It is incredibly powerful to make the distinction between your Self and your Identity. In fact, it’s life-changing – once you act on it!
It is the difference between operating as your commitment, your word, and operating as your fears.
I had a recent experience that highlights this distinction. And let me just say here, transformation happens out in the world – not in your room, your house, not at your computer or through reading a book. Transformation happens through action. Transformation is a verb.
As I mentioned in my last post, How the Word Becomes Flesh – Part III:
“Now, you can use your word to talk; or you can use your word to WALK. Is your word speech? Or is your word ACTION?”
For example, as you gather with family and/or friends to watch the President of the United States on TV give a speech, notice that there are 2 types of talk going on – the talk that affects the outcome and the talk that has no impact at all on the outcome.
The President’s talk changes the outcome for the country. His (and one day, Her) talk produces results by establishing or announcing policy and direction. Your talk about what the President is saying has no effect whatsoever on the outcome for the country. You can agree, disagree, praise or complain – your talk produces no results for the country.
JFK said that the U.S. will put a man on the Moon. It happened. Some laughed, some believed, others wondered how the heck was that going to happen – all of their talk made no difference. It happened.
It happens in sports all the time. The fans talk about the game and that talk has no impact on the game – ‘You suck!’; ‘Miss!’; ‘Number 2 is awesome!’; ‘He needs to pass the ball!’
The players who are in the game talk the talk that has a direct impact on the outcome of the game. ‘Pass the ball!’; ‘Shoot!’;’Throw it to 3rd!’; ‘I’m guarding number 11!’
It’s the difference between knowing why you’re here and talking about it, and experiencing why you’re here, speaking it and doing it.
Now, on to my recent experience. I went to a beach last weekend, not to work on any tan or lounge around. I went to introduce my Thoughtwear Global T-shirts to total strangers whose last thought or desire while relaxing on a beach is to hear and be pitched to about T-shirts with awesome, inspiring, empowering messages.
You know what made me do this? I gave my word to my wife, Caroline, who was in France visiting family with our son, Solomon, that I would do it.
After giving my word I, or rather, my IDENTITY, had 2nd thoughts about it. My identity showed up and voiced its fears about falling flat on my face, which terrifies my identity because it wants to look good….and failing makes you look bad. My identity also brought up my past failures to remind me why going to the beach to sell my T-shirts was such a stupid idea.
I went anyway….because I gave MY WORD. As I drove to the beach, slooooowly, the voice of my Identity got louder, my heart beat faster, my stomach was in knots. All good signs, by the way. It shows me 2 things – that I truly care; and that I’m IN THE GAME!
I arrived at the beach and at first my thought was to sit on my camping chair and pitch to people as they walked to and from their cars. Naaah, too passive. Even though I was out of the stands, where the fans sit, still, it would have been more like sitting on the bench – still not quite IN THE GAME. I wanted to be a player, a starter, not on the bench!
So I hoisted my duffel bag of T-shirt samples over my shoulder and carried in both hands 7 hangers with T-shirts. Then, with my stomach still in knots and a general numbness throughout my entire body, I walked up and down the beach with a pitch that was halfway decent in the beginning with a few stumbles. By the end of my walk through the entire beach I had given at least 20 pitches and the pitch was AWESOME! My pitch was energetic, fluid and entertaining, and covered everything that needed to be covered. I got some laughs from people who really admired what I was doing, got some ‘Wow, I like those T-shirts but I have no cash’, and some annoyed looks and indifferent nods. Oh, and I sold 2 T-shirts!
Celebrate every step you take just as you celebrate every ‘small’ accomplishment of a child – like his first steps. This will encourage and empower you to take more steps.
Had I not given my word to Caroline there would have been no word to keep, no one to be accountable to. I gave my word and that became my commitment and my bond. Sure I had some 2nd thoughts and fears because Identity is something that stays with me, and you, for as long as we are alive on the Earth. The thing to do though is to let it be – let your Identity do its thing and then keep going because you are your SELF, not your Identity. This is what courage looks like. Courage is not an absence of fear. Courage is the presence of fear (from your Identity) and you (your Self) do it anyway.
Your Self is powerful beyond what you know, beyond what you can conceive, and beyond what you can remember from your past. And although you do get glimpses of your Self here and there, from time to time, operating from and as your Self is the real game of life!
Your Identity is IN THE STANDS; your Self is IN THE GAME!
Your Identity WISHES for an outcome; your Self PERFORMS and GETS RESULTS!
Your Identity can only talk about Reality; your Self has the power to create your Reality!
The choice is yours and yours alone.
Do you want to witness your life?
Or do you want to POWERFULLY IMPACT YOUR REALITY!!??