What kind of a person are you?
What kind of a person do you say you are?
What kind of a person do you hold on to being?
What kind of a person are you proud to say that you are?
How many of the aspects or qualities that you listed are you empowered by?
How many of them do you wish you could change?
Either way, the answer I have for you is good news.
None of that is true.
There is no "way" that you are, in truth, in fact, written in stone, unchageable.
If you are empowered by the ways that you see yourself, fantastic. Keep those things, embolden yourself in those areas. Take those aspects to the next level.
If you are disempowered by any of the ways that you see yourself, this is fantastic, too. Now, you have the opportunity to recognize that those are simply choices that you are making, and you can choose differently.
Do you think you are shy, quiet, reserved, introverted, self-conscious?
I'm here to say, that's not true. That's not the kind of thing that can be true or false.
You may well have acted shy, quiet, reserved, introverted, or self-conscious in your life. I'm not denying that. You may have been that way for many years, maybe for all of the years of your life. I am still here to assert that there is no truth that you ARE - in some fundamental, unchangeable, inescapable way - any of those things. That is simply not how being human works.
We have all had the experience of being put into a situation, whether tragic, or exciting, or by surprise, where we responded in a way that was very "unlike us". How could that even be possible, if we are fixed in our fundamental nature? It wouldn't be, because we are not.
I'm not saying that people around you don't WANT you to be a fixed, set way. We find comfort when the people in our lives act the way we expect them to act, when they respond the same way they have always responded, when they operate out of the same range of emotions and actions that they always have. So what? Do you want to make your life all about making people around you comfortable? Or do you want to make your life extraordinary?
What if we play a little game?
What if we do one thing, say one thing, take one action, be one way that is completely outside of the range of "the kind of person" that we think we are?
I'm "not a morning person."
If I didn't know better, I would argue with you all day for the truth of that statement. I feel worse in the mornings. I do my best work late at night. I don't ever "feel like" hopping right out of bed. I don't enjoy going to bed early. I feel foggy in the mornings. I am usually wide awake at bedtime, and I hit my stride in the early afternoon. Thus, at some point, I decided that I wasn't someone who could get up early in the morning like those crazy people who get up at the crack of dawn and have more done that I get done all day, even before I have hit snooze for the fourth time.
I could be trapped by this way of seeing myself.
I could decide (as I have done for most of my life) that it means all sorts of things about what I am capable of, what I must learn to tolerate, and what I can do, be and achieve.
I could resign myself to being a night-owl.
I could even passionately embrace my night-owl-hood, and accept and fully love that "aspect of myself."
But all that would be a lie.
It would be a lie in the first place, because it is resting upon a belief that the truth of the matter is that I am - fundamentally and unchangeably - one particular way.
And that, is not the kind of thing that can be TRUE. It can be the current state of affairs, certainly. It can be my current modus operandi, for sure. It can be the historical precendent, without a doubt.
But there is a big difference between a way I have been being, and a way that fundamentally I AM.
Do you see the difference?
When I start to override my belief about "how I am", I start seeing how I am capable of being another way. How I am capable of changing. Of transforming. Of reconceptualizing. Of reframing. Of growing. Of being whomever and however I choose.
This week, we have been at a conference, and I have not wanted to get out of bed when the alarm went off. I have argued against the actual need to get up early and workout before the day begins. I have instintually followed a mental path of considering how I could put things off until later in the day. I didn't want to get out of bed early.
And guess what I did?
I got up.
I put one foot in front of the other.
I worked out in the morning.
And I felt great.
So, again, I ask you: what will you choose?
What is one area of your life where you could simply choose to be the way you want to be? To choose to be the kind of person you long to be?
Maybe you want to be someone who has a clean house? Then, take an action toward that. Clean up. Put something away as soon as you use it.
Maybe you want to be the kind of person who is fit, and in shape? Then, take an action toward that. Park far from the store. Take the stairs. March in place for five minutes.
I was explaining my story to a new friend last night, and I explained: I'm a bit of a shape shifter. Yes, I've been a lawyer. I've been a teacher. I've been a low-energy, burned-out, over-worked person. And, I am not anyt of those things now. It's one thing to change careers. Many people have done that. It's another thing to transform your way of being. It is possible. It can be done. YOU can do it.
You can start small. Take a tiny action outside of your range, today.
Where will you begin?