05 Feb Intentional Identity Statements (A Gamechanger Strategy for Personal Breakthrough!) with Mitch Matthews
Hey there and welcome to episode 213 of DREAM THINK Do.
I’m Mitch Matthews and I’m so stoked to be hanging out with you!
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Today… it’s just you and me… that’s right.
It’s a deep dive… and we’re talking about… Identity Statements.
Okay… let’s do this. Identity Statements.
We all have them.
Most are just not intentional.
Identity statements are those statements you say about yourself…
the things you believe about yourself.
Most of us say them all the time… but we don’t realize it.
I’m a worrier.
I’m always late.
I’m so unorganized.
I never win those things.
My money always seems to run out before my month does.
Ever said… or thought something like that?
Well… that’s an identity statement.
What’s crazy… is that our beliefs tend to shape how we see the world… right?
So… if you believe… and say… “I’m a worrier.” How do you think your subconscious it going to react to that?
More importantly… if you’ve said that about yourself for years… which… by the way… I did… so this is why I know it’s true…
“I’m a worrier.”
“I always worry.”
“That’s just who I am. I worry.”
Well… if that’s what you believe. If that’s what you say. Your brain… and your heart… are going to stick with it.
So… even if you read a book… or go to a workshop… or… commit to making a change about worrying less…
unless you deal with your underlying identity statements…
you’re never going to have success.
That’s why we’re going after this concept… in our year of no fear!
I know a LOT of you have responded to challenge I issued in episode 209… declaring this… the year of no fear.
We’re going to beat back fear and worry… and make this our best year ever.
So we’re digging into this concept!
And hey… the upside… is that if you deal with worry… this will help!
BUT you can also apply this concept of Identity Statements to other areas of your life… like losing weight and getting in shape… or developing a new skill… or launching a business… or growing wealth… or growing in your faith.
Yup… this strategy will help.
And by the way… it’s not magic either.
I do not believe… and I’m not saying… that as you create your identity statement… that then “poof” a perfect world will all appear in 30 days or less.
Nope. Not saying that.
BUT… I am saying that it’s incredible to see how this does play out… in regards to what you see… and how you perceive the world… AND your place in it.
It can infuse your thoughts with hope… it will help to keep you inspired and motivated… and keep you moving forward.
And… if you’re someone where faith plays a role in your life… INTENTIONAL IDENTITY STATEMENTS can have a HUGE impact on your prayer life and your faith walk… but more on that in a bit.
So… here’s our road map for this episode.
WHAT. HOW. and WHEN.
We’re going to dig just a bit deeper on WHAT an Identity Statement is… but more importantly… we’re going to clarify what it might mean to YOU.
Then we’re going to talk about HOW to do it… and how to NOT do it.
We’ll talk about WHEN to apply it too.
Lastly… as a bonus… I’ll add some thoughts on how to do it from a faith-based approach. If that’s your cup of tea… awesome… stick around for it. If not… that’s cool too. You can bail before I get rolling with that part.
Don’t forget to head over to mitchmatthews.com/213… and grab the free download to help you apply all that we’re talking about.
So… let’s do this.
Okay… a personal identity statement.
What is it?
It’s interesting. It’s a term I’ve heard more over the past few years… but in some ways it’s still relatively new.
How do I know?
Well… because there’s not even a wikipedia page for it yet. HA!
So… we’re going to define it as a set of beliefs you INTENTIONALLY recognize and repeat in order to shape the way you see yourself and your world.
Again… it’s a set of beliefs you INTENTIONALLY recognize and repeat in order to shape the way you see yourself and your world.
Because we know… our beliefs inform our actions.
Let me say that again too.
Our beliefs inform our actions.
That can work for us… and it can work against us.
Let me ask you this… if someone was trying to lose weight and get in shape… which of the following statements would help them the most?
The first one… “I’ve always been chubby. I’m always going to have this spare tire.”
I’m working towards being in the best shape of my life. I’m not there yet… but I’m working towards it and I’m better today than I was yesterday.
Could both be true?
Which belief is going to set up the types of actions that will actually help you to lose weight and get into better shape?
The second one… right?
And lets be honest… someone wouldn’t intentionally say the first statement if they knew that it would completely undermine their efforts… but we do it all the time.
So… for the rest of the episode… we’re going to define these as “unintentional identity statements” versus “intentional identity statements.”
Unintentional identity statements are those negative statements that we’ve said about ourselves and although we may THINK we don’t actually believe them… if we keep saying them over and over… our subconscious mind will start to accept them as truth.
