How do you see yourself? Is it a hard question to answer? Many of us see ourselves through the lens of how others see us. You are seen as a mom, a coach, a business owner, a wife, a friend.
Patty shares how writing her book has helped her shift her identity. What is the difference between a coach who writes and a writer who also coaches others?
That’s the power of understanding your identity.
What is the difference between speaking at an event and being a speaker? How do you make the commitment to the identity that’s at the heart of who you really are?
This episode she breaks down how this transition happened for her and how she saw it happened in others.
Be sure to follow the action steps Patty outlines at the end to see how you can own your identity. You have everything you need to be the person you want to be. This episode will make it easy to see how to use your identity to achieve your goals.
Welcome to the wealth and purpose podcast where people who are led by their hearts come to learn the secrets to creating wealth in a way that feels really good and live their purpose fully in the process. I’m your host, Patty Lennon. I’m an ex type-A corporate banker, turned intuitive business coach. I’m also a wife, a mom to two pre-teens, a professor, girl scout leader and well, Hey, you get it. Like you, I wear a lot of hats, whether you’re looking for inspiration to get started or strategies to get growing. I am here to help you create abundance in every area of your life in business. Welcome.
(00:40) Hi Patty here and today I want to talk to you about something really fascinating that I unlocked recently and it’s sort of blown me away and it’s the idea that who we see ourselves as our identity can make or shape our ability to achieve goals. And even as I say that, I feel like I’ve read that in like 5 million books. So it shouldn’t be completely shocking. And yet the way that this happened for me recently has really just brought some things into focus. So as I think I’ve shared, I’m in the process of writing a book. It’s a memoir, that the working title is currently no space for magic. And what I’m doing is sharing the journey of the key stories that took me from growing up as someone who really didn’t make any space for magic, who had magic completely squeezed out by, her responsibilities, her need to follow the rules to be liked, a perfectionist, control freak, blah, blah, blah.
(01:45) You know, the story. That’s me or that was me. And how slowly over time, life events unwound some of that tightness and how I learn to create that space for magic. And so the, the coach that I’m working with, the person I’m working with Azul, who will have on this podcast soon, his process is a little bit different than some other, uh, writing processes where he, you know, takes you through this creative journey for a couple of months. And then you do what’s called a writing sprint. And so for 30 days, and I’m in the middle of it. When this podcast drops, I’ll be on like day 25. During those 30 days, you essentially write the first draft of the book. And so you’re writing every day. And, when I started out on this journey really years ago, cause I’ve already, I have books out I thought that I considered myself a writer.
(02:47) I mean, I’ve been writing a blog for nine years, maybe close to 10. I have books out. I’ve, you know, been part of other people’s books. I’m a bestseller, blah, blah. But what I didn’t realize is I didn’t actually consider myself a writer. I definitely was an author. I mean, that’s a tight Olin. It’s a given title based on your ability to create, you know, to have a book. But I didn’t actually consider myself a writer. I saw myself as, depending on the context, maybe a coach or a mom or a community leader, whatever, who writes, but not a writer. Yeah. And so, you know, when we started the writing sprint, my goal each day was around 1500 words. And each day in the first week I would just barely eeek out the required words. Like it would be like 1503 words.
(03:47) And um, some days it was a little bit less even. And then the next day I would just force myself to , add the 127 to balance out the average of the two days. And I got to the end of the first week. And, um, and I really was wondering, am I going to do this thing I committed to doing? Am I going to finish this writing sprint? Like, am I going to produce this first, uh, first draft of this book? And I really doubted it. I was doubting myself. And then the next week comes and the first day and the second day, I, uh, completely ignore writing. I don’t get to it. There’s family responsibilities, whatever that get in the way. So I get to the third day of the second week and I have to decide, you know, am I abandoning this, this thing because I know what’s what’s happening here.
