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EP26 | What You Say to Yourself Determines Everything

Uncategorized Jun 23, 2022

Is the story you are telling yourself getting you where you want to go? What are the stories that we tell ourselves in order to achieve greatness? The battle with your inner voice is a daily occurrence for most of us, and in this episode, Zach takes a snippet from his recent live workshop from Dallas, Texas where he explains how there are 4 stories we tell ourselves that lead us away from our goals.

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The who, who you are drives the what and the how, and what that means is what drives, who you're being. Ultimately, remember, you are your where your attention is and you drive your attention up here. The stories that we're telling ourselves,

welcome back, or welcome to the create purpose podcast. Today, I've got a special treat for you. I'm I'm gonna be doing something I've not done before, and I'll let you know what that is here just in a bit. But before I do, I want to, to ask you a question and this is for my journaler out there, maybe not all of you that are listening have ever journaled before or wrote anything down, but I, I tend to, I have for, for decades, The other day, I was going through some journals on my bookshelf and I pulled one off the shelf and I just opened it to a random page.

The date at the top, I always date things date at the top, said October 28th, 2010. And I remember, I don't remember all the details, but I had just gotten off a call with, with my leader at the time I was a, I think I was living in Dallas, Texas, starting to build a, a team learning sales, teaching them how to do sales.

We were growing an. And I got my review from, from this individual and he gave me some questions to ponder before the review. And this is what I had written out on the journal. The, the two questions that I wanted to point out is the first question was I was supposed to just write out who am I like just if, if you're to look at who I am naturally, who would that be?

And I wrote some bullet points underneath that. And the next question. Who am I not? Like, what is it? That's really not me. It's not, doesn't come natural for me. It's it's my weakness. It's, it's something I should avoid. Who am I not? And I'm just gonna share some of these. Here's what I wrote in the top. Top question.

Who am I? I wrote I'm urgent, direct, strong, and aggressive. I have the ability to be tight with detail I'm process oriented. I'm more objective and logical than I am subjective and feelings oriented. I have a lot of drive and can handle a lot of things on my plate. The next question, who am I not? This is what I wrote and this, I honestly I'll.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions. This is what I wrote. I am not persuasive. I don't have charisma. I have a tendency to communicate too strong and abrasive. I wrote, I am not great with people. I actually crossed that one out in the moment. So there's pen over the top of it and I, to the right of it.

I said, yes, I am the next one I wrote, I lack compassion and sensitivity towards others. And the, the other one I wrote is I don't do well in large group interactions. So there's a little insight for you on what, who I was a decade ago, back in 2010. Why am I sharing this with you? We are the stories we tell about ourselves, because if you were to know me today, I am like the inverse of everything that I said I was back in 2010.

Like, like if I'm pretty sure if my wife were to read that, she'd be like, well, that's not my husband. That's not who he is. Like, that's not who I know. And that's not, no, that's not who I know personally either. I kind of can remember that person, but I. Everything's changed. And that is just proof that you are the stories that you're telling about yourself.

The stories we we tell about ourselves are gonna determine how you show up and the results that you create in your life. It wasn't until I started changing the story that things changed and you know what, I'm constantly looking at the stories my I'm telling myself. And so before I go any further, let me push play on a live workshop.

I did with a group of leaders down in Dallas, Texas. I'm actually just going to push play and let you in on the conversation that we had in that room. This is a workshop that I facilitated for a group of about 50 executive leaders at a, a fairly large organization. Working on becoming better leaders so that they can develop their team and continue to grow their business.

And whether you're a leader of a large organization or an entrepreneur of a, with a team at 10, this has relevance for you. And so without further ado, let's play this recording so that you, we can, we're gonna go deeper on this topic of the story we tell ourselves, and then I'm gonna come back and we'll do a little debrief at the end, this idea of leadership.

Am I a leader and how good of a. The question isn't am I a leader? It's always, how well am I leading? I don't care who you are. We're all leaders. The question is how well am I leading? How well am I leading? And that question begins and starts with your own. Self-awareness how aware are you of how you're showing up for your team?