Often times these can be things based on something someone else might have said about you… or to you.
And they just stick.
Versus… INTENTIONAL Identity Statements… which are those intentional things we are going to begin to say about ourselves… that are going to help to inform our beliefs… and then as a result… inform our actions.
Let me give you another example of unintentional versus intentional identity statements.
When I was in junior high and high school school… I had a few years where I struggled with math. During that time… I had a grumpy teacher who just didn’t like people… and he seemed to be especially annoyed with me.
At one point when I was trying to work through a particular problem, the teacher said, “Mitch… this is pretty simple stuff. If you’re not getting this… the rest of the year is going to be brutal.”
I remember him walking away just shaking his head…
He didn’t say anymore… but instantly I had some unintentional identity statements starting to fire off in my brain.
I’m never going to get this. I’m not smart. Math isn’t for me.
The rest of this year is going to be brutal.
I must be behind the other kids.
If I’m behind them… I probably shouldn’t say anything to anyone else… because I’ll embarrass myself even more.
See what I mean…?
See what I mean… Zero to sixty… in unintentional identity statements.
Can you identify?
Have you had a similar experience?
Maybe a boss said something… or a coach… or a relative.
They say it… and it sticks. BAM.
Negative… unintentional identity statements.
And the more you say them… good or bad… they get written on your heart and begin to shape how you look at the world.
Interestingly enough… that story is very true… and it really did shape a lot of my beliefs about not only math… but it had a ripple effect into a lot of my other classes too. All at a subconscious level.
At the simplest form… I was convinced I was terrible at math.
At a deeper level… I was tempted to believe I wasn’t intelligent and I couldn’t really learn complicated or challenging subject matter.
BUT… then in college… I wound up taking a logic class… in the philosophy department. It was a class that most students dreaded… but it was required for one of the programs I was in… so I took it.
Logic… for lack of better terms… is basically math with words… not numbers. And for the first time… in my life… my head could TOTALLY get around the concepts.
The teacher noted that when I aced the first assignment.
Professor Morgan even made note of it on my paper. And mentioned it in passing after class.
I went on to get my one and only A+ in a class.
I literally didn’t miss a point. I loved it.
And when I look back… I started to shift my understanding and belief about who I was.
That impacted my belief… which then started to impact my actions.
Now in that case… I had an actual experience that helped to re-write my identity statement… but you don’t always need an actual experience to rewrite your identity statements.
It can help… but it’s not required.
If you are growth minded and believe that you can focus on the things you can control… like your attitude and the amount of effort you put in… then you can change.
You can learn. You can grow.
You just need to decide.
Now… DREAM THINK DOer… you know I always shoot straight with you. So I’m going to do that right now.
As in… if there’s someone out there… who’s NOT a DTD-er and they’re pushing back with a…
Are you saying that with the right identity statement… I could go from being a high school drop out… to a rocket scientist for NASA?
Well… yes. Yes I am.
If… you were also willing to put a crap-ton worth of work in to make it happen.
This is not magic.
We don’t start saying our intentional identity statements and then POOF… it all plays out perfectly… instantly.
BUT… we all know… getting clear and going after dreams takes perseverance and work.
And good identity statements… better said… “intentional identity statements” will help you to stay the course… as you work your keeester off making it happen.
Okay… so know that we’ve talked about the WHAT… let’s talk about the HOW.
And that is actually pretty straight forward.
The first step is to START.
Don’t wait for it to be perfect…. Because it won’t be at first.
But you’re going to do your best and then keep working with it.
As you do… you’ll add to it… you’ll edit some things out… and over time… you’ll narrow in on some CORE intentional identity statements that will empower you to stay focused and stay the course.
They need to be inspiring… positive… and I think it helps if they’re fun.
It can start with…
This is who I am…
I am smart. I am funny. I love to encourage people.
I’m working towards being in the best shape of my life and I’m on track to do it.
They can be simple… but again… if you have some fun with them… they can have even more power.
I eat challenges for breakfast.
I was made to do things that will make the world freaking awesome…
I’m a globe changer and the devil himself hates it when I wake up in the morning!
Can you feel it?
Start writing some out.
Again… don’t wait for it to be perfect.
It won’t be perfect… because it’s going to be fluid and it’s going to be continually evolving…
You’ll know more in a week… than you do right now… but that’s okay. You’ll change it.
It needs to be fun and it needs to be inspiring.
This is who I am.
This is who I’m becoming.
In two weeks… you might realize it needs to be tweaked and you’ll do that. You’ll hone it. “You’ll craft it. But if you do that… over time… in 3 months… you’ll have some intentional identity statements that aren’t just written in your journal… they’ll be written in your heart and etched in your brain.
