I have a good friend who has a vanity plate that says “SPACEY”. My friend constantly refers to her self as a “Space Cadet”. This same friend is an accomplished pianist, dedicated mother and a loyal person. I would describe my friend as competent, thoughtful, and intelligent. I would describe her in all positive terms and almost anyway except as being spacey! When I asked my friend what made her select “spacey” for her vanity plate she said it had been her nickname since junior high. I asked her who gave her that nickname she said oh… some boy in my class I can’t even recall his name. I told her that I have never thought of her as a space cadet. She only laughed and said I didn’t know her very well. I asked her when is the last time she did something “Spacey” she said just yesterday she misplaced her keys. She failed to mention that yesterday she also homeschooled her three children and performed flawlessly in a concert.
I think my friend may be creating her self-image with confirmation bias which is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is said to be stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. What area of our life is more emotional or deeply entrenched then our self-image? Research shows that our self-image is actually etched in the neural pathways of our brain. You only need to look at disorders like anorexia to see how firmly held beliefs about self can be wrong and information can be distorted. My challenge for 2013 is to look at what my vanity plate says about me. I think we should all take time to examine our long-held entrenched beliefs and ask ourselves where did they come from? If they have been around since our preteen years are they still true? Or is it time to rewrite our vanity plate and rename ourselves? I am thinking I will try on some new vanity plates for 2013 like CRE8IVE or NEVERL8. I am hoping that IPMS247 and DUM BLN read my post!
I love this post! Our self-messages define who we are. I hope we all can take a momenet to rename ourselves and change this conversation!
Hehe… my vanity plate needs to include “careful proofreader”
Deb I could use that same vanity plate Thanks for the nice words!