“The strongest force in the human psyche is the need to remain consistent with our own definition of ourselves—our identity. In other words, once we decide who we are as a person, then we will give ourselves no choice but to find a way to be consistent with that perception. However, many of us settle for an identity that is less than our true capability, so our job as leaders is to help others raise and expand their identity.” – Tony Robbins
The kind of person we believe we are determines everything that we do. So if you want to change your behavior, don’t focus on that. First, work on shifting your beliefs about yourself. Believe that you already are the person you want to be, and you will start to think, speak, and act that way until you become that.
When I was a teenager, I was insecure, shy, and fearful about talking to people I didn’t know well, especially adults. It was incapacitating at times, and I didn’t have the kind of relationships I wanted. After graduating from high school, I decided to become a new person: outgoing, fun, confident, social. I was headed to BYU where nobody knew me yet, which made it easier to shift this. It wasn’t “natural,” but it worked, and I had a great time in college. Plus, I never would have met my husband nor entered the teaching profession had I stayed my “old self.”
I’m still working on being more natural in interacting with people. The old fears and insecurities still creep up, but I’m usually able to ignore those and be intentional in how I show up. I’m loving how interesting and FUN it is to meet people and get to know them!
If you struggle with holding yourself to the identity you desire, get a mentor. He or she can hold that standard for you until you believe it, and help you remove what’s stopping you. It’s so worth it. There is so much joy to be found in loving who you are! How do YOU want to start showing up in the world?