In the previous post Discover and Design Your True Identity, I laid out the components of the Identity Framework and the progression towards fully owning and embodying your new identity in business and in life; the know, do, be progression. Now let’s dive deeper and look at each piece of the framework one by one, starting with your internal identity drivers:
- Mental Identity Drivers
- Emotional Identity Drivers
- Physical Identity Drivers
Understanding and ultimately influencing the composition of your internal identity drivers is all about becoming self aware and understanding the different factors and forces that comprise your character, whether you’ve been conscious of them recently or not. These drivers influence and impact who you are, how you appear to others, and how you’re perceived in a business and lifestyle context.
So let’s delve into how each of these drivers shapes your identity.It’s similar to when we talked about overcoming limiting beliefs—that beliefs are your operating system, whether or not you’re aware they’re running, they’re influencing your thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Your Mental Identity Drivers
The mental is all about your logical reasoning abilities, your thought processes, how you approach different problems, how you think specifically about what you’re doing, what you want to become, where you want to go in business and with life from a very logical, rational mind-based perspective.
To get an idea of where you stand now in relation to your mental identity drivers, just simply complete a few sentences like:
- The challenges I enjoy most are…
- My approach to planning and problem solving is…
- When I think about my life a year from now, the first thing I think is…
If you just complete those sentences, it starts to shed light on how you approach problems, how you approach life and business from that intellectual, logically-oriented perspective.
Here are a few examples of how I complete those sentences, which I expand on in the forthcoming US-version of Lifestyle Entrepreneur. From my own experience finishing these sentences, informs me that I embrace a culture of lifelong learning—that’s one of the mental aspects of my identity. I’m always eager to gain new knowledge, tactics, strategies and so forth.
My approach to planning is to get an idea of the outcome I want, then reverse-engineer the sequence of events that need to take place to realize it. Then I plot that out and schedule them, and when problems arise, I think of solving them systematically so the same issue doesn’t come up over and over again.
When I think about my life a year from now, the first thing I think is that Lifestyle Entrepreneur has become a bestseller and that I’ve impacted and inspired thousands of people through the book, my training programs, writing and publishing.
Your Emotional Identity Drivers
The next internal identity driver is the emotional driver. This is all about your intuition, your feelings. It’s when you have a gut reaction about something. My definition of emotion is literally energy in motion, so when you get that feeling biologically, it’s actually different chemicals coursing through your brain and your blood that create the feelings that you have. And then how you react to them speaks to the emotional aspects of your character, your identity, and how your emotions impact your actions and decision making.
One or two questions or sentences that you can complete for yourself to shed light on how you show up from an emotional perspective in your identity are these:
- When a new opportunity presents itself I immediately feel…
- The activities that give me the greatest feeling of joy are…
- The emotional environment I grew up in could be described as…
The way that you answer these questions, the way that they show up in your life starts to speak to the emotional experience that you have day to day.
One of my big emotional drivers is to feel the fear and do it anyway. If I’m starting a new business, a new relationship, going to a new place, I’ll have my own hesitations, fears, and doubts, but I’ve trained myself to feel those things and just “hold the sensation”, not to recoil or shy away from it. In truth, that feeling of hesitation is one of the indicators I look for when choosing the next thing to focus on. If it’s not a challenge, or causes growth by facing down fears, then it likely wouldn’t be that rewarding to accomplish it.
I look at it as a healthy nervousness. I know I’m doing something right if I feel a little bit nervous or a little bit of butterflies in my stomach. If everything feels like green lights all the way, then there’s not as much of a challenge, and I may not have a growth opportunity there.
As for the activities that give me the greatest feeling of joy, it varies from cycling and exercising to working on entrepreneurial projects I’m excited about, to international travel and being able to communicate in foreign languages. I’ve focused on institutionalizing the things that give me joy as part and parcel of my lifestyle and business pursuits. That way, even when things get tough or I end up working harder than I thought, I’m never far from the things that make me happy.
Your Physical Identity Drivers
The Physical identity drivers are all about how you experience the physical world through your five senses.
For example, I’m a very auditory person. Some people are visual learners. Some people thrive through the experience of human touch. If you get an idea of where you sit in relation to the senses that have the most resonance with you, and which ones you feel may be underutilized, then you start to shed more light on yourself and your current identity. You develop a game plan for where you can go with this once you’ve shed some light on your blind spots.
Another part of physical is how do you treat your body as an organism, as a support system for what you’re trying to accomplish? That’s speaking to your health and fitness regiment. If you’re pushing the limits with your own body, exercising, breaking down muscles, having them rebuild stronger, it’s an analogy to how you challenge yourself mentally and emotionally as well.
Here are a few prompts that, when completed, can shed some light on the physical aspects of your identity:
- In order to stay healthy and in shape, every week I…
- The traits I was born with that influence how I interact with the world are…
- To be even more healthy and fit and have more energy, I could…
What do these sentences and questions bring up for you? Does it start to re-frame your experience in life and hint at the possibility of being more consciously involved with how you experience life through your physiology?
For me, right now I’m 4 weeks into the 12-Week Gethin Transformation and it’s totally rocking my world. It’s an intense program, but surprisingly the body adapts pretty quickly to a new status quo of physical exertion and now I actually have more energy after intense workouts. Crazy, but true.
As another example from my answer to the second sentence is that I’m really tall. I’m 6’4” so I get sore more easily. I can’t do a pull up, but I’m great at cycling. Hence, there are different things that come along with the body that we were given in this life and they can heavily impact our experience in day-to-day life.
The whole point of taking inventory of your internal identity drivers is to get clarity on how you gravitate towards certain activities, interests, and experiences, and shedding light on why you may steer clear of others. This allows you to adjust and optimize your lifestyle, your business and how you show up and participate in both to be more in-line with your strengths and takes advantage of your best attributes.
How Your Internal Identity Drivers Work Together
If you change one aspect of your internal identity drivers, you affect them all. For example, if you go on a health regime and do a 12 week fitness transformation, that will have carryovers to the other aspects of your life. It will impact your mental acuity, as well as your emotional experience.
So these three drivers tie together in that changing one carries through to the others. Truly all the identity drivers are interrelated and fractal in the sense that changes, improvements or alterations in one area will impact your experience with relation to the others.
Becoming aware of them is a good baseline to decide what and how to take your lifestyle and business forward from here.
Hope you’re enjoying this 3-part blog series on Discovering and Designing Your True Identity in Business and Life – This is foundational material that helps you quickly build a business you love to fund the lifestyle you dream of. We go deep on these topics in my signature training program, Business In a Weekend and then cover a front-to-back strategy for getting your next business up and running. Click here for more information on Business In a Weekend
Stay tuned for the next post in this series on the External Identity Drivers.
You can catch the first post on how to Discover and Design Your True Identity here.
Take Action: Choose one of the internal identity drivers and complete the accompanying sentences in the comment thread, let’s talk about how these tendencies are supporting your growth, or holding you back.
To your success,
Author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur
Creator of Business In a Weekend