And by the end of this hour, you are going to be much clearer on why things are the way they are for you. In the context of maybe your team or in the business or some of the challenges you're faced with. And you're gonna have an opportunity to take responsibility and start to make a shift. And this framework I'm gonna teach you is a, is a framework one.

It starts with you. So we're gonna talk, we're not talking about coaching, coaching, being a great coach starts with leading yourself first. It just does. And so we're gonna spend some time just going into who am I as a leader and how well am I leading? Is. Is it the way that I desire to lead? Am I showing up the way that I desire?

Because oftentimes there's a gap. When we start looking, we start realizing like, oh, I'm actually kind of an asshole at times when I really wanna be a kind person and care for my, we need to be aware of that gap because when you see the gap, you get to go to work on closing that gap. So that's what we're gonna be doing for the next hour.

Cool. Okay. Creative and author, Anna, a niece, NN. She says this, I love this. She says we do not see the world as it is. We see it as we are. We don't see the world as it is. We see it as we are. What do you think about that statement? It goes back to what I was saying earlier about leadership and who you are being is everything.

It's not about how you do it. There's multitude of ways to lead people. Tough to nice anything in between. there's all types of leaders out there and they're all effective. They can all be effective. So it's not how you're doing it. And what you're doing that makes you a great leader. It's just, it's really at the end of it's, who you're being the, who, who you are drives the what and the how and what that means is what drives, who you're being.

Ultimately, remember, you are your where your attention is and you drive your attention up here. The stories that we're telling ourselves, I'm gonna ask you it really vulnerable. Raise your hand. If you have this inner critic, inner voice that saying you're not working hard enough, not doing enough. Who, who the hell you think you are to raise your hand and take on this project?

Come on, raise 'em high and keep 'em up. And you, you maybe just kind of maybe feel like you don't quite belong. Like you really haven't earned the position you're in the, this imposter feeling, right? so if you looked around the room, Most people had their, their hands raised. And I'm willing to bet that if you didn't have your hand raised, that voice was saying, skip your hand down.

You know? So the, the thing here is we all have a story that we're telling ourselves 24 7. We do the story about ourselves story, about the situation story about our team individuals on our team. And my question to you. And this is so I. This is self awareness, and this is everything who you are being is gonna drive the what and the, how the story you're telling yourself is going drive what you do and how you do it.

It just will. The story, the question I want you to ask yourself, I want you to write this down and, and somehow try to remember it is the story I'm telling myself, going to take me to where I want to go. The result it's everything is the story I'm telling myself, gonna take me to where I want to go. So.

Let's play this out, right? The story. I'm gonna tell you a story before I came here yesterday, before I, I, my girls left for school, my middle girl daughter, Sophie. She's seven. I, I looked her in the eye and said, Sophie, I'm nervous. Daddy's gotta leave. And, and I'm nervous. I'm a little afraid. Uh, I don't wanna mess this up.

I don't wanna disappoint the team that I'm gonna go talk to. I asked her to gimme some advice. Part of that was me. I being, no, I'll be honest. I was, I was nervous. I was scared. She said this I've loved it. She says, daddy, don't be afraid. Focus on the positive, focus on how you can help him. Because if you're afraid you won't do a good job.

And I'm like, damn like who's the coach in this family because she that's what she was saying. She was saying, if you tell yourself a story of, oh my God, I don't know if I should be up here. Have I really earned this position to talk to all the, I mean, right. You guys are great leaders probably been leading longer than I have.

So, and for her to say, you know what, the story you tell yourself is going to determine how you show up. And I was like, that's so good, Sophie, thank you. Right. And so here's what I mean, the story you tell yourself, Let's let's play with another story. I heard. I don't have enough time to develop my people.

That is a story you're telling yourself. If you tell yourself that story, it's gonna lead to a feeling, an emotion. And what is that feeling? An emotion. I'm curious. What would you say if, if you were to say I don't have enough time and you kind of live in that, oh, fuck overwhelmed. I don't have enough time.

I know I'm supposed to, but how the hell am I supposed to? That's the story? How do you usually feel in that moment? Cause we've all been there. Come. What's the emotion, the feeling, what's it feel like frustrated, frustration, negative stress overwhelmed. So if that's, how, if we're stressed, we're overwhelmed.