(04:41) I know that if I go this third day without writing somethings shifting and it’s not shifting in a direction, I want it to shift in. And so I decided that’s it. I’m going to sit there and I am going to write the number of words I need to write to nail my goal. And so I sit there and I write those words and you know, it’s over 4,000 words and something shifts inside of me that day. And I had no idea it shifted actually in the moment. So it wasn’t like some angel came down and told me something shifted. It wasn’t really anything actually. I got off the, got off the couch where I was writing and I posted to Facebook. They’re very, you know, telling posts that here’s what I discovered, writing this number of words and that is that my butt hurts. That was the only thing I was thinking was that my butt hurts.
(05:34)But I also felt a sense of satisfaction that was caught up on the goal. Something interesting happened. The next day I sat down to write and that was that. The book flowed through me. The next day, the same thing, and the day after that I wrote 6,000 words and I started to see that the book now was calling to me, rather than me having to go to it and force it out. And as I reflected on that, I realized that that day that I sat down and wrote 4,000 words or 4,500 words, that I had become a writer that day. And I don’t know how it happened exactly, but I can tell you it was just a choice and it wasn’t a choice of I am going to be a writer. It was a choice of I am showing up for this book. I am showing up for this commitment, and it became a priority and just by making that priority and owning my commitment to it.
(06:38) I became a writer that had never happened before in my writing. I, you know, for as long as I’ve been writing my blog, it’s always been an act of love. It’s never really been a big marketing effort on my part. I love sharing thoughts, but I never felt obligated. You know, there was weeks where I’ve missed blogging and it’s been fine. You know? And even when I wrote books, they were always how to books. So it was more like this content production rather than an actual writing production. And that really just kind of blew my mind when I suddenly realized. So few days out from that one day I made that choice to write those 4,000 plus words. That I become a writer? And where my identity previously had been, I am X, Y or Z, that rights. I now saw that I was a writer who X , Y, and Z. And that was such a cool shift to observe that that in just making a single decision in honoring a commitment, that’s something so fundamental inside me could change.
(07:49) And what was even more exciting was that that change, that shift in perspective, that shift in identity suddenly made achieving the goal. So much easier because I’m sitting here recording this on whatever day it is. I think day 21 by the time you’re listening to this, there’ll be day 25 and I’m already at, you know, well, um, I’m just about to cross my goal for the 30 days and it’s gonna be a week early, which means I’m going to have extra words to play with. And that’s an amazing feeling. And I realized looking back that this has happened to me before and it’s always happened in the context of a challenge of a limited time engagement where my commitment to a certain thing preempted all other commitments. Now, I’m not talking about commitments to my kids or know the people I love. I’m not talking about that, but I’m just talking about the order in which I prioritize everything else.
(08:53) My writing is the thing I first and foremost before anything else gets done. And that’s really what made me writer. So when I look back over other things that I’ve changed about myself, I realized that for years I spoke, I was a speaker years and years, but it was the year that I took on the challenge of doing 50 speaking gigs in 50 weeks that I became a speaker, that I became a keynote speaker. Not just in the amount that I got booked, but in how I saw myself. And I remember when a coach, when I once told a coach that I was bad at sales and she told me to do 20 sales calls in 20 days. And I did that. At the end of that challenge, I became someone who’s good at selling. Now, was I fundamentally a different person? No. But the filter with which I chose to see myself changed, and I don’t think we can just do that by making a decision.
(09:55) We make a decision and then we back that decision up with a commitment and action. And so it’s interesting to explore that and understand, well, how do you do that? And I don’t think I could have figured this out until this happened in such a fundamental way with my writing for something that was so important. And so I was talking about it to the people in receiving school and I realize that there was a difference in experience in receiving school for some people. Some people were still, um, they were seeing benefits, but they still were doubting whether they were “doing it right”. Whereas there were others who weren’t seeing substantially different outcomes but were having meaning they had brought money and they had brought clients and they had brought relationship improvements in. But the way they felt about themselves was significantly better around what they were doing.
(10:59) They didn’t have that doubt anymore and things were still flowing in such beautiful big ways. And as I looked at it, I realized that the people that were having the biggest results were the ones that just showed up every day and did the one small task that was before them. That is what shifted them into becoming receivers because receiving school was a fixed period of time. They didn’t have to spend the rest of their life like this. They just needed to follow what was happening in that week. That one small exercise and massive shifts happen and are continuing to happen. So I was sharing this with everyone and even though we’ve already gone through the first round live and we’re not working the content live right now, the group is still working the content and so an entire group have you reengaged the content and they’re starting from week one with this new filter and it’s so cool to already be seeing that difference in experience.
