If I asked you to describe yourself, what would you say?
Please, take a moment to describe yourself, who you are and what you do?
Now consider how someone close to you would describe you. A parent, sibling, partner or friend. Everyone would have similar but different opinions – including you! So, which one is true?
How we see ourselves is generally through the eyes of an identity we have created for ourselves.
We get good at explaining why we are the way we are. Having a reason for certain habits and behaviours, allowing ourselves to rationalise those that aren’t so flattering.
We create a story about who we are. But does it always serve us?
Truth is, our story creates an identity that doesn’t often equate to our best selves.
These stories very often hold us back.
We all do it. Part of the story I tell myself is that I’m too busy, I don’t have time to do all the things I want to do. I write books. I cook dinners. I drive to football training. I run a coaching business amongst a host of other responsibilities, chores, hobbies, goals etc.
By telling myself this same story, I then create an identity that supports it, making it seem like a fact. This in turn, informs my habits which reinforce the original story. It’s a vicious cycle.
So in order to reinforce this identity, I overwork, I don’t make enough time for play and I replay my story over and over.
Writing your own Story
So why have I written this story that makes me work so hard, feel stressed and overwhelmed all the time? I wrote this story because of a belief: If I don’t work really hard I won’t be successful. Success is only valid if it comes with hard work.
Where do beliefs like this come from?
In my case I had a very hard working father who had to leave university when his father died to support his mother and younger siblings. He supported his mother, brother and sister for many years, then got married and had 6 children of his own that needed to be fed, nurtured and educated. My father is now 85, he has had three different careers, has written more books than I can count and is currently writing his autobiography.
I think it is likely the “work hard story” was influenced by him.
Of course working hard has served me in many ways and I’m not suggesting that hard work is not a route to success but what I am saying is that working a 60 hour week is not always necessary and balance and having fun is also very important for success.
What’s your story?
You probably already know that you are the author of your own story, but maybe it is your story that is preventing you from taking control.
If there are parts of that story that don’t make you happy, that don’t serve you, it’s time to re-write them.
- What do you believe to be true about who you are and what you are capable of?
- Do you believe nothing comes easy?
- Do you believe nothing comes without hard work?
- Do you believe you are not good enough to succeed?
- Do you feel guiltily that you desire success at all?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, congratulations! It means you have made progress and identified one or more of the beliefs that are standing in your way of achieving your goals.
The first step to change is awareness and with awareness you can choose how you want to move forward.
Editing the Story
So there are parts of your story that have kept you stuck but you know you can rewrite them.
The first step to rewriting the story is acknowledging the story that is already there. There are parts of that story that need to be heard, that want you to acknowledge them. Part of your story may be supportive, positive and empowering but there will be parts that are negative, discouraging and unhelpful.
What are the beliefs that you have that are negative and unsupportive, challenge them and ask are they true?
In my example I had to rewrite my story, challenge my beliefs and change the way I was seeing things.
- I’m too busy – Truth is I’m rarely too busy, I just make bad choices with my time sometimes
- I need to work hard to succeed – I don’t need to work myself to the bone to achieve my goals, that simply is not true.
- Success earned without hard work is not valid – Some success comes easy, some takes hard work, all success is valid.
I also know that my habits can support or sabotage the beliefs that I want to have so I stay conscious of my habits and create habits that support the identity of the person I want to become. .
The New Identity is born
Removing the old story and writing a new story allows for your new identity to be born. Who do you want to become? It’s not enough to remove the beliefs that keep you stuck; you need to be clear about the person you want to become.
When you select this new identity you must then create the habits that will support this new identity, allowing you to act as if you already are the person you wish to become.
- Do you want to become a successful entrepreneur? Then practise the habits of a successful entrepreneur.
- Do you want to become a writer? Then adopt the daily habits of a writer.
- Do you want to be an athlete? Then act as if you already are.
So get clear about the life you are living, are there parts of the story that need to be rewritten? Is it time to start editing and creating the new identity that will help you to achieve your goals?
If you are interested in finding out more about shedding limiting beliefs you can download my free eBook, Clear the Clutter Find your Life or find out more about the different ways you can work with me here.
I love to help people who know they have something to offer the world but feel overwhelmed or think something is blocking them from achieving their goals. Let’s have a chat and see if you I can help you to stop procrastinating on your big goals and simply make life better for everyone. Click here to book a discovery call