Episode 62: How your identity helps you succeed in life
Let’s discuss the power of identity.
Welcome to the SPS Podcast.
“You have to be willing to go to war with yourself and create a whole new identity.”
- David Goggins
The New England Patriots dominated the NFL for years with the Patriot Way.
FC Barcelona revolutionized football with Tiki-Taka and won everything you can in club football.
The New Zealand All Blacks are known for their passionate pre-game Haka and open and expansive play.
What was one of the core secrets behind their success?
A clear IDENTITY.
If you’ve read Atomic Habits
If you’ve read any book by Dr. Benjamin Hardy
You will know that your current and future identity is crucial for taking the right actions daily.
But here’s the thing…
If you asked yourself what your identity is… could you speak to it?
I know in my past I couldn’t.
I had no idea who I was.
It's a common mistake many of us make.
That changed when I sold high-end suits to Vancouver’s rich and famous.
I jumped into this commission-based role.
I was in my early 30s…but I was probably still 21 mentally.
I wanted to do well…but lacked street and business smarts.
My new regional director Mike...who saw my passion and potential...took me out for a chat and walk.
He asked me a question that knocked me back onto my heels.
“Stephen…who do you want to be within this organization?”
Mike asked me the question as he passed me a cup of coffee...
The warm cup hit my hands and I stared down into the blackness…. I paused...looked up...shrugged my shoulders...then mumbled something inaudible: a collection of mmms and ahhs.
Mike quickly asked… “What is the core value of our organization?”
Like a student wanting an A+ from their favourite professor…I recited the company’s core statement...
“To build long-term relationships built on loyalty, expertise, and trust.”
” Good” Mike responded.
” But…you should be able to state your core values and who you want to be.”
To say my mind was blown...was an understatement.
Until that point in my life…no one had said that to me.
Sure…people asked me what I wanted to do or what my goals were.
But to have a personal mission statement of core values was utterly new to me.
It was a light-switch moment in my life.
I now knew I needed a clear set of values and a core identity.
For the next 3 years working in that organization…
I identified as a leader of people and a problem solver….I was promoted 4 times.
A clear identity helped me act in the right manner.
Like Tom Brady with the Patriots
Like a prime Lionel Messi at Barcelona
Like New Zealand winning back-to-back rugby world cups
Okay…okay...yes…being promoted 4 times in 3 years in a store in Vancouver is not the same as the GOATS Messi and Brady.
But we all have to start somewhere...
Having a clear identity sped up my progress.
Now…if you read any decent success book released today…
Defining your future self is highlighted as a core part of progress in life and business.
It gives you an advantage.
What does that mean?
Let me explain…
Identity plays a fundamental role in shaping our behaviour and actions.
From my own experiences...I can point to these 5 critical points:
1) Alignment with Values:
When your goals align with your identity...they are more likely to be meaningful and fulfilling. Goals that resonate with your identity are inherently motivating because they reflect what truly matters to you.
Your self-identity influences how you perceive yourself. When you set and achieve goals that are in line with your identity...it enhances your self-esteem and self-worth.
3) Overcoming Obstacles:
When your identity is tied to your goals... you’re more likely to persist through difficulties. You view challenges as opportunities for growth. It’s like lighting a fire inside you no one can put out.
4) Clarity and Direction:
A strong sense of identity will provide clarity and direction in goal setting. It helps you prioritize goals that align with who you are and helps avoid a lot of dumb sh*t.
5) Long-Term Commitment:
Identity-based goals lead to long-term commitment and lifestyle changes. You’re driven to adopt behaviours and habits that align with your identity.
I’m a prime example of this long-term process... I’ve gone from a broke 30-year-old to a successful solopreneur in just over 10 years.
I may not have played for the Patriots...performed a powerful Haka or lined up alongside Messi...
But I was lucky enough to work in an organization with a clear identity for a few years.
Looking back now...I can see how powerful that experience developed the man creating this post today.
The question I have for you is...
What is your identity?
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