In this episode, we talk about defining yourself to create your identity because it is one of the most important choices you can make as a person. If you get it wrong, you are lost because you don’t really know who you are and what you stand for, you get inconsistent results and others lose trust in you because they can’t trust the response. If we get it right we get clarity, become directed in a particular direction and ultimately we become highly trusted. So, what you need to know is that your identity starts with your thoughts, actions will bring them into being and the results will drive it deeper.
The Personal Identity Cycle
- Values: To figure out your identity, the first thing you need to consider is what your values are. It drives everything and can be internally or externally sourced.
- Thoughts: Ultimately values lead to our thoughts. They are the start of everything. All the things around you lived in the thoughts of someone before they were invented. In order to get behavior change, we have to go through our thoughts first.
- Words: Thoughts lead to words. The words you use to communicate or tell yourselves something is the manifestation of your internal thinking. So carefully consider the words you use when you communicate before actually doing it.
- Actions: Actions are driven by words. The actions we take are an important part of our identity. Be positive with words and follow them up with considerate actions.
- Habits: Our repetitive actions are what we call habits. We are so much ingrained in these that we do them without thinking. You don’t need to give careful thoughts to such habits as they are deep in our psyche.
- Results: Finally, everything leads to the results that you generate. This is the final point in the cycle which will go around continuously. The sum total of this cycle is our identity.
— Begin Transcript —
Hey there, Mel Abraham here, the author of the #1 best-selling book, The Entrepreneur’s Solution and the founder of Thoughtpreneur Academy where we teach you how to capture, package and monetize what you know, the ideas in your head, the insights that you have that can influence the marketplace so you can have greater impact, greater income and greater freedom.
And welcome to this episode of The Entrepreneur’s Solution show and in this episode, we’re going to talk about defining yourself. How your identity is created? In fact, how to be able to create it intentionally because the reality is that identity is one of the most important choices we can make as a person and as a business and sometimes, what we do is we allow society to define us. We allow society’s norms if there is such a thing to define us.
And I’m going to introduce you to what I call The Personal Identity Cycle that allows you to walk through the fundamental pieces to intentionally design and deliberately create your identity and then put it out into the world. And so, it’s going to; you can download the guide, the action guide in this if you go to MelAbraham.com/session078. You can download the action guide, follow along or do it afterwards but make sure that you get the greatest amount of value out of this episode.
And if you’re not at your computer, maybe you’re out running around, you’re running errands, you’re out with the kids, you’re listening to this on a run on the podcast then just text me. Text me MYLEGACY one-word, MYLEGACY one-word 38470 and I will make sure I send you the download link so you can grab the action guide when you get back.
So, here’s the deal. When we talk about identity, I think this is one of the biggest things that and most important things that we can focus in on as a person. I know some people will say, “What is this?” When I teach my Business Breakthrough Academy or when I teach Thoughtpreneur Academy or working with executives or boards, a lot of time is spent trying to figure out what our identity is because here is the thing—when we get this wrong, you’re going to find that ultimately you feel lost because you don’t really know who you are, you don’t know what you stand for, you’re just kind of going with the current of whatever river you’re on and so there is no real direction and a lot of times we feel lost in that space.
And as we’ve grown up through the years, as people, we start to define our identity. Whether it’s in high school, whether it’s in elementary school and there is all kinds of studies of when our personality is created but I think that we can tweak, we can adjust, and we can build an identity out in the world, an identity that is relatable, an identity that is connected with the people that are important to us so
- They know who we are,
- They know what we stand for,
- They know the kinds of things that we like, and
- The way that we’re going to show up.
Because here is the other side of that is that if we don’t deliberately define our identity, we’re lost but we also find that we’re going to get inconsistent results, inconsistent actions, we’re inconsistent; incongruent (if you will) is another way to look at it is that there’s going to be friction and there’s going to be struggle because we don’t have clarity on the things that are important to us and the other side of that is this is that’s internal to us.
- But what about the outside?
- What about the people looking in at us?
Because the people looking in at us are going to see that inconsistency. They’re going to see and feel that you’re lost.
And in that process what ultimately happens is that they lose trust in us.
