EPISODE 47: Who you think you are, who you are and who you want to beAug 02, 2020
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who we think we are, Who we are and who we want to be.
This week one of my clients was talking about his life and the choices he had made
His story, the thing that he believed about his life was, “I didn’t have the courage to make a different choice”
He wasn’t talking about pornography, he was talking about his career choices.
He comes from a family where what his parent’s want for him is extremely important.
His values make it so that deferring to them is part of his culture and his identity.
He also wants to be successful.
It is part of the fabric of his community that he needs to be able to provide for his family, be a pillar in his community and to give back.
He actually chose to be a doctor. He is practicing medicine every day and questioning it, questioning his fellow doctors if this is what they really want to be doing and wondering if he can last.
Now before you judge him and say, ‘well he’s a doctor, he has it great, why should he complain’ I want to take a moment to explore this thought that he has from the lens of these three ideas:
Who we think we are
Who we are
And who we want to be.
Let’s start by going back to the story he is telling himself.
“I didn’t have the courage to make a different choice.’
This is the story of who he thinks he is.
What does that thought mean?
It means that he failed, that he wasn’t who he wanted to be, that he wasn’t even who he chose to be.
It’s a story of a victim.
A victim of circumstances
someone who was pushed in a direction he never wanted to go but found himself there because of forces beyond his control and at the behest of others with no capacity to decide for himself and only responsibility for what he didn’t choose.
Often when we look back at our lives, the story we tell ourselves is one of regret and disappointment.
Things we didn’t do, things we shouldn’t have done, or things we wish we had.
We might believe this perspective is objective, valid and helpful in driving us to greater heights, better outcomes, and more effective decision making.
But take a look at how you feel when this is the story you tell yourself.
Most of us know what that feeling is like.
Even if this isn’t the story you tell yourself, yours might be, “I wasn’t as go a missionary as I could have been.”
Or “I should have overcome this problem sooner.”
Whatever the story, ask yourself, is this version of my history helping me become the person that I want to be by creating the feelings that drive me to improve, focus and succeed.
I can tell you how it worked for this client.
His disappointment brought him to second guess himself, avoid his thoughts about his career and how he might change his life, tell himself that he stunk. He also treated others differently, he would second guess his friends choice of career, would be abrupt with his patients and be unfriendly and unengaged.
This creates a world for him where not only did he not have the courage in the past, but he also doesn’t have the courage to do what he wants now. Keeping him a victim of his circumstances and beholden to the past, his perception of his family’s wants and his perceived inability to become the person he wants to be.
I can tell you I have seen myself in this exact place.
At one point when I was in my career I felt trapped and incapable of moving forward. I had to be someone I hated because so many people depended on me to provide for them and I was responsible for their happiness.
Or so I thought.
Then, I just decided that I could figure it out and stop working for a big company and be an entrepreneur.
That little shift in who I thought I was brought me so much happiness.
For my client, that little shift was just beyond his ability to see in himself.
Let’s talk about who we are.
So often, the people I work with are people who believe that who they are is a fixed reality of things that they have failed to accomplish or are yet to accomplish that will be forever out of reach.
But what if you chose to believe the very best version of your story?
The one that a kind, but fair biographer would tell when they were writing at length the story of your life.
Take my client for example.
He is the son of immigrants, who started his own business at age 20. He built it into a thriving enterprise that now requires little to no intervention on his part. As the son of immigrants and the best English speaker in his family, he took on the role of chief translator, immigration attorney and the next great hope of his family legacy.
He went to medical school, is a medical resident and a real estate developer in the spare moments he can take away to fuel his passion for business.
He cares for his wife deeply, works to be the man who she can count on and is preparing his life so he can be the father that he wants to be for his future children.
Is he doing something that isn’t his passion to provide for all of this? Yes.
Is it harder than he wants it to be? Yes.
Here is where we often go wrong in our assessment of ourselves.
We think that if we compound the discomfort that is required to be successful in our lives and in our families with harsh assessments of our past, we can avoid pain in the future through better decision making.
That’s where we miss the mark.
First, assessing our past harshly makes us feel bad about what happened.
Feeling bad about what happened, often makes us feel bad about what is happening.
Feeling bad about what is happening rarely creates the feelings required to improve the situation in order to feel how you want to feel.
Take a look back at my client’s thought – “I didn’t have the courage to make a different choice.”
Which created disappointment, that drove all the second guessing, self critical, projecting and unfriendliness.
In that moment he was feeling bad about his past and acted in a way that made him feel bad in the present.
Then, on top of that, because he was avoiding his current reality because it was tainted by his past, he kept from progressing to the life he wanted. He didn’t critically lay out a plan to move his life steadily in the direction he wanted it to go. He never chose the courage that he would need to make hard choices about the life he wanted.
But, when presented with the alternate story I told you about him. All of it true, by the way,
He began to see himself differently.
He began to see the greatness that was already there, within him, just waiting to be acknowledged and let out.
He began to see who he was.
Often times, this is the hardest step.
Partly because we think that we have to atone for what we have done and for who we were.
Fortunately, that part was already done for us by Christ.
Taquitos and why can’t I pray away pornography – download it for free.
If we can just remember that part, we can start to see who we are.
Which brings me to the last piece of perspective I want to bring to this thought that my client had.
His thought, “I didn’t have the courage to make a different choice.’ Keeps him from being the man he wants to be.
Not because he can’t make new decisions, but because he thinks he doesn’t have courage.
Just like some return missionaries think, they should have done better, so now they avoid doing missionary work.
When we believe that we are less than, or incapable or that we didn’t try our best at the time we hold ourselves back from becoming the best version of our self.
Belief in yourself is essential and key to success.
It is just as essential and key as being willing and able to feel uncomfortable.
I never could have become a coach if I didn’t believe in my self.
I might have told the story on the podcast that my sister in law once said, you can’t be a life coach, you don’t have your life together enough.
What she meant by that was, you have too many kids, your house is too messy, your kids are too loud, your life is too chaotic, and you have no reason to believe that you can succeed.
So many of us are either being told by others, or being told by our self, that we aren’t good enough to succeed.
Whether it is in business, in overcoming a habit, or just in learning a skill that we have always wanted to have, we hear these voices and we believe them.
I want to submit to you, they are wrong.
Ask anyone who tells you that to prove to you what your future looks like.
Ask them to show you, without looking in the past, because the past is no predictor of the future, just ask any stock broker, what your future is.
Because if they can do that, you better ask them for the next break out stock pick.
The truth is, they can’t. No more than they can tell you how the stock market will behave or who will win the world series, if we even have one this year or even what the weather will be tomorrow with absolute certainty.
Who you want to be is a wide open field that you get to choose to run through in whatever way you see fit.
So how do I get this belief in myself, how do I make my future what I want it to be, not what I feel trapped into becoming?
Start with the story of your past.
Become the hero.
Tell about your origin in the light that Christ would tell it.
Recognize your faults without making them the part of the story where you stop becoming the person you want to be.
Who would spiderman be if he stayed disappointed in himself for the death of his uncle.
Heroes are not perfect people. They are people who learn from the mistakes they make, tell themselves and others the story of how they built and created and triumphed against the odds and see their future as one of possibility and completely within their control.
So, take a few minutes today and look at the story you are telling yourself about who you think you are and ask is this way of viewing my past helping me create the future I want to live.
And if you are having trouble seeing how you could view your story differently, feel free to set up a free consult and we can look at it together.
#addictionrecovery #latterdaysaintsdealingwithpornographyinmarraige #LDS
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