#35: Story vs. Identity

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Show Notes:

Weekly Affirmation: I know and love who I am.

I don’t know about you, but I do this thing where I take neutral facts, and make them mean something about me.

For example, my neighbor knocks on the door while I’m still wearing my pajamas. Neutral fact, right? Meanwhile my head is spinning, She probably thinks I’m a couch potato. Am I couch potato? What have I done today? I need to be more productive. My daughter walks by with her hair in knots. Oh wow, I knew I should have brushed that this morning. Maybe I should explain how much Rosie hates it. Do you think she thinks I’m a good mom? Because I am! Right?

Do you see how the “story” we choose to believe about neutral facts can spiral out of control? Sometimes, it spirals for our benefit, too.

For example, my neighbor knocks on the door while I’m still wearing my pajamas. Neutral fact. I laugh to myself. She must think I’m pretty laid-back. Maybe she would want to come over and hang out sometime. I should ask! My daughter walks by with her hair in knots. I bet she knows how that goes. Kids are such a hoot. I’m so grateful to be a mom. And for the amazing moms in my life.

Essentially, it’s the Thought Model in action.

  • Circumstances (or Neutral Facts) create Thoughts.
  • What I think or believe about those facts affects how I feel.
  • How I feel affects the way I act.
  • My actions create results that either serve me, or they don’t.
  • If we want results that serve us, it starts with thinking thoughts that serve us…

But that’s not where I’m going with this. Today, we want to talk for a minute about story versus identity.

If I believe I’m a bad mom because my thoughts aren’t serving me, is it true?

Nope! It’s just a story.

If I believe I’m a fantastic mom because I do all of the right things and affirm myself at all of the right times, is it true?

Well, you are fantastic. And thoughts do play a part in identity, yes. But, when we use facts to interpret our worth we fall into the trap of trying to earn our worth with the right set of facts. If I’m dressed, if my house is spotless, if the hair is braided and the dinner is cooked just so and just in time… then… 

The question is, if story isn’t identity, then what is?

5 Tips for Discovering Who You Actually Are:

  1. Know who you want to be, before worrying about the to-do list.
  2. Don’t fall into the trap of all-or-nothing thinking.
  3. The things that you do every day are the most important things.
  4. Know your meaning and your why.
  5. You are already inherently worth saving.

One-liner:

Journal Prompt: Make a three-tiered list.

  • What is one core value/main objective that the person who you want to be ascribes to?
  • What things does that person do to embody that value?
  • What can you do today to work toward those actions?

Homework! Follow through on one of the actions from your list above.

Spread love!

❤ Jenny and Joe


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