Did you know that your identity, how you see yourself, is the most important factor that drives your success or your failure? I always teach my clients that your mindset is the most important piece of equipment in your business.
So, what is your identity? Your identity is the sum of your thoughts and beliefs about yourself: how you look, your capabilities, your intentions, expectations, decisions, memories.
These beliefs are formed by how we see ourselves through others when we grow up and unfortunately most fragile identities get damaged growing up.
Our experiences then confirm our beliefs and our beliefs create our experiences in such a way that it becomes the way we see the world.
Your identity defines your relationship with yourself and determines the relationship with everything else in your life: money, business, people, failure, success, etc. It becomes your way of being.
Your identity will determine how you show up in your business or job and life as a whole. It will reveal itself in your sales conversations, how you ask for money, how you make yourself visible. It will show up in the quality of the relationships you have.
Physically it will show up in your posture, your facial expressions, your mind-body state, your energy that you radiate to the world.
Let’s look at an example of how this plays out in life.
Often when things just don’t seem to work out, we look for the answers to these problems outside of us. And although there may be actions to take, these actions may change anyway when we first look for our answers internally.
The other thing many people do when they experience discomfort because of their challenges, is to suppress these emotions. But as you know, these thoughts and feelings just pop up over and over again.
The first step to change anything is self-awareness. To become conscious of our subconscious thoughts and beliefs that is running on autopilot. We want bring them to the front of our mind so that we can explore them and change what do not serve us anymore.
The best way to do that is to look at these thoughts and feelings with curiosity and the intention to explore your perception of the situation. When you change your perception, you change your experience and that opens up possibilities.
Now, your perception – the meanings you give to your challenges – are driven by your identity.
For example, compare these two identities:
- You see yourself as someone who is creative and resourceful and always finding a way.
- You see yourself as someone to whom bad things happen and if one problem is solved the next one will happen, making it impossible to get ahead.
When a problem suddenly and unexpectedly arises, the questions you ask yourself will reveal your perception, identity and the outcome you will achieve. Let’s look at the possible questions the two identities describe will ask respectively:
- What is the actual problem?
- What are 3 ways this problem can be solved?
- What can I learn from this? What is the gift here?
- What does solving this problem open up for my business and I?
- Why is this always happening to me?
- Just when I think I am getting ahead, something always pulls me back.
- I have no idea what to do about this.
- This is a disaster!
Can you see how the one set of questions focuses on the solution and possibilities, expecting a positive result and the other set of questions spiral down the problem?
Watch your Language.
As you have noticed, your identity is reflected by your thoughts that are expressed as your words. So, watch your language. Listen to yourself as this will show the rules you live by. Most often these rules have been downloaded to you from your parents and teachers and may not serve you anymore.
Become aware of which of these sentence stems you use most often as they reflect the rules you operate from:
- I can’t
- I have to
- I should or should not
- I must or must not
- This can’t be done
- It’s impossible
- I get to
- I can
- I want to
- I choose to
- Anything is possible
- There is always a way
What you can do about it.
To which identity do you lean towards? If you have subconscious rules that hold you back from excelling in your business and life, here are questions to challenge these rules and change your perception. That will result in a new experience that will open up new possibilities for you. Would you like that?
- I can’t: What is stopping me?
- I have to / I should / I must: What will happen if I didn’t?
- I shouldn’t / I must not: What will happen if I did?
- This can’t be done: According to whom?
- It’s impossible: What if it was possible?
As you question your thoughts, beliefs, words, actions continuously, new experiences will emerge that will serve as evidence to contradict your old set of rules and create a new set of rules that support your business vision, making it not only possible but achievable!
A great tip here is, before you ask yourself these questions is to first ask who you wish to be in this situation and step into that mind-body state. Use your body as well by standing or sitting in the way that reflects and brings on that mind-body state.
If you want to know more, get Your Guide to a Purposeful Prosperous Business.
The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!