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I feel like there was some pretty weird writing in season seven of Game of Thrones.
Run back to Eastwatch. Get a raven to Daenerys; tell her what's happened.
I'm not leaving you.
You're the fastest. Go! Now!
But there was one scene in the final episode that absolutely nailed it and it got
one character's arc that had been set up for seasons and really took it home
and this is the line where it all came together.
...always seemed like...
like there was an impossible choice I had to make — Stark or Greyjoy.
You don't need to choose. You're a Greyjoy... and you're a Stark.
That's why in this video, I want to talk about why Theon Greyjoy's identity
as either Stark or Greyjoy is so psychologically important for his character.
We're gonna discuss how a sense of identity helps Theon
recover from his devastation at the hands of Ramsay

and how we can all think about our own identities so that they serve us
in the best and the worst times of our lives.
First off. in the context of Game of Thrones, being a Stark or being a Greyjoy
mean two very different things — Starks are honorbound to a fault, they're morose,
and they're completely without guile.
Greyjoys, on the other hand, are pillagers who take advantage of the weak,
enjoy the hedonistic pleasures in life, and are
constantly looking to improve their position.

Theon's choice to identify as a Greyjoy in season two
over a Stark change the entire course of the story.

While geopolitical outcomes may not lie in the balance, each of our personal identities
does have a similarly critical effect on our own lives.
As Tony Robbins puts it, your sense of identity is
the strongest psychological force in your entire life.

If you see yourself as a winner, you're probably going to find a way to win.
And if you think that you're just lazy and useless, you're
probably gonna find a way to make that come true as well.

This is why it is so important that we pay attention to our identities.
And first off, we need to recognize that identity does act in a self-reinforcing cycle.
First, there is a stimulus in the environment — and in Theon's
case, that's being reminded that he isn't of Stark blood.

It's your duty to represent your House when your father can't.
And it's not your duty because it's not your House.
Second, what happens is that we create a story
that has implications beyond the initial stimulus.

This is an identity and in Theon's case, he believes that he ought to be loyal
to the Greyjoys instead of the Starks since she does not share their blood.

You'd have our father bow down to your other family.
I have no other family.
Third, we act in accordance with our identity and that's exactly
what happens when Theon betrays Rob and invades Winterfell.

I'm taking your castle.
And lastly, after we take action, we get more results that reinforce our initial identity
just like Theon who became stuck deeper and deeper in his own mistakes
despite the fact that it looks like he regrets very much his decision to betray Rob.
Because this is a self-perpetuating cycle,
our identities seem like a completely real thing.

After all, we are always getting results that confirm our identities
but the problem is that identity whether it's Stark
or Greyjoy or something else entirely is an illusion.

And sure, we might be born into a particular family and have some inborn proclivities.
Some of us might be more shy or outgoing or smart or athletic but the truth is
that at any given moment you are free to act out of line with your identity.
Or you can redefine yourself entirely.
In fact, immediately after Jon Snow's acknowledgment that Theon can be both
Stark and Greyjoy, Theon does change and he, finally after seven seasons,
acts both ferociously and honorably in order to convince his men to go save Yara.
So as real as our identities might feel to us
whether we think we are Greyjoy or Stark or talkative or hardworking,
we need to keep in mind that we can always change.

The problem for Theon is that he always wanted
something bigger than him to tell him how to behave.

He wanted a concrete undeniable identity — a House name —
to guide his actions towards the right path and instead, he had
two opposing identities with two opposing courses of action.

I always wanted to do the right thing —
be the right kind of a person — but never knew what that meant.
Even though it's an illusion, the nice thing about having one coherent identity
is that even though it doesn't always lead us down the right path, it at least
justifies bad decisions as unavoidable which is what Theon's father, Balon, did.

I will take my crown; that is who I am — that is who we have always been.
I'm talking so much about identity because almost all of us have the same innate
desire to define ourselves once and for all in a pretty little package.
Even if it's a quote-unquote bad identity like
lazy or selfish, we cling to the idea of identity

because it would be so much easier if codes of behavior came programmed into us
and we could just write all of our actions off with the saying, "That's just who I am."

But the scary truth is that in each moment, you can shift how you're behaving.
You can reinforce your identity as Balon does and say that's just the way you are
or you can act against it as Theon does multiple times throughout the series.
What is your name?
My name is... Reek.
This doesn't mean that one simple change in behavior is
going to shift your entire identity; it takes more than that.

And by the way, if you're getting caught up on the idea of identity, this is also
very similar to self-image in Psycho-Cybernetics if you've read that book.

Whether its identity your self-image, you can
think of it kind of like autopilot on an airplane.

In the moments where you aren't consciously steering,
identity is at the helm and it's guiding everything.

You can always veer off path but if you don't shift the autopilot, sooner or later,
it's gonna kick back in and you'll wind up right back on track to conform with your
identity which is what happened the first time that's
Theon tried to regain his courage after becoming Reek.

He hadn't fully embraced his warrior self-image and so, he fled.
So the question becomes — when we're trying to make positive
changes in our life, how can we make them more long-lasting?

