I’m Just That Kinda Guy
To achieve your goals, you need to believe you are the kind of person that can.
Posted January 5, 2015
Happy New Year!
Many of us use this time of year to evaluate last year and to set up new intentions and goals for the months ahead. For some of us, it’s an invigorating process. We’re excited about the progress we’ve made and the new heights we’re preparing to climb.
But for others, it can feel like déjà vu all over again.
We put forth honest effort but didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve. We’re still far from the goals we set and we don’t know why.
Oftentimes, the problem is not what you did or didn’t do, it’s that internal belief that says, “I’m just not that kinda guy (or gal).” You want to be slim and fit but “I’m just not the kinda gal who exercises regularly.” Your goal is to be debt-free but “I’m just not the kinda guy who can make a lot of money.” You want a great relationship but “I’m just not the kinda gal who connects well with people.”
You’ve got a goal, but your beliefs about who you are force you to swim upstream against a current that is strong and relentless. Some people can just tough it out and achieve their goals anyway. But that takes super-human effort. And there’s a much less stressful way to handle it.
A student of mine told me a story recently. Years ago, she was a beginning golfer and not that great at it. One morning, she showed up at the course by herself and was set up to play with three guys, one of whom was a particularly good golfer named Arturo.
For the first 14 holes or so, she played better than she had ever played! She was pounding it off the tee, staying in the fairway, sinking all her putts. Then at the 15th hole, she completely shanked her drive. It skittered off out of bounds about 50 yards off the tee. There was an embarrassed silence until Arturo said, “Wow. That’s just not like you!”
Immediately she thought, “You have no idea how very much like me that was!” But it occurred to her how profound and helpful Arturo’s statement was. She could either identify with that lousy shot, or decide that it “just wasn’t like her.”
There’s a give and take (or push and pull) between your outside “reality” and your subconscious beliefs about yourself.
If your external results fit your internal image, no problem. But if the two don’t match up, typically your internal sense of self will win the argument.
If your belief about yourself is not firmly rooted, your actions and external results can modify that belief. For example, say you’re slightly doubtful but think “just maybe” you have a shot at becoming a good dancer. By practicing and gaining skills, that “just maybe” can turn into “Hey, I’m a pretty good dancer.”
But if your belief about yourself is very strong, nothing in the outside world will shake it.
Say your goal is to sing opera but you firmly believe that your voice is only mediocre. It doesn’t matter how talented you are or even how hard you work. Something (your subconscious) will always find a way to make sure you get mediocre results.
On the other hand, if you believe without a doubt that you’re destined to be the greatest opera singer on the planet, odds are that your career will go as far as your skills allow, probably even farther.
Another student of mine, one of my Master Practitioners, recently guided a client through the Mental Emotional Release process (MER®). The client made profound and significant shifts during the session, changing from a deep-seated belief of “I just don’t have what it takes” to a natural confidence that said, “I have all the smarts and skills and drive I need.” He said he felt a huge weight had lifted.
But in his follow-up session a week later, she noticed an interesting pattern. He would tell her how much better he was feeling “for now” or how clear and confident he felt “so far” or what great decisions he had made “this time.” Finally, she interrupted him and said, “I want you to replace ‘for now,’ ‘so far,’ and ‘this time’ with ‘because that’s the kinda guy I am.’ This isn’t a temporary feeling. It’s who you’ve chosen to become.”
So what kinda guy or gal do you think you are? And if you don’t like the answer, how do you change it?
Start by identifying who you really believe yourself to be. Set aside some uninterrupted time, maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Take a sheet of paper, and at the top, write “I’m the kind of person who. . .” Then fill in the blank with as many things as you can, working quickly and not censoring or judging. Be honest, not politically correct!
(By the way, your beliefs and opinions about yourself have no basis in reality. You most likely formed them before age seven and have “proven” them to yourself ever since. So you are basically operating based on the judgments of a seven year old. Food for thought, just sayin.’)
Now, choose what to keep and what to ditch. Put a star next to the statements you like that seem to support your goals. These beliefs are worth keeping and strengthening. Next, put a checkmark next to those statements that you don’t like that might be holding you back.
Finally, rewrite the statements you don’t like. Try your new statement on. You may feel that it’s too far a leap from “I’m the kinda guy who can’t talk to women” to “I’m the kinda guy that makes women swoon.” If so, dial it back to something like, “I’m the kinda guy who is friendly to everyone.”
Just by doing this simple exercise, you can start shaking-up some of your less-helpful beliefs about yourself. At the very least, you’ll identify internal beliefs that have a chokehold on you and you’ll know what you need to work on. [In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), we have several techniques to quickly break that hold!]
As Jim Rohn said: if you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.
Until next time. . .
Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of The Empowerment Partnership, where students learn Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Huna and Hypnosis. To learn more about NLP and MER check out our new Integrative NLP Practitioner Certification® Training