The version of self we’ve come to know is not the version we knew ten years or even two month ago. Yet we constantly hold onto this version as if it were truth.
But how much of this old ticker tape version is really helping us in our current life?
For the most part we didn’t choose who we are. The environment we were born into had a lot to do with as did our parents and even our high school friends. We then grew into adults and another mountain of influence cracked itself on top of our heads.
This new world included tight schedules, mortgage payments, and wearing shoes made of leather not canvas. Fine. But then somewhere along the way, we met people who seemed to be doing better than us. We asked for advice. They gave it. We took it. Especially when it felt easy or made our problems go away.
But now everything is different.
Now we have this sinking feeling that the world is different and we need to rise to the occasion.
But how do we do that with all these nagging old thoughts? The ones that play on repeat at night and say, don’t do something stupid man…just don’t.
Then there’s that rattling voice of your parents. It’s like that song Lean On Me that once you hear it never keeps repeating in your head.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
We all have to make sacrifices.
Don’t forget to buy your mother a gift.
Take out the trash. <–okay this one is legit
These voices are loud and also cleverly labeled as reality.
These voices are real. SO what is the solution?
For a moment, imagine yourself (come on just do it) as two separate identities. The first identity keeps track of your habits and preferences. It knows if you prefer real milk or soymilk. It also knows if you are shy or outgoing. This identity also serves as your protector – it keeps your pride safe from the big bad world.
The second identity keeps track of who you want to become. This is your dreamer. It is also your joy and sense of accomplishment.
Both of our identities are important, but what separates the successful from the not so successful is choosing which one is more dominant when you finally get that that job interview.
Or when you finally decide to jump on live video. If you were Richard Branson you’d always choose the second, but for the rest of us it’s more likely the first. But why?
1) As humans, we’re hard wired to take the easy route.
2) We’re bored s#$%ess at work. We spend more time doing than learning and over time this takes a tool on our cumulative sense of accomplishment.
3) We don’t properly assess real cost of not doing what we love.
But here is the good news in all of this.
Most people rely heavily on their old thought patterns. It’s like they’re using a 2007 model PC to mine cyptocurrency and it just isn’t working.
For the rest of us, that leaves you plenty of space at the front of the pack. But only if you are willing to find out who you want to BE rather than who the world expects you to become.
Not relying on who you are defined to be feels like a bit of a lie. But once you most past it and focus more on who you want to become it feels incredibly free.
Put this into practice by jotting down the final version of your goal. Could you have accomplished this same goal 10 years ago? Identify the ways you are different today…the characteristics you have now that will lead to you accomplishing this goal.
This is who you are Now. Not some outdated version of self, the world created yesterday.