We have been trained to think that our identities are the most important aspects of who we are. A few years back, Macy’s did a marketing campaign that focused on how their products made “You”, More you.

In that particular commercial, there’s a major flaw and premise in place. Namely that, without their product, we have no intrinsic value. That the only way to find identity in value is to associate yourself with their brand and products.

We do this in our everyday lives.

We associate ourselves with certain political ideas, with certain ethical values and behaviors, and even how we define ourselves as parents, sisters, brothers, children, and even the citizens. A person’s identity is simply defined as the totality of one’s personal expression. A collection of ideas that stem from the past, present, and future.

The stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves are the most important ones that we need to be aware of. This is where progress can arise from within ourselves. These categories and labels that we give ourselves and others can be extremely limiting, and/or they can also be empowering.

The important take away here is to realize that identities are meant to be fluid. If we continuously identify or over-identify with certain aspects of identity, then we could come to a point where we unwillingly thwart our own potential in progress. In this sense, freedom is only one belief away.