Who before what? Really, the strategy guys will tell you what before how. When does ‘who’ enter the picture? The answer is found in discovering one’s identity. To get to this discover where values and natural ability collide! Ben Franklin said, “There are three things that are hard: steel, a diamond and to know one’s self.”
In the absence of self awareness there is no need to change
People can tell us we need to change but in the absence of humility these become empty words. How about you? Are you working a personal growth plan? Do you know where to start?
The older I get the more I realize my own insecurities and weaknesses. I further understand that these things can be changed but it is my identity (my who) that must be the part of me that changes first. In my coaching practice this has always been my hunch but the past two years practice as a professional coach have proven this thesis time and again. We see this in all the characters of the bible: Andrew and Simon changed from fishermen to fishers of men, Paul moved from Pharisee to proclaimer to the Gentiles, Mark, James, John and the list can go on and on. Let’s look at an Old Testament character named Gideon.
In the sixth chapter of Judges we find Gideon hiding in a wine press separating kernels of wheat so he could merely eek out a little bit of food for himself and his family. And a man appears to Gideon and proclaims,
“The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
To Gideon’s disbelief he said, “my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” Gideon would then go on a journey requiring proof from God at every turn that he was in fact as God described: a mighty man of valor.
Gideon Needed Proof
The point is Gideon needed proof. Is this not true for each of us? Recently someone asked me if I “do Crossfit.” I answered with a humorous “no.” Then I inquired as to why she was asking. She said she would like to lose 20 or 30 pounds. I then asked what she was currently doing (diet and exercise) to lose the weight. After saying nothing I turned my questioning to help her understand that to go from nothing to Crossfit would lead to injury and a huge amount of cash outlay, which would most likely end with injury and or failure.
Everyone Needs Proof
I then explained that our minds need proof that we are healthy and we need to constantly reinforce this message if we are ever to be successful. I asked her what she could start doing right now to change her identity. She said, “I could say no to a Krispy Kreme donut,” which someone had offered her 5 minutes before. Exactly! What else could you do I asked. “I could walk each day” she said. Sure, did you know a walk around the building is a little more than 1/4 mile? What would happen if you walked around the building once every hour? “At the end of an 8 hour day I will have walked over two miles,” she proclaimed. I was very excited a few days later when I saw her trekking around the building. I shouted and said Great Job!
Typical Human Behavior
The mistake most of us make is we decide we are going to start P90X or Crossfit or run a marathon only to have a rapid start and an almost rapid a stop. I’m guilty and if you are honest with yourself you are too.
Being armed with this awareness gives us a great opportunity to make change in our life. But these changes come with a nudge and they require some motivation. Big change – big motivation. Small change – little nudges.
As we change our identity we prove to our minds that we are in fact the person we think we are
What are you wanting to change today? To make this change we need awareness and humility to follow the path that will lead us to improvement. It always begins with awareness. Gideon was informed that he was a mighty man of valor and later proved this true. Simon and Andrew did become fishers of men. Paul did go on to reach the Gentiles for Jesus. What is your identity?
When I decided to make coaching my next career path I went back to school and immediately started a practice. In the beginning, I would coach anyone because I sought competency in coaching. My mind need to believe I am a good coach. Hundreds of hours later I was able to help some people find their new future and step into it. How about you? You ready to find your future? For more on finding true meaning
About the author: Creed is an accomplished leader and Professional Certified Coach motivated by a passionate drive to help individuals and organizations reclaim their clarity for personal achievement and organizational effectiveness.