Identity: Simply put, it’s who we see ourselves as. It’s the answer to the question, “who are you?” More specifically, psychology would say it’s the memories, experiences, relationships, values that create our sense of self.
This can be a myriad of labels and titles like: mom, dad, accountant, college grad…
It can also be things that we say to ourselves: I’m smart, I’m punctual, I’m always late, I’m never lucky…
Why does this matter? Our identities are deeply held beliefs that inform how we respond to our environments and factor into how we see the world. It informs our thoughts, our emotions and our actions. That bundle delivers our results.
For the most part, the various labels or identities that we have for ourselves are good. They’ve helped us create the success that we’ve had to date. Yet, some of the ways we see ourselves deter us from achieving our preferred future.
The good news is that we can change how we see ourselves, change the labels and shift our identities – especially those that do not help us get what we want.
Here are 5 Steps to Create Your Identity
#1. Separate who you are vs. you identities
Identities are highly engrained opinions. We, however, view identities as fact. If a prospect works with another agent and not you – you didn’t make that sale… is that fact or opinion? That’s a fact. If a prospect works with another agent and not you – you might think you are a terrible closer… is that a fact or opinion? Opinion, of course. Yet, when we tell ourselves “I’m a terrible closer” over and over again our unconscious mind will begin to believe it and can create that identity for us. Truth is that we are not our identities because it’s only an opinion. Being able to separate ourselves from the bad opinions is the first step to taking charge of our identity.
#2. Identify the negative identities
Negative in this case means something that holds you back from fulfilling your full potential. Look for negative sounding “I am” statements… like “I am always late” “I am bad with technology” “I am unsuccessful” and so on. These statements are made both verbally and your internal chatter. When you hear yourself say something negative, make a note. Jot it down or take mental stock of that negative “I am” statement. When you become aware of the more potent identities that keep you from your greatest potential, you are better equipped to deal with them than if they stayed in your unconscious mind. Bring the unconscious to your conscious so you can deal with it.
#3. Realize the purpose of the identity
Each identity serves a purpose, a positive purpose. Maybe it’s safety, security, comfort, homeostasis – something. Problem is that negative identities create actions that get in the way of what we want. And we beat ourselves up because of it. You lose the listing because you didn’t follow-up… a common rabbit hole of thought is “I am lousy at converting listings.” What’s the purpose of that really negative statement? Maybe it’s really a safety mechanism that holds you back so that you won’t get rejected. When we realize that it’s actually there for a positive intent, we give that identity grace. That’s important because it can help stop the vicious cycle of thoughts & emotions.
#4. Find a better identity
If one identity is holding you back, what is one that will move you forward? Seems simple… and that’s because it is. Let’s continue with the lost a listing example… “I am lousy at converting” is harmful. “I am great at connecting with people” is much better. And, isn’t it true that if you’re really good at connecting with people it will solve a lot of conversation problems? If the new identity feels natural to you, lean into that vision of yourself.
#5. Recognize & affirm what’s already inside you
When you think about what the “better” identity for you might be, consider what someone with that identity would think, feel and do. I’ll bet that you have some of those traits already within you. This gets to the affirmation process… Only affirm what is true for you. Example: you have a health goal that is a weight number. Your initial affirmation should not be “I am _______ pounds” when you know you’re not. Ask yourself what is true about someone that is your goal weight that is also true about you? Maybe it’s because they choose to eat healthy foods. You also do that. That’s a better affirmation because you already identify with being a healthy eater. Actively affirm your healthy eating and it will help you get more of that. The net result is getting to the weight you prefer to be. THEN you can make that weight your affirmation because it is now true.
When you can make your identities work for you rather than against you, your goals become easier to achieve and your life is therefore more Xperiential.