Who we think we are, how we think of ourselves, is a fundamental part of the reality we create.
How people conceptualize a “self” changes from culture to culture.1 But we are so deeply entwined with what we think of as our self, we also blinker our understanding of how we think about the whole notion of “self,” and regard our own version as something innate to human beings.
In the West, our understanding of self is mediated through language, through story. We tell ourselves the story of who we are. We identify our story with our self. And we justify that confusion by reifying the story: “That’s just how I am.”
1 See Meeting the Great Bliss Queen, Anne Carolyn Klein