Who are you?
Take a minute to watch this short clip from Anger Management. Have you ever felt like Dave?
Do you live from the outside in?
I think it could be a conspiracy. We’ve all been conditioned to think of who we are in terms of our job and the things we have. THEY want us to live like this because it makes us hard working producers as well as constant consumers. And you know that producing and consuming is what drives our whole economy.
And every ad you see is working to convince you that you’ll be better looking, thinner, sexier, more popular, healthier, and happier when you buy whatever product THEY are selling. So you have to get a good job and work hard to get all the things you need to be the person you think you want to be.
This is how THEY shape your identity.
It’s natural to think of your job as a big part of who you are. Your status in the world and your self image are tied to your job title. Why do you think some corporations have so many vice-presidents and managers? Don’t believe me? Imagine how you’d feel telling everyone you’re starting a new career as a garbage truck driver. Your ego would take a huge hit with that decision.
So why does it matter?
Outside in. Inside out. Just let me live my life, damnit!
I get you! When your job is going great and you’re making good money, you usually don’t start thinking about “Who am I and what is my life all about?”
But ignoring this question can bring you two potential problems.
The first problem is this: When your identity comes from what you do and what you have, what happens if you lose your job or all your stuff? Who are you then? None of us like to think about it. But life happens.
The second problem is that you spend a ton of energy trying to keep everything under control so you don’t lose what you’ve got. I know. I’ve been there. And I know from experience how the stress of it takes a toll on your mind and body.
The third problem is that living from the outside in is like eating only carbohydrates. You’re never quite satisfied and seem to always want more.
Don’t get me wrong. Having a crappy job and being poor isn’t the answer either.
(Yes, I put three items here on purpose to see if you’re paying attention.)
Get free from the conspiracy!
I know! I know! You’re thinking I’m about to give you the the hook. Here’s where I tell you that you’ve got to do something that kind of sucks. You’re looking for my sales pitch. Am I right?
Well, the answer is yes and no for the sales pitch.
Yes, I can tell you from experience that doing the same thing over and over again gives you the same crappy results. And I did the whole “do more and get more,” bust your ass and motivate yourself, bullshit. But I was still the same schmuck as when I started.
The “no” part of my sales pitch is this: Once I found the tools, making real changes in my life wasn’t all that hard.
Your thoughts control your destiny.
Yeah. Yeah. All the self-help gurus say this. Change your thinking and you’ll change your life. You’ve heard it before.
Well . . . they say it because it’s true.
But here’s what they don’t say.
Those thoughts that control your life are 95% subconscious.
This means that you can use all the affirmations, self-discipline and mindset tactics you want. Your subconscious won’t listen. Your subconscious doesn’t respond to logic and “reason”.
And your affirmations and self-talk are all based in logic. So your subconscious ignores you.
You have to feel it!
Here’s the key. Your subconscious runs on emotions.
Your identity is a collection of stories connected to emotions that are stored in your subconscious.
You can change your identity by telling yourself different stories. But you have to connect emotion to your new stories.
So let’s quit talking about theory and get down to where the rubber meets the road!
How I quit being a loser.
I defended the next to the last position on my high school tennis team. You had to win to move up. And I could play well enough to tie the score, but I always lost the game in the end.
Ten years later, we spent a lot of time hanging out with our good friends, Don and Joyce. Don and I played endless games of ping pong. Once again, I played well enough to get to a tie, but I usually ended up losing the game.
The story I told myself was, “I’m just not a competitive person.”
But this was my identity we’re talking about here. That “non-competitive” story I told myself meant that losing and failure felt more comfortable to me than success. In fact, I sabotaged myself, subconsciously, so I wouldn’t succeed.
The source of my “loser identity” story was tied up in my subconscious religious beliefs. I believed that good, spiritual minded Christians weren’t supposed to be big winners. Never mind all the details about why I believed this. I knew it wasn’t true, but my subconscious didn’t care. My subconscious gave me what I believed.
I fought this messed up belief with logic and positive self talk for decades.
Then I found the key
When I mixed my affirmations and self talk with positive emotions, my subconscious began paying attention. My life began to change. I lost weight. I took up trail running and ultra marathons. My relationships got stronger. I approached life with more confidence.
Of course, I had to work at it. I had to take control of my thoughts and emotions.
But the big change came when I finally believed that I am free to think the thoughts I want. And I can decide what emotion I will feel in relation to the thoughts I think.
I quit thinking crappy thoughts.
And I started thinking thoughts that served me. I told myself stories, with emotion, that let me be the person I choose to be.
I now have a coach. The work I’ve done on my own got me to where I am. My coach gave me a supercharged engine. I’m going after dreams I’ve kept locked away for years.
Could a good coach have helped get me to where I am now faster and with less struggle? Probably. On the other hand, I’ve learned not to worry about what might have been. Now is all the time we have. And I’m using the NOW to live from who I am.
How can I help you?
What dreams do you have that scare you a little? Do you like the idea of living from the inside out? I’d love to talk to you and see how I can help.
Contact me using the form below and I’ll schedule a 20 minute call to see how I can help.