Throughout my career, I’ve sold about half a billion dollars of services.
I attribute my success to lots of things, but the BIG thing that helped me sell is my ability to mirror other people.
Which, if you don’t know, mirroring is the behavior in which one person unconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another.
And I know a lot of people have this skill. In fact, to some degree, each of us tends to mold into whoever we’re around.
I’m sure you’ve heard the quote by Jim Rohn, “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
There are likely thousands of reasons why this is, but a big one is because we all tend to mirror each other — monkey see monkey do, right?
I guess I’m really good at being a monkey.
If someone is quiet, I’m quiet.
If someone is loud, I’m loud.
If someone is happy, I’m happy.
Someone has an accent or uses words unique to where they live; I’ll start using their words and taking on their accent.
I know this attributed to my success because when someone is “like” you, you’re more likely to enjoy their company, to share things with them, and feel comfortable with them.
When I’d mirror my customers, they’d feel comfortable with me, which would allow me to get more information out of them (their needs, pain points, etc.).
This allowed me to meet their needs and make them happy — which led to more and more business.
In sales, this served me big time, BUT….it didn’t help me in life.
Mirroring people is a gift — a big one. But the thing is, it can make you confused and have no idea who you are because you’re trying, subconsciously, to be like everyone else around you.
And I’ve personally struggled over the years with identifying who I actually am and what I actually want.
And what I’ve realized is…
Not having conscious thoughts about our own identities can have massively negative impacts and keep us from making desired changes and achieving goals.
Not being transparent with your identity (or what you want) can keep you in the exact same place year over year — which is fine if you’re the happiest person on earth. It’s not so fine if you’re not satisfied.
If you’re unsure of your identity, you can unconsciously mold yourself into the identity others give you.
For example, if people think you’re funny and they identify you as clown-like, you’ve got to be funny all the time.
You feel that pressure, which makes it difficult for you to be sad, upset, serious, confused, and vulnerable about how you feel if it’s anything other than jokey.
Without conscious thoughts of who YOU want to be, you identify with who you are from the outside, not the inside.
For example, if you are born into a family with a lot of out of shape careless eaters, you might grow up thinking, I am fat — I love food. My whole family just loves terrible food — that’s just who I am.
Do you see how easily you fall into an identity without any argument from your higher self? You slowly but surely feed the subconscious mind information about who you are without any disagreements.
And then what happens? You struggle your whole life with your weight, with your relationship with food, and feeling bad about yourself — especially when you set a goal to get in shape but Just. Can’t. Do. It.
This can make you feel like you have no choice and no power — which is the true definition of suffering.
How many times have you thought, “this is just who I am.”
Can you see how this is not serving you? To just accept an identity from wherever it came from, even though it’s not serving you, keeps you in a negative pattern and/or routine.
Another good example, what if you grow up poor? You identify then as being poor.
When you identify these things as WHO YOU ARE, how is it possible to ever change? And with it being a new year, a new decade EVERYONE is talking about change, setting goals, finally being the year they do that big thing they always wanted to do…..
The REAL Reason New Year Resolutions Fail Right About Now
But the painful truth? New year resolutions are already starting to fail.
Maybe you’re that person? Perhaps you’ve set a resolution to lose weight, meditate more, eat better, not drink alcohol, stop smoking, declutter your house, exercise more, or learn a new skill.
Do you know why you are already struggling with them?
It’s because you’ve fallen into the trap of just setting a goal, but not even bothering to change your identity.
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “they don’t realize that their old identity can sabotage their new plans for change. It’s hard to change your habits if you never change the underlying beliefs that led to your past behavior. You have a new goal and a new plan, but you haven’t changed who you are.”
How Do You Change Your Identity?
So then the question becomes, how do you change your identity? In other words, how do you stick to your goals you’ve set for 2020? Or your goals you’ve set for this decade?
It’s simple, but not easy.
You need to think long and hard about what you want and who you need to become to achieve those goals.
I highly recommend writing them down — and don’t hold back. Write everything down that you want for yourself.
Then ask, who do I need to become to reach these goals.
What type of person is the kind of person who reaches these goals?
For example, if your new year’s resolution is to lose fifty pounds and be in the best shape of your life — what identity is that? Who is that person?
May I suggest you start identifying as an athlete? Which, I know, if you’re a person who has been out of shape their whole life, you’d die laughing at saying, “I’m an athlete.”
But try it! Because an athlete takes care of their body. An athlete stretches. An athlete exercises every day. An athlete eats well to fuel their movements. An athlete cares less about their weight and more about their performance.
Identify as an athlete; stop saying, “I’m a couch potato.”
Another fantastic reason to accurately identify what you want and claim that as your identity is because it gets you excited.
I mean, how much more uplifting is it to say, “I’m an athlete,” than to say, “I’m a couch potato.”
I can literally feel a difference in the energy just typing the words…the words you use for yourself either consciously or subconsciously make a huge difference.
Words Are Powerful to Your Subconscious
Also, something that most of us ignore in a BIG way is what we allow our minds to do.
Not recognizing the thoughts we have about ourselves, that lead to our identity, is like letting a three-year-old child run amuck.
With no discipline, no control, no arguments — just letting her run all over the place doing crazy shit without catching her in the act of bad behavior and putting a stop to it.
The thing is, we all have evil thoughts. And its because it’s our mind’s job to keep us safe so, at every turn, your mind will warn you — this is why a lot of us have anxiety. The mind likes to pace us at a frequency of always warning us.
And those worries and thoughts feed our subconscious, which drives us to do things that we don’t understand why we do — which leads us to identify as someone we DON’T LIKE!
Put Your Subconscious to Work
So, another benefit to deliberately and consciously identifying what you want is your subconscious will go to work on that exact identity.
You’ll start doing things without much thought — because your identity has consciously shifted, and that’s just who you are now. The new you will begin to form without you even realizing it.
Who Do You Want to Be?
The big question then becomes — who do YOU want to be? And whoever that is, start identifying as that person.
Want to stop smoking? Stop saying, “I’m trying to quit smoking” and start saying, “I’m not a smoker.”
Want to eat less sugar? Stop saying, “I’m a sugarholic” and start saying, “I don’t eat sugar.”
Want to have more respect from other people? Stop saying, “Everyone disrespects me,” and start saying, “I’m a respectable person.”
Do you see the differences?
Do you see how just setting a goal can fall flat without switching gears to how you identify with yourself?
And yes, it’s that easy. Will the habits that follow happen overnight? No.
But right now, right here, you can start identifying as someone different.
And if you do this, it’s the first step in making your 2020 a different year than the last. It’s the way to make your new decade exactly as you want it to be.
So go now, think about what you want and ask yourself, what’s that person’s identity? Then build your goals around THAT person. Show up as THAT person. Identify as THAT person.
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