Are you stuck being You?

I’m just someone who…

Do you ever say or think, “I’m just someone who…”

I think we all have. We see ourselves as “just someone who” is sensitive, or an overdrinker, or someone who eats fast, or who always needs to be perfect, someone who swears quickly. or has a tendendy to be rude, or impulsive…

And over the years, we turn these “personality traits” into excuses for not changing.

But here is the million dollar question: are these really personality traits? Or did we create these with our thoughts?

Personality vs. Mindset

I am not saying that we don’t have specific personalities. Of course we do!

But are these written in stone? Are we able to change ourselves? What if we were able to change ourselves? What if much of what we call personality is truly a mindset?

Think/Feel/Act Loop

Truth is, we do what we do because of our feelings which are generated by our thoughts. This is the “think/feel/act” loop that we have been talking about lately.

So we act or don’t act the way we do because of what we are feeling, and what we are feeling is always created by our thoughts.

When I describe myself as “I’m just someone who is shy,” is it really a trait I was born with that is unchangeable, or do I feel I am shy because I have practiced a set of thoughts over and over again about myself, and I have then proven them to be true by my feelings and actions?

Thinking of myself as shy isn’t a problem if I don’t mind being shy. But if I want to change the habit of being shy, and I am fixated on “shy is just who I am because I am wired this way,” I will not be inclined to work towards a new habit.

Pay attention to your thoughts

If we want to change anything in our life, we must pay attention to our thoughts, both those that will help us get there and those that might stand in the way of getting there.

Our thoughts generate the feelings and actions that perpetuate our mindset.

Do you have “traits” that you decided are an unchangeable part of your personality? Have you settled because “this is just how I think, I’ve always thought this way?”

Yet our very thoughts are that which created our conviction in the first place that we cannot change. And if we believe that we are stuck in something, why would we take any action?

Being attached to the story we tell ourselves about who we are prevents us from change.

I love “What If” questions.

Would you consider a few with me today?

What if you consider your personality is simply a story that you have about yourself?

What if the story can be rewritten?

I have rewritten my story about being fat. I thought I was fat. I saw myself as fat. I thought I was fat, so I felt fat and I acted fat. You know, like, “no, I can’t go swimming with you” because I did not want people to see me in a bathing suit.

But seeing myself as fat was not written in stone. I worked at creating a new story. I focused on developing and cultivating a new mindset.

I have rewritten my story about being shy. I practiced new beliefs about myself, about my ability to change, about how I can be in a social situation.

If you drink too much, you can create a new story around how you can unwind and have fun. If you… fill in the blanks. You get to create your own reality.

Nothing about us is written in stone.

We did not come out of the womb shy, or a perfectionist, or a person who overdrinks.

Of course, our brains are going to fight us a bit. It’s much easier to continue believing and practicing the thoughts we already have and to not question them. But here is the bottom line: we are not going to create sustainable change if we refuse to be open to the idea of letting go of certain thoughts about ourselves.

Question your thoughts!

Want to try this out?

You can start by being curious about some of the traits you don’t like about yourself.

  • Go ahead and list them on a piece of paper.
  • Look at them and ask: are these fixed? Are they unchangeable? Or is it possible to start shifting them?
  • Next, ask the deeper questions: how would I need to think differently to change these parts of myself? What kind of mindset do I need to develop?

Some of our thoughts are killers. And they don’t need to stay that way.

I am very curious as to your thoughts on this blog post. Comment away! And as always, please share away. I am sure someone else needs this as much as we do!

I am here for you! You can always contact me here. 

 

What You Say about Yourself Matters Big Time!

It is so amazing to me how relevant the Bible is to everyday life.

As a life coach, it gives me the perfect map to help my clients. This week, I came across this passage in John 1, verses 22-23: “Finally they said, ‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Make straight the way for the Lord.”‘”

What do you say about yourself?

They asked John such a powerful question: “What do you say about yourself?”

I find his answer fascinating.

John actually found himself in the Scriptures. What he found was the foundation of his answer . He quoted word for word, saying, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness.’

He then went about modeling his life after that.

What you say about determines the direction of your life

We see it in John the Baptist, but we can also see it in our own personal lives.

“I am a person who quickly gets overwhelmed,” turns into a person who gets quickly overwhelmed.

How does that work?

It’s really quite simple: your brain constantly looks for evidence of your thoughts, which are mainly the reason you say what you are saying. It may have started as a simple observation: on a particular day, you let yourself be overwhelmed by your situation, so you stated, “I am a person who quickly gets overwhelmed.”

With one little statement, you “branded” yourself as a “quickly overwhelmed person,” and from that moment on, your brain sought to prove you right. The more often you got overwhelmed, the more you believed yourself, and this then became the way you are.

If instead, you would have said, “I just got quickly overwhelmed that one day,” none of this would have happened. Isn’t that crazy?

What you say about yourself matters. It paints your life one color or another.

What you say about yourself paints a picture for others

It is no accident that when interviewed for a possible new job, we are asked the question, “What do you say about yourself?”

They understand that humans generally speak out of what is in their minds, and therefore your answers give them an inkling of what kind of person you are. Your words brand you. They paint a picture of who you are to them.

You determine your life’s story by what you say about yourself

Your words about yourself to yourself and others shape the direction of your life.

And the amazing truth is that you get to choose what story you want to find yourself in.

How to get started?

You cannot tell yourself a different story about yourself unless you know what story you are speaking now. You must always start with what is.

STEP ONE: Pick one area of your life (my love life, my weight, my professional life, my family life, my personal growth, etc) and take a few minutes (at least three) to write down what you are saying about yourself right now. Writing is long-hand is best if you can, as it will force you to think more clearly as the writing is slower.

STEP TWO: Read what you just wrote and decide if you like that story or not. Circle, underline, cross out… be bold!

STEP THREE: Begin a new story. Write:

I am rewriting my story… What am I saying about myself?

and keep going, for at least three minutes

STEP FOUR: Let it rest for at least 24 hours, then come back to your new story and re-read it. Tweak it, change it, rewrite it.

Continue this process until you are pleased with your story.

Then go out and start living it!

Next week, we’ll talk about how.

Word of caution, though: Make sure you are absolutely honest in what you write. You must stay in integrity with yourself, or your brain won’t like nor accept your statement!

 

So, what’s YOUR next step? Share it in the comments so we can cheer you on! And please share this blog post (from the bar at the top) with your friends! I bet one of them needs this!