If you’re struggling to achieve a heart-centred goal, it may be time to address a more significant, underlying issue: who you believe you truly are.
The definition of insanity, according to the oft-repeated idiom (usually ascribed to Einstein) is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. While these words have a lovely ring to them, they’re untrue. Yes, doing creates getting. That part is fine. But the deeper reality is that doing never occurs in a vacuum, but is itself a product of stronger, deeper forces behind the scenes. As Charles Haanel-the Father of the “law of attraction”-wrote 107 years ago in The Master Key System, “there is always the cry to have, but never the cry to be.”
If you want something more or if you want something different in life, then it’s not enough just to do something more or do something different. You must become something more or become someone different. We don’t get what we do, we understand what we are. And everything you’ve been getting is a direct result of who you’ve become. Durant’s paraphrasing of Aristotle that “we are what we repeatedly do” is true. Its anti-metabolic inverse also holds: we do what we repeatedly are.
So, who are you, anyway? If you were pressed to distill your identity down to a single, powerful word, what word would come to mind? Think about it for a moment, then fill in the following blank: I am ___________. Don’t move on until you’ve written a word down, or at least completed the sentence out loud. Do it now.
“ EVERYTHING YOU’VE BEEN GETTING IS A DIRECT RESULT OF WHO YOU’VE BECOME”
Okay, great! The identity you just articulated: — “That the essence of what makes you, you—have been responsible for creating the external reality of your life; as you know it: your relationships, your lifestyle, your career, your emotions and your health.” All of it is a reflection of who you believe you are. And to be fair, it’s likely served you well, helping you attain achievements you’re proud of. Celebrate that! It feels good knowing who you are, has generated what you’ve got.
Time to move forward. As Marshall Goldsmith says, “what got you here won’t get you there.” So, now that you want something more, or something different, how do you figure out who you need to become to make it happen? My high-performance coaching clients have found the RAFT-BI framework to be very helpful in this situation.
R is for Results, so start there and work backwards: Results are from Actions. Actions are from Feelings. Feelings are from Thoughts. Thoughts are from Beliefs. And Beliefs depend on…Identity.
To illustrate how this RAFT-BI flow works, let’s say you’re working towards a fitness goal.
Result → Release 15lbs of unhealthy weight in the next 90 days. Actions → Exercise daily for 30 minutes, no sugar, no alcohol. Feelings → Confidence & determination! Thoughts → I can overcome these hunger pains and will get my butt to the gym. Beliefs → Losing this weight is possible. Identity → I am powerful.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Using the “weight loss” goal above, you need to look in the mirror and see a powerful person looking back. You’re going to need more than a morning routine chock full of chestpounding, vocalized affirmations and visualization tactics. You’ll need consistently congruent behaviour until you; – look like a duck, walk like a duck, and quack like a duck you won’t wholeheartedly step into those shiny, new, webbed feet. We must become to believe.
Here’s where Einstein circles back and vindicates himself with another handy formula. His theory of relativity – the famous e=mc2 – does more than establishing the relationship between matter and energy. With the subtle addition of brackets, it unlocks the power of alignment. Becoming e=(mc)2, with e for excellence (representing every time you choose to show up powerfully, in this example), and (mc)2 standing for the micro-congruence multiplied by macro-congruence. In other words, excellence is a function of little congruence, multiplied by larger congruence. Everything affects everything. Identity is forged by the force of myriad small acts of alignment, multiplied by their more significant, inevitable expressions. Congruence is a game of compounding. Hundreds of times a day, we choose to lie or align. When it comes to identity, how we do anything is truly how we do everything.
“ THE TRUE DEFINITION OF INSANITY IS BEING THE SAME PERSON OVER AND OVER, AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT”
But here’s the danger: When it comes to identity, misalignment shares the same exponential power as its nobler cousin. We are holistic and global creatures when we willfully choose non-excellence in small things. It will inevitably affect the way we show up in ordinary things, which in turn affects how we show up in big things. When the bumblebees die, everything else dies, too.
In short, the true definition of insanity is being the same person over and over, and expecting a different result! Start with your desired end goal in mind, and use the RAFT-BI formula to reverse-engineer the precise identity to align with. Put your life under the microscope, and take note of where you’re out of whack and then one-by-one, straighten out these kinks. Start with the smallest actions, the most hidden habits, and the things you think you’re getting away with, Because you’re not. Those mosquitos are dragons. Swat with deadly force.
Be. Do. Repeat.