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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how to take control of how you define yourself.

 

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Lizzie Velasquez: “I’m not going to let anyone else define me.”
  • Extreme situations like Lizzie’s weirdly enough can make it dismissive because their experience may seem too much different than your own.
  • But you might be someone in the middle and not have an extreme issue like Lizzie.
  • She helps to create context.
  • Two perspectives:
    • If they can do it, I can do it.
    • Or we can feel guilty because if they can do it, my problems are nothing compared to theirs. Why am I so down?
  • “Not gonna let anyone else define me” is a nice platitude, but how can we do that?
  • How do we create enough space to wrestle control back from the world?
  • It’s very easy to fall into the reality of “how things work,” or a “this is just how it is” trap.
  • Our experience in the world feels very real.  
  • We accept reality in a way that becomes absurd.
  • Say I take control back and frame my identity; is that the end of the story or do I need to get good at that? Do I have to claw my way back?
  • We can take back control but still be terrible about crafting our identity.
  • Introverted Feeling might be best at crafting their identity.
  • Every single human being is complex. Every person would take a lifetime to discover who they really are.  Then you’re still not done because you’ve just discovered yourself. What about everyone else? 
  • To be able to have a convo with someone you have to oversimplify who they are and take markers of who you think they might be, which will require gross oversimplifications. For ex: race, gender, culture, attractiveness, class, etc.
  • Many of us are interested in things like MBTI and other similar systems and frameworks because we want to have the best categories possible.
  • But that said,  we often overvalue these categories and see them as true, and when the world puts us in a category, we give these categories a lot of power. For ex: you’re in the ugly category. Bummer. But it must be true.
  • IxFPs: this is why they have more of a tendency than others to reject MBTI because they don’t want anyone putting them in a category. They’ve spent so much time figuring themselves out that they know it’s not possible to box them in. They’ve already rejected society’s boxes.
  • Do we teach people skills when they’re taking their identities back?
  • We do a disservice by not giving people the tools they need to create their identities well, which is why ISxPs are weighed down with insecurity.
  • The big question: Did our life matter?
  • IxFPs have spent a lot of time looking at this question.
  • “You can’t define me; I’m this…” — this is also something we do. We posture with it in some ways.
  • What do we tether ourselves to when we want to reclaim how we define ourselves? A product, something we own, a platitude?
  • Self-definition will be The Emergent of an entire system running, and the node is how well we know ourselves. This is one of the reasons we pursue this so much so that we have a guide to understand ourselves and others better.
  • Introverted Thinking: more of an academic approach with maps and models to guide their way. People of all types can do this though.
  • How we see ourselves and claim our identity is seen in what level we are in the Graves Model. What institutions are we attached to? It’s part of your identity. You’re still telling yourself who you are; you’re just doing it by also identifying with a collective.
  • Not necessarily handing your power over unless you are letting that group control you.
  • If you are higher or lower on the scale, then it will be different, and that’s a node in the system.
  • Some of the biggest nodes are the tools we build: MBTI, Enneagram, Spiral Dynamics/Graves Model.
  • The more interesting ones are not the diagnostic tools but the prescriptive tools; the ones we build as we are learning about ourselves to get better at crafting who we are becoming.
  • It’s not controlling you – you are serving it.
  • There is separateness in your mind and the core of your being.
  • Ego transcendence: our identity is in our ego; the part of you that wants to live. But it’s not the full story.
  • There’s a part of you who’s not attached to your ego called The Watcher.
  • Identity is not static. It’s not that “I AM” – it’s that I “AM-ING.” It’s a verb. A continually evolving identity at all times.
  • You’ll continually be in the eternal now. Now is all you have – no past, no future. You are becoming your identity at every moment. It’s very dynamic.
  • Identity is not who you are. It’s who you “ARE-ING.”
  • You’re always evolving. You could be a very different person 30 seconds from now.
  • There’s enough elasticity.
  • We resist the idea that we can change in every moment because the world gives us messages that it is not ok. Society overvalues Consistency. Inconsistency is a vice.
  • The world doesn’t want us to change. It wants us to stay the same so it can manipulate us.
  • But there is SOME value in consistency. It keeps society moving forward without major chaos.
  • You can be as inconsistent as you need to be to wrestle back your identity and take control back. The world will not end. But it will be resistant. It’s not your problem, but theirs.
  • How are your talking to yourself? It’s a very powerful way of crafting your identity.
  • The worse we feel about ourselves, the more self-obsessed we are.
  • If we can master this, we will become the best version of ourselves and develop high levels of integrity.
  • When giving advice to another person, substitute their name for your own or with “I.” Viewing your advice in that way is helpful. Make it about how you can improve, not just someone else.
  • It helps to define yourself more because you’re showing up to the table with others.
  • It prevents us from projecting ourselves onto others, which we have a tendency to do.
  • Taking control of identity means we stop making others about our identity, and remove others from the equation as we wrestle control back.
  • When thinking, talking, writing, journaling – narrative casting – be very careful about how you say things.
  • “It’s my perspective” gives the statement more plasticity.
  • Move from a static definition to a more loose and dynamic definition.
  • We oversimplify ourselves and others to master each other. But we don’t have to do that to ourselves; we can dive into the complexity of who we are all we want. 
  • Context: cut yourself some slack when you see yourself displaying bad habits.
  • Acknowledge those things but don’t obsess over them.
  • Every personality type has a leverage point which is how you gain power. Then you can go into narrative-casting toward what you want and away from what you don’t want.
  • You and everything in your world is an emergent of a system running.  
  • Self-talk needs to reflect the complexity of your reality to cut you some slack.
  • A lot is going on, and you need to acknowledge that.
  • It doesn’t mean you’re a massive failure.
  • Create space for yourself and then future cast who you are becoming.
  • It’s all tools of self-talk that allow you not to spiral down. Take control back and speak to yourself in an outcome you want to become.
  • An Introvert might say, “I’m nervous in social situations, and no one wants to talk to me. You just defined yourself before you even went out.
  • Static statements: “this is who I am, and this is who I will be no matter what.”
  • You perceive yourself in this way.
  • Instead, ask yourself: How can I see this in a more plastic way?
  • Separate who you were and who you can be now.
  • You could let go of the past and make positive mental statements about the now and the future.
  • Our behavior feeds into our identity and vice versa. We behave in certain ways based on how we see ourselves.  Behaviors are not our whole identity, but they are a marker, an emergent of the system running. They are just pointing toward the identity. They can fuel it.  
  • If behavior starts to change, it’s because your identity has begun to change. 
  • If you’re attached to your type, play with that.  