(11:58) And I don’t think I could have offered them that understanding. I mean I, I give them the content, I gave them the encouragement. I told them to just show up and do the minimum, these little, these little exercises, really everything in there is probably 10 minutes or less and that massive shifts would happen. But I didn’t have this little piece of the puzzle to show them why that was the fact that it’s in the showing up, it’s in the consistency, it’s in the commitment to the process that you become this other thing and it’s in the becoming of this other thing that it erases the doubt and erases the obstacles because most of the obstacles we face in achieving any goal are in our minds. And so when the identity of who we are changes suddenly what we can achieve changes as well and not through through considerable amount of physical effort, but through the filtering of our energy.
(12:54) It was so amazing to me and as I’m writing this book when I’m starting to see also is that there were moments in time where in different roles in relationships, I became someone and then I thought that a certain act would create an identity. But what I realized was it was my response to that identity. It was my commitment to that identity. It was my prioritization of that identity that really caused the identity become real. And what I mean by that is, and I’m still playing with this idea, so you’re going to have to bear with me because this is only up and only been playing with this in this realization for probably seven or eight days. And as I look over the course of the book and what I’m writing, it’s just blowing my mind, which is why I want to share it. And so I, I realized with, um, motherhood that there is a lot of themes of doubt that come up in this book.
(13:55) For me, there’s a big feeling of not enoughness for my kids. And you know, there’s been different points in time where I could release some of that. And I remember so clearly, and I wrote about this in the book already, that when they handed me my first born, when they handed me my son, I just thought the act of them handing me my child of me holding my child would instantly turn me into the identity of a mother. And it didn’t happen. And I was so confused. And I know so many people have this experience. It wasn’t that I didn’t love this child with every ounce of my being. I’m not talking about that. I did that was instantaneous, but I think that had been there from the moment I knew he was in my body. And um, it wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to do everything to take care of this child.
(14:49) I was, and it wasn’t that I wouldn’t have in front of a bullet or engage any kind of, you know, anything to protect him. All of those were true and yet something wasn’t there in the identity of mother. And I know a lot of people express this, that when they leave the hospital and they’re walking out of the hospital, you know, you’re done with your stay, whatever that is and, and you’re able to take that baby home. You’re kind of wondering like, who are these medical professionals that are letting you leave this hospital? You may not be saying the words out loud, but that was what I was feeling like there’s, there’s gotta be something I’m missing. Like there’s some manual, they didn’t hand me, but fundamentally I felt like there should have been someone like coming home with us that actually knew what to do no matter what went wrong.
(15:43) And I think that’s what a new mother thinks is that when you become a mother, you will instantly have faith in your ability to solve any problem that comes along. That’s just an impossibility in the first few days of motherhood. And so days went on and weeks went on and you know, my son had colic and so of course I felt like was he getting enough milk? I was exclusively nursing at the time and like as he getting it off and you know, am I doing something wrong and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and just constantly worrying about how to fix what is fundamentally wrong with me in order to take care of this kid. And of course there’s no answer to that because that’s just not going to happen. But then one day, I decided to forego the expert books and everything else everyone was telling me and he would not sleep during the day.
(16:45) Um, he had started to not sleep during the day when I put him down and, you know, all the books were saying put him down, awake and blah, blah, blah and do all these things. And I decided to just lay down on the couch with him and put him on my chest because he seemed to be pretty peaceful there. And I just figured, you know what, just today I’m exhausted. I’m just going to lay here. And let him sleep for as long as he sleeps, figuring it out, we’d be the kind of restless sleep we had been having. And he slept for three hours and while he slept, I slept for a little bit. I rested and it was such a beautiful thing. And then the next day thinking maybe this would happen one more time, maybe I’d look out, I made sure I had a book near me.
