We have all heard the phrase: “What you think, you become.” A powerful reminder that our mindset and how we think about ourselves can become self fulfilling.
By the time we reach adulthood, we have had years of commentary and feedback that has influenced who we are, how we behave and in many cases, what we will achieve in our lives.
I remember when I was school at about 13 years old and we were being divided into classes for French lessons. I didn’t like to speak up in French, because I was self conscious of whether I was speaking with a funny accent and worried that people would laugh at me.
It was decided based on my participation, and I’m sure some exam result or other, that I would go into the lowest ability class for French for the next 3 years. The lessons were generally filled with students running riot, and our teacher standing up on the desk and stamping her feet to try and get us to sit down and pay attention! It was absolute chaos! Did I get any better at French? No. Was that because I didn’t have the ability to learn French? Also no.
Once the label was applied that I was “low ability” - to me it became self fulfilling. I was in an environment that did not promote advancement in my language skills, and I also didn’t see the point of trying because I wasn’t good at it anyway. I still speak very little French and am always self conscious about my accent!
What you think, you become.
So what if we spin that on its head? What if we let who we want to become, determine how we think?
I remember when I lived in Canada and I started competing. My best friend (always my biggest cheerleader ❤️) would introduce me to people as a Fitness Athlete. I was always really embarrassed and used to smile awkwardly. I wasn’t an “athlete”, I was just a regular person who liked training in the gym, like thousands of other people, and took part in fitness competitions as a hobby, also like thousands of others.
I may not have believed at that point that I was an athlete, but unbeknown to me, I had already adopted an athlete mindset. I had a routine around my training, my nutrition, I had a coach to help guide and support me, I made sleep a priority, I drunk 3-4 litres of water a day, I prepared for the week ahead every Sunday. And yes, although I balanced it all with my regular job and life, I knew I needed to keep the focus and structure to get the most out of my training.
If you can identify with the type of person you want to be, I believe that you can make even small changes towards becoming that person and truthfully living that life.
What would happen if you started telling yourself you are a morning person? And then asking yourself - What would a “morning person” do?
They would probably go to bed at a reasonable hour the night before, they would set an alarm, they would get out of bed when the alarm went off and not hit snooze 20 times, they would open the window and welcome the day with a smile.
What if you wanted to become a successful Manager? Ask yourself - what would a “successful Manager” do? How would they organise themselves? How would they connect with their team members? How would they cope under pressure? What methods would they use to cope with pressure?
What if you wanted to become the healthiest version of yourself? Ask yourself - what would a “health conscious” person do? What would they have to eat for lunch? How often would they exercise? What would they do to relax? How much water would they drink?
I don’t think anyone should be put in one box. You can wear as many hats as you want in life!
I also don’t think who you are today is the person you will be forever. You are allowed to change (or not) at any time.
Devoted mother or father, an athlete, successful business owner, financially savvy, supportive friend, loving sibling…….
We each have the ability to become whoever we want to. You just have to think like the person you want to become!
I am here to support you, so if you need to chat, let me know