So that we're not just veering off paths for a day on a New Year's resolution
but we are truly setting a new destination in our autopilot.
And the answer is by choosing and actively
reinforcing a new identity — a new self-image.

Now, this isn't an easy feat but Theon's story does give us insight
into how identities shift in a near permanent manner.
First off, names matter.
This is why Ramsay insists that Theon remember his new name of Reek.
Whatever you say that you are — whenever you say that
you are something — you are subtly changing your destiny.

Watch what happens when Theon says that he is Reek.
Theon: You're here to trick me.
Yara: I'm not tricking you, Theon. I'm saving you.

Not Theon! Reek! Reek! My name is Reek!
[Dogs barking] You're Theon Greyjoy.
I don't believe her! [Screams maniacally] I know who I am! I've always been Reek!
Compare that to what happens when he
starts responding to his true name of Theon.

Now in the books, he hears the Weirwood trees calling him by his name
and in the show, it's Sansa repeatedly calling him Theon
instead of Reek that breaks him out of the spell.

Like Theon, we are all capable of a wide variety of behavior from cowardice
to courage, stupidity to genius — you name it — depending on the words that
we choose to label ourselves with on a consistent basis so don't take this lightly.

When you say that you are shy for instance you're
telling yourself that you will always be that way.

And it might seem like a crazy inconvenience but it is much more
empowering to say something like, "I've often felt shy in the past."

This creates space for you to change in the future if you so choose.
And if you want to choose, affirmations of what
you're going to be are very powerful over time.

So use the power of identity to support yourself, in this case,
by writing out 15 times, "I'm super confident," on a daily basis.

Ramsay understands this intuitively which is
why he pushes the name Reek so incessantly.

What do you tell them?
I'm Theon Greyjoy, son of Balon, heir to the Iron Islands.
And what are you really?
I'm Reek.
Until when?
Always. Forever.
That's right. Remember what you are.
The second thing that Theon's story illustrates about shifting identity
is that environment and peers are critical.
Watch how Theon behaves when he's surrounded by Northmen and
I believe that the words that he says here are of the utmost sincerity.

Am I your brother, now and always?
Now and always.
My sword is yours in victory and defeat from this day until my last day.
Contrast this with how Theon behaves after being surrounded by Iron Islanders.
I'm a Greyjoy. I can't fight for Robb and my father both.
My men are bringing your people together in the courtyard.
So you and I can go down and tell them how you've yielded Winterfell to me.
I won't.
Yes, you will.
Like it or not, we are the same way.
Our behavior is probably going to change depending on our peer group
so choose to be with people who bring out the best in you.
I've covered this on another video so I won't go deeper into it here.
Third and lastly, when it comes to shifting environment habitual action trumps labels.
Theon is constantly trying to convince other people and himself about his identity.
He talks about it and frets about it but what ultimately defines him
are his actions and I believe that Batman Begins states this point best.
It's not who-I-am-underneath but what-I-do that defines me.
So step one when it comes to shifting an
identity is to choose one that will empower you

then reinforce it with your words — affirmations are great here —
reinforce it with your environment which means
surrounding yourself with the right peer group

and of course to set up reinforcing habitual actions
and I'm going to link to a video in the description on how you can do this.
This will all go a long way towards forging a new identity and thus
a completely new set of actions and outcomes in your life — a new destination.
The problem is that every identity eventually becomes limiting.
Now sure, it's probably better to see yourself as smart rather than stupid
but seeing yourself as purely smart may stop you from acknowledging deficiencies
or even from working hard and if you then were to incorporate
the hard worker identity, you might have a hard time relaxing.

So be very wary of locking in an identity forever.
Instead, consistently check to see if the identities that you have are serving you.
In fact, I would recommend you do that right now.
Write out 10 things that you truly believe
that you are in the form, "I am..." blank — 10 times

then write down how that identity helps you and if applicable, how it holds you back.
And if it holds you back too much, Theon can attest that sometimes,
a new identity is just what you need to break through.

Now, I am most excited to see how identity plays out in the case of Jon Snow.
Like Theon, his story has been about identity but in Jon's case,
it was more about forging an identity when there was no structure there.
After all, the only thing that it means to be a Snow is
that you're not something else — in his case, a Stark.

But now that he's going to discover that he is truly Jon Targaryen,
I'm expecting some existential crises to set in and I can't wait to watch it unfold.
Also, if you are personally looking to shift your identity in a big way,
you might be interested in my new program on Emotional Mastery.
It's a 30-day program to help you tap into whatever state that you need
in the moment to perform better than you thought possible.
And if you're watching this on Monday as in the day that I posted this video,
that program is being launched today at a discount from the
price that it's going to be after that launch window closes.

So I'm gonna leave a link in the description and on screen if you want to check it out.
If you like this video, make sure to subscribe to the channel where you're going
to have more Game of Thrones stuff in the future but in the hiatus before season 8,
I'm open to feedback on what we do — currently considering Jordan Peterson.
So let me know what you think, I hope you enjoyed
this video, and I'll see you in the next one.

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The Most Powerful Psychological Force

231 Folder Collection
zhilidali published on August 8, 2018
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