(17:30) And that day we laid on the couch and I read a book, I think almost from start to finish. And that was such a cool experience. And on it, on it went, uh, day after day he took a three hour nap. And I just did nothing other than read a book or nap. After a few days I learned to have some water by my side. And up until that point, I had not settled down. I had not taken any rest because he was colicky for, he cried straight for five hours a day and then off and on other periods. And unless I was rocking him or moving quickly with him, he was not at peace. And so I, I rarely slowed down in the few times where he was sleeping. I would always try and do those little things that didn’t get done. Like, you know, I don’t know, get myself a shower, some clean clothes.
(18:24) And suddenly in that moment I started doing what was right for both of us ignoring what the experts said. And I would say, although it’s hard for me to look back and know for sure, but that is one moment that stands out in my mind is that moment. I took on the identity of mother, where I let go of what that others had the answers for the two of us. And I started to accept the idea that maybe the two of us need to figure this out together. And maybe that’s what it was. And that’s when motherhood started to shift for me. Something similar, although certainly not quite as intense happened, you know, on my wedding day I thought, you know, when we said those vows, then I would feel married, that that would be the moment that I was identified as wife and yet it didn’t.
(19:15) And it didn’t take very long for that moment to happen. It’s so clear in my mind to this day, but we’ve gone through most of the wedding and then we were, it was towards the end of the reception and we decided to go out on the dance floor. We’d been making the rounds saying hi to everyone. And I was just felt so weary and we were dancing. And I remember laying my head on my husband’s chest while we danced. And in that moment I just received the truth that this was my person, that it wasn’t always going to be about me leading the charge because that’s what it was like a lot of the time. I mean, I had been the one that was doing all the planning and all that stuff when I think that’s pretty typical. It wasn’t that my husband wasn’t willing to do stuff.
(20:04) It just, there wasn’t a lot of space for him to do it. But in that moment he was there to hold me and laying my head against his strong chest and just feeling the sense of rest and peace that I had there and that we were together and that we were a couple. That was the moment on my wedding day where I felt like a wife or one person inside of a marriage and now is a beautiful feeling and that feeling, that understanding has grown over time. Certainly being together for 20 years, it’s been a journey. There’s been ups and downs, but it’s been that identity that I need to know how to lean him as much as to be the one that gets shit done. That has really created a marriage. And so what I offer you today is figure out what your goals are for this year or for your life.
(21:01) You know, some overarching goal. I don’t mean every goal for your life, but if you have a goal, you know a big goal, like I don’t know, you know, maybe you’re not in a relationship where you’re happy and you want that or you want to feel at peace in motherhood or you want to make a $1 billion, whatever it is, what could you do? What experience could you create maybe in a short window of time that would create an opportunity for you to commit to the goal of becoming that person? Because here’s the thing, my book is not out in the world yet and I am sitting here as a writer and, and that was the case with speaking. That was the case with sales. It wasn’t like I became the sales person I am today back when I did that challenge.
(21:53) But as soon as you become the person who is that thing, you own that identity, then increasing the output of that, achieving the goals that that person achieved becomes so much easier when you agree to that identity. And so I encourage you to do that. Think of a way to create a limited time experience for you to really express that feeling of that identity and commit to it and prioritize it and if receiving, learning to be a better receiver, you know that you really want to be this person that’s open to love and support and abundance coming into your life. If that’s a thing, well, then grab my receiving guide. I think I’ve offered it here a couple of times, but you can go to pattylennon.com/receiving guide. We’ll put the link in the show notes and agree to do what’s in that guide for 14 days. Just give yourself that time to just show up for those exercises for 14 days and watch what happens. I promise you things will shift and you will become that receiver. You want to be whatever it is, whatever goal you have in your heart, whatever desire has been created from your soul, I promise you have with any what it takes to create it. If you didn’t, the desire would not exist. Have faith in that and pursue it with the commitment and the love and the respect.
(23:18) The fact that you have for the person you’re becoming. Have a fabulous day. Hey, thanks for listening. And if you know someone who needs to hear this message, please share this podcast with them. And if you’re feeling really generous, I love for you to leave us a review on your favorite podcast app. It helps us reach many more people and it fills my heart with so much joy. When I hear what you had say about what you heard, I am cheering for your success. Have an amazing day.