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Personality Hacker
Personality Hacker teaches you the coding language of your mind and how to use it to create happiness.
Showing 8 comments
  • Leo
    Reply

    Antonia, if you forget to deal with the nails before the podcast. You could always chew Joel’s instead! 😉

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Great idea, Leo! I’m sure Joel would enjoy that. 😛

  • Lukas_with_a_k
    Reply

    Joel, you would make an amazing Professional Counselor. (I’m studying to be one now, and my text said that the ENFP Personality type is the most represented by counselors in America. I thought of that as I was listening to your awesomeness! Haha) You and Antonia already are amazing coaches too! But I wanted to share that 🙂 The way you helped Antonia reframe her way of thinking and the way in which you have the ability to do so effortlessly now for yourself is so awesome. I really, really enjoyed how you used an example in the moment to demonstrate what you were talking about. I found that very helpful actually! And how raw this podcast was made it so therapeutic. This info has been really helpful for me in retraining my thinking to become more positives “I am becoming a calm, relaxed and confident man who can hold space for others emotions. I am becoming someone who responds to their emotions as opposed to reacts to their behaviors.”
    I identify as an INFJ, and over the past 6 months I have worked hard to overcome my limiting beliefs that my identity and self worth are find in others and what they approve and disapprove. For the first time here recently in my life, I can finally hear my own conscience and know who and what I really want in life. You guys do such amazing work!! Keep it up.

  • Amber Lynn
    Reply

    I am glad I found this podcast, because it’s something I’ve been trying to do with myself, is reframe my identity. In the past, I’ve been in situations that created a lot of negative self-talk and behaviors (emotional abuse, school bullying, yadda yadda), and I’ve been trying to find ways to kind of “fix” or change those behaviors and thoughts. I think the exercises in this podcast are going to help a lot, especially since I’ve been experiencing a bit of confusion in regards to myself recently. tl;dr, thank you for addressing this subject.

  • Anthony Borghini
    Reply

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet. I’ve read and reread the accompanying text and I’m overwhelmed at how accurate it is in defining my current reality. Can i go so far as to say there are universal forces hard at work?
    I’m eager to listen to the podcast.

  • Emily P
    Reply

    This was a great podcast! For most of the first part of this podcast, I couldn’t stop singing the song they played at the beginning of the show Weeds. Little boxes, little boxes, …
    I loved this podcast because I am struggling right now with defining myself after letting everyone else define me for so long. I identify currently the most with INFJ and I think my fe was overpowering. I would have much rather not ruffled any feathers than spoke up about what I want. I am approaching my 40th birthday and I think that is the perfect time (because it’s now) to stand up for myself and let everyone know I am not just me, I am I-ing and I am not plastic, I am static. It was great to hear real live ways to put that into my real life. I loved how Joel made it simple to go from being a terrible parker to being a person that is working towards being an excellent parker. Or go from being a nail biter to being a disciplined woman. And then Antonia built on that idea by reminding us that with this self talk, we can forgive ourselves because we are not a ‘terrible parker’ or a ‘nail biter’ but instead we only have a tendency to park bad or to bite our nails. We are now aware of those tendencies and we are looking for ways to become excellent parkers or discliplined people. Just a suggestion from a non-nail biter living amongst many nail biting siblings, I have nail care tools mostly always within my reach wherever I usually sit. I have never been strapped to a microphone, though, and if I was, I would have been playing with my hair instead of biting my nails. Thank you for helping me become a better person than I was yesterday.

  • Faustine Cavanaugh
    Reply

    Best episode yet, hands down.

    I feel beat up in all the best ways. The final rift given by Joel was outstanding!

    I’ll be both blown away and chewing for weeks.

    Thanks, guys!!

  • Franstine Crabbageslaw
    Reply

    Riff* rather,
    While rift is interestingly applicable.

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