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Common Questions and Answers
You have infinite capabilities to grow and expand in every aspect of life, which means you have even more strength and courage than you consciously know. It takes strength and courage to thrive during these uncertain times. It takes strength and courage to tell people that you want to achieve something you’ve never achieved before and risk the embarrassment of failure.
Every time you want to accomplish something new, you have to push through fear and step out of your comfort zone to learn new skills so you can become someone who can accomplish your new goals.
Once you set new goals for yourself, circumstances will come into your life that will help you learn the skills you need and become someone who can achieve the goal. Often, these circumstances are in the form of challenges and it takes courage to face those challenges, learn from them, and keep moving toward your goal. You must push through fear mode and step into courage mode.
The difference between courage mode and fear mode is that when you’re in courage mode, you can grow from any possible setback and use it as an opportunity to better yourself and those around you to come back stronger and more powerful. In courage mode, you proactively feed an internal belief system that is supportive and unshakeable. You intentionally shift your beliefs and habits of thinking, feeling, and doing that may be holding you back and keeping you from achieving your goals.
In courage mode, you accept full responsibility for managing your inside world regardless of what’s going on in the outside world. You’re selective with how you spend your time and what you focus on – what you’re accepting and reinforcing in your thoughts and feelings and what you watch and listen to. Everything you want to feel, do, have, and be — now and in the future — requires a deep level of faith and a willingness to turn uncertainty and fear into courage and inner power.
During times of uncertainty and any time you want to accomplish something new, you will be challenged to shift your identity. Any type of long-term change requires you to step into a new identity.
You may not always be aware of your identity, but the choices you make — your behaviors, patterns, and habits — will continually reinforce it. It’s possible to make changes in the short term without changing your identity, but it requires a lot of cognitive effort and willpower to sustain them. You have to intentionally make the new choice time after time. When challenges arise, unexpected stresses show up, or frustrations develop because it takes time to see results; making the intentional choice to change your behavior can seem daunting. You find yourself back in your old habits and patterns and realize how hard it is for one person to change the entire culture of an organization.
Your current identity has a belief barometer calibrated around who you are, what you are capable of, how things impact you, how you view the world and the habits that run your life.
Your identity has been shaped by significant emotional events throughout your entire life. Many of them are from your childhood. Some are memorable, like the first time you experienced being bullied or the first time you felt heartache. Some are not consciously remembered, yet they impact the way you react to or approach life, situations, competition, relationships, parenting, and business.
Any time you use the words “I am” you are describing your identity. I am a salesperson. I am a mother. I am intelligent. I am successful. And often those “I am” statements are not positive; I am stupid. I am a failure. I am incapable of leading a successful team.
The strongest force in human nature is to stay consistent with the identity you hold of yourself — even if that identity is standing in the way of your success.
There are three ways to shift your identity: significant emotional events, conditioning, and environment.
Significant emotional events are situations that evoke intense emotions that you attach a meaning to, and in some way, change the way you see yourself, others, or the world.
Significant emotional events can be welcomed and intentional, such as getting married, getting a divorce, jumping out of a plane, moving to a new home, or getting a new job. Many significant emotional events, like a global pandemic, losing a position at work or on the team, experiencing a heart attack, or breaking your ankle cause you to be reactive and tend to be life’s way of telling you that it’s time to make a change. These events can impact your life and identity even if you didn’t consciously see it coming.
The most important part of any significant emotional event is how you define that moment and what you choose to focus on. Two people can go through the same situation and have very different reactions to the same event. One person can be forever disgruntled, and the other can be forever appreciative, and they will both attribute their successes and failures to the same moment or experience in their lives.
Significant emotional events are an impactful and powerful way to shift and expand your identity. The choice is yours to use them to grow or to use them as justification that you are a victim.
Your environment plays a significant role in shaping your identity, from the people you spend time with to the physical environments in which you live, work, and play. The people you spend time with are either influencing you or you are influencing them. We model people around us and are influenced in ways that are mostly unconscious. When you are growing and developing new habits, it’s important to consider how your environment may be influencing you. It’s good to be choosy about your environment.
Conditioning is the act of doing the same thing over and over until it becomes part of your unconscious habits and identity. Commitment and consistency are two fundamental components that impact your results. When you take action to build a new habit versus taking action to get a new result, you begin to create lasting change.
In psychological terms, conditioning can happen consciously or unconsciously; it can also happen intentionally or unintentionally. Conditioning teaches people about the world and how it works, about themselves and their roles and abilities, and about anything else that matters. When paired with reinforcement, rewards, and punishments, conditioning is a very powerful tool for learning, habit change, behavior modification, and achievement.
NASP provides intentional and focused conditioning to reinforce growth and mindset development through our models, programs, and events. With commitment and consistency, we condition our participants to learn and apply the beliefs, mindset, and strategies needed to transform how they think and behave to create whatever result they desire.
To learn more visit www.nasp.com
About the author
Brooke Dukes is currently supporting NASP as Chief Sales Officer leading strategy and business development. Prior to NASP, Brooke was a multi-million dollar producer and excelled at various executive-level positions in sales and business development, including two Fortune100 companies. She has worked with some of the largest and most successful companies including Lear, General Motors, and United Airlines, and across multiple industries, such as insurance, skincare and cosmetics, technology, and banking.
Brooke has her BS from Michigan State University. She is a mother of two successful children and an avid traveler. Exploring the world and helping people achieve their dreams is her passion. Brooke resides in Austin Tx.