They lose trust in us not because we’re distrustful or manipulative. They lose trust in us because they can’t trust the outcome, they can’t trust the response. Here is what I mean by it and this is how I’m defining trust here in this context is that even a dog that is a dog that bites all the time can be trusted because their behavior, the pattern of behavior is predictable. I know when I see that dog it’s going to bite. Well, I can trust it’s going to bite. It doesn’t mean that I want to get bit. It doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing but I can trust the pattern of behavior.
The question that I got for you is this: If we talk to three of your best friends, your spouse, your kids and we ask this specific question about how you might respond to something, will they all give us the same answer?
Here is the interesting thing: If your identity was clear and it was put out there in the world then ultimately, what happens is that everyone around you would know how you would respond. At least those that are close to you that understand you and that’s what I mean by trust and think about this, is that when you create that identity in a way where your children or your spouse, your team, your significant other; whoever it is that you’re dealing with understands how you might respond, what happens to your relationship? How much closer does it become?
These are things that both my wife Stefanie and I talk about is:
- What is our identity?
- What are our values?
- What are the things that are important to us?
And you know what, I’m guessing 9 times out of 10 and more than that, that if someone asks for a question, she knows how well you respond because I make it really clear and she makes it really clear. We know each other and our identity is really clear.
When we get this right, that’s the key that comes out of it is that we get clarity. Not only does the outside will get clarity but we get clarity ourselves.
- We know what’s important to us.
- We know what our priorities are.
- We know what we’re going to do in that process.
We’re able to then sit through all the stuffs that’s coming at us in a day’s time and say, “This is important. This is not. This I’m going to do. This I’m not.” And be clear of conscious of, “Oh, I got to say no to this” because opportunities come to me all the time because of where I’m at, because of the things that I’m doing and it’s easy for me to look at the opportunity with clarity and say, “Not for me because it doesn’t fit my identity, it doesn’t fit my value system, it doesn’t fit the things that I’m looking to do.”
The other thing that happens when we get clarity, when we get the identity part right and we’re deliberate and intentional and how we do it is that we actually become directed.
In other words, instead of going with the whims of the winds that may come across society, the people are alive so the next that the next best thing, the shiny ball syndrome as some people call it, I call it the hummingbird syndrome where something exciting comes in and you go chasing it but that really wasn’t the direction you wanted to go.
See when we get clarity of our identity, we know which way we want to go. We know the things that will get us there and we stay focused on that process, we stay focus on that task to make that happen and in that process.
And then, ultimately we become highly trusted.
- People know us for our pattern of behavior.
- People know us for what we stand for.
- People know us for the things that are important to us.
And they come to us and do business with us and get in relationships with us in that way because of the fact that they know what our pattern of behavior is and we can get trusted. And I think that this is something that is hugely important to society today. If we just look at the climate of society, there is a tremendous amount of distrust because of bad patterns of behavior or inconsistent patterns of behavior and I think that there’s, if we just got our identity right, it may not solve other problems but it would move us in the direction of solving it.
So, if that’s the case, if this is why it’s so important then what do you need to know?
And I think that there is a couple of things that you need to know and need to consider when we’re trying to define our personal identity and we will jump into the personal identity side here in a moment. The first is this is that you got to start with your thoughts.
Our identity should be internally generated. It should come from within us. So, our thoughts will start to define who we are and whether those thoughts are conscious and intentional and deliberate or unconscious, unintentional, and not deliberate; they will create our identity. So, I’m going to invite you to be very conscious, very deliberate, very intentional with your thoughts to help you out.
The second thing is to realize that actions will bring them to life.
Actions will bring them into being if you will because we may think this is our identity, we may believe that that’s, it’s like putting on a shirt but at the same time until I go take action, inconsistent action with the identity that I’m creating and other people see it, now all of a sudden, it comes to life. It comes to life. So, here’s the thing.
- I want to take actions that are consistent with the identity that I’m creating.
- I want to take actions that are consistent with the thoughts that are in my head.
- I want to take actions that are consistent with the values that I have.
And when I take those actions, it solidifies that identity
- In our own psyche
- In our own body
- In our own spirit
And then, other people see that in the process.
