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Start the week with an Empowering Belief – the identity of a person is different from the behaviour they demonstrate.

​This belief is especially important when you are trying to overcome the unhelpful labels that we put on ourselves and others.


If you tell yourself “I’m a failure” then that is an identity-level label, and it implies that failure is your defining characteristic. However, if you label the specific behaviour instead, then it becomes possible to deal with the behaviour resourcefully.  In this example, “I failed to get that report out on time”, is much more manageable than “I’m a failure”.

Similarly, if you tell a child “You are a bully”, then you have applied an identity-level criticism which is all-encompassing. When you point out “You are a good boy/girl, but when you hit Jimmy that was bullying behaviour”, then you have separated the behaviour from the identity. And behaviour is relatively easy to change through practice and reinforcement, and soTake action:

  • What identity-labels have you put on yourself or those around you?
  • Are they helpful and empowering, or are they really just behaviours?

If you want to explore your own identity and behaviours, then join us either in Edinburgh for an NLP Diploma, or in sunny Fuerteventura for Illuminating Your Future: a 4-day Personal Development Retreat in Fuerteventura.

About Madeleine Allen:  The author is a specialist in Leadership,  Communication and Personal Development for business professionals.  An NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner she conducts in-house corporate training (learn more at www.allentraining.co.uk) and public courses in NLP (learn more at www.nlpedinburgh.co.uk)