The Power of Knowing Who You Don’t Want to Be…
Sometimes becoming the person you want starts with exactly the opposite — determining who you are willing to STOP being.
Contrary to popular belief, success isn’t created by exclusively focusing on what you should be doing, it also involves cutting out those things that undermine your success.
The net effect of not taking a step backward is equal or greater than taking a step forward.
For example, I used to have a glass of wine or a few beers most nights of the week. I didn’t need the drinks, but they were a leftover habit from a time in my life where drinking offered relief from the stresses of life. On the nights I didn’t have a drink I didn’t miss it, but the habit kept me having a drink almost every day.
I was working out and eating quite healthy, but those nightly liquid calories were always there to undo the hard earned progress from the good habits.
Once I realized I wanted to cut out those unnecessary drinks, while still enjoying beverages responsibly, the results week were profound. I lost 15 lbs within a few months and made no other changes.
I didn’t stop drinking. It wasn’t some huge sacrifice that put me in shackles. It was just the choice to NOT to have a drink unless there was a real reason. The same could be true of ice cream, fast food, or chocolate.
At first the habit was there, but I chose to ignore it “just for tonight”. Amazingly, once I got past that moment where my old habit showed up, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I was afraid it would be.
I simply became aware of who I wanted to be, and stopped doing something that wasn’t aligned with moving that direction. That’s it.
Once I became aware the drinks were unnecessary, they were much easier to cut out.
Only through greater awareness can lasting positive change take place.
~Derick Van Ness
I found the same thing with facing fear in my life.
Dr. Joe Dispenza has a meditation (that I love) where you spend time becoming clear on the life you desire (his “Morning Meditation”) but it also guides you through deciding which behaviors are no longer the “new you”.
While taking the time to determine who I wanted to STOP being in meditation, I became aware of times in my life where FEAR impacted my performance and my happiness.
I would put things off.
I wouldn’t face the reality of a situation head on.
I would pretend something wasn’t as important as it was.
In meditation I became very clear about which choices and states of being were NOT serving me.
Once I realized how fear was impacting my life I became more aware and could confront the problem. I became determined to simply walk through the fear and BECOME the person I knew I could be.
In other words, I just chose to stop being afraid whenever the emotion came up. Instead I chose to give the fear no energy and proceed as if it wasn’t there.
Once I recognized WHY I wasn’t performing at my best, the solution became simple… and in most cases much easier than I thought.
Why You Don’t Need to “Sacrifice”
I wrote a goal setting course about 10 years ago and one of the key premises that made it unique was becoming aware of what you were willing to sacrifice to accomplish your objective. The idea is that you already believe your life is “full”, so you’d need to sacrifice something “old” in order to make space for the activities that would help create the “new” results you desired.
I still believe there is huge value in that awareness, but now I know there’s more.
I’ve discovered it’s not about sacrificing you want, it’s about “letting go” of the things that no longer serve you.
It’s simply shedding an old skin rather than needing to grow a new one.
Stated another way, it’s more about “not doing” something that works against you, than needing to do something new.
The trajectory of your life is built on a few key decisions. Your best friend. Your life partner. The hobbies you chose (or didn’t). Your occupation or business.
But it’s also about all of the small choices that led to those decisions. Those small choices that often happen on auto pilot are based on who you are being at your core.
So what if you could just “stop being” the smaller version of yourself more often and make better decisions because of it?
Even if you don’t DO more new stuff or take on anything extra. What if you just cut out the stuff that worked against you? Rather than efforting through it, what if you just “let it go” with no effort at all.
Everyone wants change, but most people don’t want TO change.
What if you stopped doubting yourself and being afraid. Especially in those big moments?
What if you believed you deserve what you actually want? And what if you stopped saying “no” when you really wanted something?
What if you stopped believing you needed someone else’s validation to be worthy? (Seriously, this is HUGE.)
What if you let go of needing to be busy all the time to prove your importance to yourself?
What if you stopped being so cruel and judgmental to yourself?
(NOTE: Even if you can’t take the step to begin being nice to yourself, maybe you could stop spreading poison.)
What if you let go of comparing your weaknesses to everyone else’s strengths and shed the idea that Social Media is how people really live?
What if you released the idea that you need to change the entire world to be unique and special?
What if you stopped believing that other people have control of your life and decided that you get to decide how you are going to live from now on?
What if you chose to give no more attention to the “haters” or cared about their approval?
Giving up who you no-longer-want-to-be won’t solve all of your problems, but it WILL have a massive impact in how you live and feel each day. It will give you back your sense of self integrity and respect.
It is the step that will solidify all the hard work you put into making progress forward. It is your mountain climbing harness and the strong arms that will hold you when you slip and need them most.
In the end, determining what you are going to “stop being” might be getting the “right rug” pulled from under your feet. Letting you fall in love with life rather than falling on your face.
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