Then the other thing is this: Is to realize that the results will drive our identity deeper.
In other words, we’re going to get results from the actions we take. Thoughts first, actions and results. And in that process, the results will further define our identity, further drive that identity deeper. When you look at a person who consistently does the same thing, if you have a, I told Jeremy this as he was growing up that the greatest skill you can, ability that you can develop as a person is dependability and the more dependable you are…let’s say you asked someone to do something and the first time you ask them to do it, you’re going to maybe watch a little closer to just make sure that they do it right.
- Are they doing it the way I wanted?
- Are they going to get it done?
- Can I trust that it’s going to get done?
But they do it, they do it on time or they do it early and they do it really well. The next time you give them something to do, you’re likely to back off a little bit and give them a little leeway. And then, if they do that well, you’re going to likely back off even more and each time more and more because the results that you get from the actions are deepening the identity and then all of a sudden you will say, “You’re good, I’m good”. This happens in business all the time and so, those are the things that I think we need to realize is that:
- Start with the thoughts,
- Actions will bring them into being, and
- The results will drive them deep.
Alright, so what exactly is the Personal Identity Cycle? Let’s jump into it and if you’ve got to workbook, the action guide, you can follow along. If not, just follow me here and you can work through it afterwards. Here is what it is. In order to do this, I’m going to jump to the iPad real quickly; help you understand this. We will draw this out for you.
So, if I’m trying to figure out what my identity is, one of the first thing that I need to consider is this. Is I’m going to start with something that I think is basic in a sense but the reality is that a lot of people don’t intentionally define them and that is what are my values? And I think values drive everything.
Here’s the deal when it comes to values is that there is a lot of ways we can define them. There is a lot of ways we can find out what our values are. Sometimes, values are created from the external environment, from our responses to things that have happened to us. Sometimes, we can intentionally create our values. Sometimes, we choose our values.
- Could it be from our religious beliefs?
- Our upbringings
- Family Situation
Whatever it is. Now, we can spend a lot of time and I have a whole another process that I go through to help define values, to help extract values, to help role model values that I walk through beyond the scope of this but I think that we need to understand that we start with values first because those values ultimately will then lead to effectively our thoughts. And I said, thoughts will start everything that we’re doing.
When we look at our thoughts, it really is the start of everything, everything around you. If you just take a look around wherever you’re at, you are in your living room, your bedroom, your office around you. If it’s been invented, it started as a thought. If you got it in your life, it started out as a thought. I heard, it’s kind of cliché, but they say that “Everything is created at least twice. First in the mind and then in the environment.”
And so, I think, that’s really true. When we talk about our values, our values will drive our thoughts and our thinking will then drive something else. As thought leaders, as influencers, one of the things that we really need to understand is that in order to get behavior change, we have to get thought change first. You can’t change someone’s behavior if they continue to think the same way. It’s like taking someone that’s been poisoned, cleansing them of the poison and then poisoning them again. I got to fix the thinking if I want the behavior change to stick.
The thoughts as I was saying, the thoughts actually start to run some of the things that are going on in your head which leads to something that usually, you can take them as the same as thoughts in some situations but I like to put them differently and that is the words.
Think about this. Have you ever turned around and said, “I was so stupid.” That’s a thought that generated the word that’s going to generate an action or response with you and so one of the things to consider is what are words you tell yourself? What are the words that you use? What are the external words when you communicate?
I had a situation recently this past weekend when this person, from a communication standpoint, for some reason they were agitated, irritated, I don’t know but the words they used were out in the manifestation of their internal thinking and it wasn’t productive, at least not for them in the end. So, one of the things to realize is that our values drive our thoughts, our thoughts then drive the words we use which ultimately will then drive the actions we take.
So, if we turn around and we’re beating ourselves up with our words, guess how much action we’re going to take. Think about that. If I’m beating myself up constantly with “I’m not worthy, I can’t do this, I’m not good enough, how much action am I going to take” versus turning around and saying, “No, you got this. You’re going to be good. You’re going to do fine. You’ve prepared, you’re ready, this is …” Think about what that does for people. Not only that. Think about what it does when you use those words for other people.
