Just what is the difference between the person who gets stuff done and the one who doesn’t?
While the answer is many-faceted and includes elements we can’t control, one major thing we can control is ‘identity’ – the person we tell ourselves we are.
This tiny little ‘switch up’ in thinking has worked wonders for boosting my motivation of late.
Here are some examples:
- When I don’t feel like exercising in the morning, I tell myself , ‘But Kelly, you’re the kind of person who exercises every day.’
- When I’m struggling to meet a deadline, I remind myself, ‘Kelly, you’re someone who always keeps their promises.’
- I even used it the other day when I chose stairs over an escalator, ‘Kelly, you’re someone who always takes the stairs.’
It’s been remarkable to see just how easily I can override the friction of not wanting to do something, simply by telling myself I’m the kind of person who does.
How can we put this to use in our business life?
The stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, have huge power. When we’re lacking the impetus needed to get stuff done, these are the kinds of stories we tell ourselves:
- I need to wait till I’m more motivated
- I just can’t focus
- I have no willpower
It’s a fast path from the above to giving ourselves the identity of someone who completely lacks discipline.
Let’s flick the switch
The next time you’re trying to muster the motivation to make the sales call, tell yourself ‘I’m someone who believes in their product and can convey that belief with enthusiasm.’
The next time you have to give feedback that might be unwelcome, tell yourself ‘I’m someone who’s not afraid to have difficult conversations’.
The next time you’re struggling to find focus, tell yourself ‘I’m someone who can concentrate for 25 minutes without a break.’ And then pull out your Pomodoro timer and get to it.
Life can be simple if we allow it to be
Employing complicated productivity systems and implementing elaborate routines that ‘trick’ us into doing the things we don’t really feel like doing gives the illusion of productivity and self-mastery. But, that’s all it really is – an illusion.
Given changing your story really is as simple as … changing your story. And given changing your identity is really as simple as changing your story …
Why make things more complicated than they need to be?