I might get hit… I might get knocked down… but nothing is going to keep me down.
Now… some people go with what I call “comparative identity statements” but I’m not a big fan.
These sound like…
A) I am the hardest worker on the team. I will totally dominate the competition.
B) I am the smartest student in my class. I know this stuff better than anyone else.
C) I am more prepared than anyone in the room. I will own this.
If you’re a competitive person by nature… you might gel with that… but comparison is a tricky playing field… and there are a ton of landmines. So if you go there… Godspeed.
BUT… I’m more of a fan of comparing to yourself.
AND… with that being said… I also believe in these being true! And finding ways to make your “intentional identity statement” bold… AND true.
So if you’ve worried most of your life… it might really be hard to start to just say… “I’m not a worrier.”
Plus… as we’ve talked about in previous episodes… the brain is not so good at recognizing “not.” So if we have an identity statement that says… “I’m not a worrier” your brain hears that more as… “I am a worrier.”
Plus… if you’ve been a worrier most of your life… to say, “I’m not a worrier” your brain will also lay down the internal BS card… and call you a liar.
So we need to shift these so they are true… and so you can be bold with them.
So instead of saying… “I’m not a worrier…” you can compare to your past self…
“I used to have issues with worry… but I’m getting better every day.”
I used to really get nervous before big events… but now I am getting better at looking forward to them!
If you’re working on healthy habits…
I used to eat the shiznitz out of a can of pringles… but I’m eating healthier now… and I’m turning into a healthy beast!
I used to hit the snooze bar 5 times in the morning… but now I beat that thing into submission and my feet are on the floor in a cold second!
Now… some people like to come up with a set of phrases and they just sprinkle them into their day… as needed.
They start to feel tempted to worry… so they just start to use some of their intentional identity statements about worry.
I used to worry in situations like this… but now I take a breath… dig in and bring my freeeeeegin awesome.
I used to freak out when something like that happened… but now I laugh… and get to work because I’m a warrior!
But… some… like to create an identity statement thats 4 to 5 sentences long about who they are and who they are becoming. Then they refer to it in the morning… while they’re getting up… or while they’re getting ready. And then review it again… as they’re going to bed.
I believe in a “both / and” approach.
I’ve got some statements I say… and pray… in the morning and as I head to bed. In fact… I’ve got some of them taped to my mirror.
And then I use others as I’m going throughout my day and I use them if I feel negative emotions start to creep in.
Now… these are not rose-colored glasses… “I don’t have any problems… I not going to deal with my problems” strategies.
Heck… we do big… live… events around the country.
We have 18 hour days… involving video shoots… people… crazy weather… wild locations… we have problems we have to deal with.
But if I go in thinking… “We are like Navy Seals… we eat challenges for breakfast… let’s do this.” It helps us to deal with the curve balls that get thrown at us.
So… get to it.
Write some down… because that helps.
Start to train your brain to use them… especially in the face of negative self-talk.
And please… let me know some of yours. I’d love to hear them!!!
Hit me up on social media… and/or… leave a comment at MitchMatthews.com/213. I want to hear how you’re using this.
Now… as a bonus… I also wanted throw in how I use these from a faith-based approach.
If you want to bail at this point… that’s totally cool.
But if faith is a part of your life… and/or you’re just curious… stick around.
Now… I’m a Jesus guy… and intentional identity statements are awesome for your prayer life.
And… this concepts is referenced in the BIBLE a lot.
For example… in Philippians 4: 8 and 9 it says…
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Hey… I know for a fact… I want the God of peace to be with me… so I’m in.
So turn this activity into a prayer activity.
Pray and ask for some direction on this.
Come up with 4-6 declarative sentences inspired by favorite scriptures.
Or maybe… you’ve had people pray for you and something encouraging they said really stuck with you… cool. Write that down and keep that with you.
I’d mentioned earlier that I have some statements I speak out most morning and most evenings… and many of those are based on things that people have prayed and some favorite scriptures.
And again… don’t wait for this to be perfect!!!
And don’t wait until you only have those mountain top experiences…
They can come on a normal Tuesday morning too.
But use it as a listening device… and take note.
Then use them to step into even more of who God created you to be.
I hope so.
Again… hit me up at MitchMatthews.com/213. Leave a comment and grab that free download while you’re there!
I can’t wait to hear what you come up with and how you’re using it!
Stay tuned for more awesome episodes… and until then… keep bringing your awesome.