I see it, as someone that owned a martial arts studio, unfortunately, I saw some of the things that parents did. Parents would, how they would say things to their kids, that seemingly was inconsequential, seemingly was not that big of a deal but it was, at least in my line it was because I think that was eroding the spirit of the child. Slow erosion because what they were doing is making demeaning comments “you never do this well” or “why can’t you do it as good as your brother? Why can’t you do it as good as your sister?” That kind of a thing. Those things wear on someone; those kinds of words can be destructive versus trying to boost them constructively.
And I’m not saying to sugarcoat things. If they’re doing things wrong we certainly want to support them in their growth but chastising and beating them up or using negative commentary certainly isn’t going to serve them in the process and I saw what it did to the kids.
So, values, thoughts, words, actions which ultimately, when we turn around and do that, you start to look at, well, that then creates something that we call, Habits. Habits are just repetitive actions that actually are actions that we take on without really thinking anymore because we’ve ingrained them so much into our process, into our psyche, into our daily lives, that we don’t even think about it. Whether it’s driving a car or tying your shoes, they’re habits that we can do without really thinking about. We don’t have to deliberately…you think about, when you first started to tie your shoes, you had to really think about every step. You don’t anymore.
- Habits, habits…like working out.
- Habits, like eating right.
- Habits like thinking right.
- Habits like treating your spouse right.
Those are habits that are a result of values, thinking, words and actions which ultimately leads to a set of results. Now, whether those results are the results that you want totally different ball game so each of these will lead in a cycle and keep going.
So, here is the thing. You’re going to get a set of results which really is ultimately started by the values that you have and from those values, we will create thoughts, words, actions and habits. Ultimately over time, the sum total of that cycle because when we get results we will re-evaluate, we will then decide “Is this what I want? Do I want to shift some of my values? Do I want to shift some of my priorities? I will change my thinking again change my words, change my actions, change my habits and change the results.”
That’s kind of, it’s something, somewhat of what we call feedback loop but the reality is that most of the time we go through this cycle unconsciously and that’s the big thing that I want you to take away is that if we’re going to go through this unconsciously then we are creating an identity unconsciously. We’re not being deliberate and we’re not being intentional. It’s not going to serve you.
But this is what’s going to happen is you’re going to get down the road a little bit, you go, “Huh! How did I get here? How did this happen to me?”
It’s because you closed your eyes and let someone else run the ship. It’s your ship to run and so, what I’m inviting you to do is to understand the personal identity cycle that you’re in because we’re all in it and run it and be deliberate and intentional every step of the way. Understand and define, specifically define your values and from those values, allow your thoughts to support those values which will mean that the words you use internally and externally will support the thoughts and the values. You will see how they stack on each other because then the actions you take need to be congruent and consistent with that which will develop into habits over time, which will ultimately give you the results that you’re looking for.
So, that’s the key to what I call the personal identity cycle and I think this is something that many of us fail to do intentionally and that’s the key message here is to be intentional and deliberate about defining your identity so people can trust the pattern of behavior that you’re going to bring and there will be consistent results; you will have clarity with where you’re going and you will be more directed in your journey.
So download the action guide for this because I think it will help you really bring this to life. Like I said, you can download it form MelAbraham.com/session078 and if you aren’t at the computer again, just text me MYLEGACY one-word to 38470. I will make sure that I get you that download link. If you’ve got questions for me or challenges that you have with business, content creation, success, wealth, any of those, just reach out to me. Go to AskMelNow.com, leave me your message, I will make sure that we get it on one of the upcoming episodes. Get your questions answered so you can be supported so we can help you grow, be as successful as you want to be.
The other two things that I’m going to ask you to do, do me a favor, make sure you share this with a friend. There’s a lot of people out there struggling with what they want in life and when they get their identity straight, it’s going to help them tremendously. So, share this with a friend and subscribe, stay with me on this journey. There’s all kinds of stuff that I’m putting out and getting to you to be kind of your mentor in your back pocket for free. So, until we get a chance to see each other in the next episode,
May your vision be grand, your journey epic and your legacy significant!
See you soon. Cheers!!
— End Transcript —
Like this? Please share it and help a few more people bring their dreams out of the darkness and give life to them again. Cheers, Mel