How do you identify yourself

You are not your thoughts - a way to inner freedom

Buddhism says you shouldn't identify with your thoughts because that's the source of suffering and leads you away from your true self. By identifying with your thoughts, you believe that you are something that you really are not and make yourself dependent on this thinking.

Only when you no longer identify with your thoughts do you connect with something that is bigger than our limited mind - you find your true self and experience inner freedom.

What it means to identify yourself with your thoughts - the theory

First of all: when I talk about thoughts, I don't just mean the unspoken words, but also the images in your head and the emotions that you feel. Because they have their origin in a thought.

If you believe your thoughts and pretend to be what they tell you, then you identify with them.

In this state you can no longer see clearly and impartially, because all your actions are influenced by your thinking. You no longer control your thoughts, but your thoughts control you. You believe what they tell you.

You no longer know whether that is the truth.

You are a slave to your thoughts.

What it means to identify with your thoughts - the practice

Do you know people who regularly say, "I can't do this!" Before they've even tried things?

  1. Your thought:
    I can not do this!
  2. Your reaction to it:
    You believe your thought.
    They equate themselves with him and are convinced that they cannot do things.
  3. The consequence:
    You yourself have become the thought “I can't do this”. This makes your thinking obsessive. These people say first of all, "I can't do this" when doing new things. They have become so concerned about this that they no longer even know that this is not the truth. But only the truth that a thought has led them to believe and with which they have identified.

Do you have any negative and recurring thought patterns? Any thoughts that you associate with yourself that are not good for you because they burden you? (For example: "I'm too fat", "Your manner is driving me crazy.", "I have trouble sleeping".)

  • The more you cling to a thought, the more you condition yourself for it and make yourself this thought.
    I'm too fat defines you.
  • The more you get into this thought, the less you can imagine not being that thought.
    You will have big problems not finding yourself fat.

Identifying with one's thoughts causes suffering, inner conflict, self-esteem problems, and problems with those around you.

In order to get rid of these issues, you have to learn that you are not your thoughts. If you don't learn this If you remain a prisoner of your obsessive-compulsive thinking, you will always believe that you are too fat, that you cannot cope with a certain type or that you cannot sleep.

Who you really are

Do you know the deep feeling of connectedness with life? This feeling can arise when you are out and about in nature and you have the feeling that there must be something bigger that connects everything. It arises when time and space are right and a deep peace spreads within you.

That real core lies beneath your thinking. He is your innermost nature.

You are not your thoughts You are consciousness.

It is free of any stories attached to you through your thinking. When you no longer identify with your thoughts, you connect with this awareness.

Imagine you no longer identify yourself with the thought that you need a fancy four-room apartment and that you have to have a lot of money to be happy. Wouldn't you be happy now? Aren't you free now?

Thoughts are like clouds and you are the sea in which everything is reflected (a comparison)

To make it clear to you that you are not your thoughts, I have a comparison for you: Imagine your consciousness is deep, wide, clear and calm like the bottom of the sea (just not so dark but bright) and your thoughts are like clouds that pass by and are reflected on the surface of the water. They change the surface, stir it up or change its color, but in the depth everything remains calm.

Does it make sense for the sea to imagine it is the rain cloud just because it is passing by and reflecting on its surface?

Thoughts come and go. Sometimes more, sometimes less often. Sometimes with good intentions, sometimes with bad intentions. Never forget that they come up like clouds with the wind of life and move on and only make themselves felt on the surface of the water - in your mind.

You are not your thoughts Just as the sea is not the rain cloud.

When you have learned not to identify with your thoughts, you connect with something bigger within you: the calm, clear and wide consciousness. You realize that thoughts are just thoughts that you don't have to believe. You rest in you.

This is how you learn to no longer identify with your thoughts

  • Watch your thoughts

    Look at yourself from the outside. Be an observer of your own thoughts and feelings. Determine: "there is this thought that triggers this and that in me." This is how you quickly notice that you have a lot of thoughts, but are not one of the thoughts. Instead of saying: “I can't do it”, say “I have the feeling that I can't do it”. This is how identification with the thought dissolves. You state, but you don't make yourself what you think.

  • Don't believe your thought

    Ask yourself: is the thought helpful or annoying, does it make me feel bad or good? If he is not doing you good, then try to let go of him and not pay your attention to him. Like a radio station that you don't always listen to, you can't hear your thoughts. Let them talk and ignore them.

  • Live in the present

    If you can't let go of your thoughts, accept them. Because mental resistance doesn't make the situation any better. On the contrary. The situation itself may not be that bad, only the resistance of your thinking makes the situation uncomfortable. If there is noise around you and you are upset inside and you are stuck with the fact that the noise is bothering you, then the situation will only get worse. If you draw attention to the present, if you accept what is because you cannot escape this situation anyway, the identification with the thought that the noise is bothering you dissolves. You become calm.

  • Find the silence in you

    Eckhart Tolle teaches you to let nature lead you to your true consciousness. Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. They are deeply rooted in being. Learn from them to find the silence and the connection to your true self.

    Another way to find calm in you is meditation. In meditation you learn, among other things, to detach yourself from thoughts and to connect with your deep consciousness and to become free. You can learn more about meditation in this article.

The more often you experience not being your thoughts, the more you learn to identify with your consciousness.

You are not your thoughts

You are consciousness and you have thoughts.

Find the freedom in you

If you take yourself for your intellect, for what you believe and think, you are unconsciously a slave to your thoughts. You let them dominate you and use you. You suffer because you tell yourself that you are what you really are not.

Your real being is consciousness. Your true being is unlimited being. If you don't believe your thoughts, then you rest in your true being.

Then you are free.

I know it's hard not to identify with your thoughts, after all, we've trained ourselves on them for years and made ourselves what we believe of ourselves. But we have also made our lives more difficult and burdened ourselves with thoughts that are not good for us. When you recognize thoughts as thoughts that you don't have to believe, you can become much more relaxed and feel what being free really means.

In conclusion, I would like to quote Eckhart Tolle:

“Freedom begins when you realize that you are not the same as the mind. You realize that everything that gives real value to life - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - has its origin beyond the mind. You start to wake up. "

Do you let your thoughts dominate and use you?
How do you manage to break away from them?


Sources and further links:

I work as a life coach and help highly sensitive people to accept themselves, to perceive their inner voice and their own needs again and to live in connection with themselves. So that, through a strong sense of self-worth and the ability to take good care of yourself, you can finally feel calm, strength and lightness again.

Categories self-awareness, self-worth & self-confidenceTags thoughts, serenity, identification with thoughts, inner freedom, meditation