and excitement.

One of my new identities: “I am a genius greenhouse gardener!”

Another identity: “I am the kind of wife who focuses on my husband as we eat meals together.”

Another identity: “I am a life coach.”

Another identity: “I am a follower of Jesus Christ.”

And here’s the thing. I am not going to try to be perfect at any of those identities.

How does Jesus identify Himself? Have you ever read in the scriptures where He gave Himself a negative identity? I haven’t. He identifies Himself as alpha and omega, the Lamb of God, the Son of God, Endless, doer of God’s will, meek and peaceful, the light and life of the world, Savior, Redeemer, The Way, etc.

How would Jesus like us to identify ourselves?

What kind of thoughts, emotions and beliefs would He like us to have?

What kind of results would He want us to have?

Life is more fun when we program our brains in a more useful and joyful way. It all starts with just noticing what you are thinking and noticing how you are identifying or labeling yourself.

Try it! This is just for fun!

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