Reinforcing Your Best Identities
A good friend, who is also a Global Creative, is a small business owner running a service company out of his house.
Ted is a one man operation, so if he is not working he is generally not making money. He is also an amazingly generous individual – almost to a fault. If a friend makes a request, Ted will often drop what he is doing and help his friend in need. To exacerbate the situation, Ted owns a pick-up truck, so people are always asking him to haul and drop off stuff.
These two identities compete for Ted’s attention, and Generous Friend often wins out over Successful Business Owner. This is not an uncommon challenge for Global Creatives.
Stephen Covey and David Allen refer to these two aspects of Ted as roles, but I prefer identities. Identities speaks more to who you are (father, husband, professional, provider) than a role that you play. Often with my clients, I focus on rediscovering and reinforcing identities. Global Creatives have a tendency to not only become distracted and forget where they are going, but they also forget their Best Identities.
A number of factors can contribute to this. A fallible memory and limited inhibition (impulsivity) certainly do not help. Throw emotion into the mix (would you rather help a buddy or bill a customer?) and you can see how we arrive here.
Best Identities help to reinforce our level of confidence, and remind us that indeed we are up to the task, and can step in when our guard is down. In those moments of vulnerability, if we haven't reinforced our Best Identities, then one of our less-than-best identities is likely to step in instead (Shiny Object Chaser, Day Dreamer, Walk-by Completer).
Steps to Reinforcing Best Identities
Name your Best identities with appropriate qualifier (successful business owner, for example)
List attitudes and actions that support this identity (confidence, vision, cultivating new clients/work, billing customers)
List what happens if you do not regularly step into this identity (stagnating business, loss in visibility)
List what happens if you do regularly step into this identity (regular completions that contribute to building business)
Postyour Best Identities prominently to remind the brain is a good idea.
Some of mine:
- Add Value Coach - Successful Business Owner - Knowledgable Trainer - Generous Collaborator - Loving Husband and Father - Olympic Biker (well not really, but it gets me on the bike!)
These are identities I strive for. I am not successful all the time but having these accessible gives me useful focal points.
What are some of your Best Identities?