As it turns out, your subconscious is pretty easy to trick. For an example that anyone can understand intuitively, that’s the reason why much more of a product will sale at $4.99 than $5.00, but about the same amount of a product will sale at $5.00 than as at $5.01. There are countless other examples that you can probably come up with on your own of the subconscious being easily lead along certain lines, and while you may think of this as typically being a bad thing, it’s also something we can harness for a lot of benefit.
What we want to do here is explore the idea of convincing your subconscious that you have a particular identity. This doesn’t mean that you’re lying to it. In fact, it could just be that you’re convincing it of something that you already are. It can also mean that you convince it that you are something you’re working to become so that it works with you instead of working against you. The last example is probably where people have the most power to make significant gains in their lives in fairly short periods of time.
Group- and Class-based Identities
An easy place to start with this is the idea of being included in a specific group or class of people. You do a lot of this already without necessarily realizing it, and that means there are different groups or classes that your subconscious identifies as being a member of. Consider the following from Tajfel, a person who did a tremendous amount of the most important research on the subject of identity and membership in groups or classes:
Tajfel (1979) proposed that the groups (e.g. social class, family, football team etc.) which people belonged to were an important source of pride and self-esteem. Groups give us a sense of social identity: a sense of belonging to the social world. (Source: Simply Psychology)
A lot of your self-esteem, pride, motivational drive and sense of belonging comes from your identity, which is often situated mentally as a member of a group. In essence, as you identify as a member of a group, your subconscious puts you in a position where you’ll naturally take on the characteristics of that group.
Another place to draw from for inspiration on mental identities is from archetypes. Each archetype may be something you may associate with certain characteristics. You may want to feel drawn to certain characteristics that come from particular archetypes, and you can forge your identity based on those.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to identify physically with being that particular thing. You may have things about the werewolf archetype, as an example, that you associate with and that you want to identify with. You can forge a mental identity based on this werewolf archetype without actually thinking that you’re a physical werewolf (ie: being insane).
Instead, you can create a situation where you identify with that archetype, and your subconscious identifies with the characteristics of that archetype, but you do not consciously think that you are a member of a group that would be associated with that archetype. This is the difference between identification based on group membership and identification based on archetypes.
Forging the Identity
Once you have a group or archetype that you have decided on, you’ll need to give your subconscious mind plenty of input that allows it to associate with that identity. This can be symbols, physical rituals, mantras, affirmations or whatever else needed to give your subconscious a ton of input and information to deal with to forge this identity. Once you cultivate this identity, which doesn’t take long and can start inside of 10-15 minutes of work, you’ll need to maintain it with regular input.
Having this mental identity will give you a source of internal motivation, drive and self-esteem that you can then direct towards whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.