We're frustrated. Now tell me, how are you gonna show up? What's the behavior? How do you show up when you're frustrated, stressed, and overwhelmed? Who wants to be real here? Mad? How do you treat your people when you're feeling that way? How do you show up? It's a tell. You think you're attracting people in your direction or kind of sending some signals, right?

We're not after the time, we're not even aware that we're doing this, but that's why this story being aware of the story is the story I'm telling myself, going to be, take me where I want to go. So if I say that I want to elevate myself in the organization and develop my people, elevate my people. We need to find a story.

That's gonna take you to where you want to go. Cause the no time story is not. We already established. That's gonna lead you to feeling frustrated. And the story you tell yourself is a, is a choice. That's that's. If you leave here with that, you've you're, you're gonna be a whole new person. You have to be responsible for the story you're telling yourself our minds.

Give us four common stories where our mind literally is lying to us and really limits who we are being as a leader. There's four stories. So if you're writing notes in your, your book, the first one is around what we call I'll call a limiting belief, limiting belief. You know, these, this is just kind of, you know, what we see like an Anna Nissan N said, we do not see the world as it is.

We see it as we. We all see our lives in, in situations through a lens, a filter, which has kind of become our belief system. And we all have very look out in the, the America today, a multitude of belief systems, right? And that's the beautiful thing about America, right? We can include all that. And, but we all have that same thing.

We have a belief system that's shaped by our experiences, our values, who our mom and dad were, our homes, trauma, all of that shapes how we see the. So if you're wearing blue colored glasses, the world's gonna look blue. So this is, this limiting belief is we've been given some kind of operating rules. If you will.

You know, we were taught to work hard, to always be, be early, stay late. These are just some rules that we kind of like, oh, that's how that's what I was taught. That's what I believe. Right. But who's heard what got you here. Won't always get you there. Who's heard that. So what happens, especially when an, when you keep putting yourself at the bottom of a new mountain and you will, when you're growing and you're an organization that's growing and has the goals that you all have, what got you here?

And it has the belief systems, the, the beliefs they've served. You, they've gotten you to the point you're at today, but what got you here, won't get you there. And so we've gotta become really aware of what are the stories I'm telling myself that have kind of become rules. Is that rule really serving me in where I'm trying to go.

That's important. So that's limiting beliefs. The second one is interpretations in a leadership context. You know, I, I can just imagine we've all been there, right? You're you're talking to one of your employees. You're giving them some instruction. Hey, we've gotta get the you're giving. 'em this objective.

What will you need from 'em? But you've gotta rush off to a meeting before you leave. You just notice them kind of look at you. and, but you just, and you, and right away, you start making some interpretations of that observation. Like, God, what the fuck is he not respect me? She, is she confused? Does she, she got this, you know, she's gonna F this up.

Like, you know, we start interpreting because we saw a look instead of just turning and saying, Hey, why the look that's important? We, we create stories that have no evidence. We, we make an observation and then we create a story. With no evidence at what? So there is no data, no facts whatsoever. And we do this most of the time with people, right.

And we just, and we kind of, we limit them those interpretations. So if to, to check your interpretations, what, what evidence do I have? That's leading me to believe this is true. And when I'm working with clients, oftentimes there's this awkward shit. I don't have any, I don't. And then, well, what might be some other interpretations?

Well, maybe they're just having a bad day or maybe they, you know, who knows if you really want to know, ask them. So that's interpretations, that's the, that's the second lie that our mind will start kind of spewing out, making stuff up, getting us, getting us from going where we want to go. The next one is assumptions.

This is something oftentimes. Happened in the past and we've just made a rule out of it. And we're just gonna assume that, well, that's just true. This, it always plays out that way. We often do this with people. We give them an opportunity. Maybe they didn't fall through and well, we just can't give Jimmy that type of thing anymore.

Right. And that's just an assumption, or maybe you personally raised your hand for a big project and it didn't go so well. So your assumption is I don't do good under pressure. And so I'm gonna not raise my hand. What what's leading you to believe that you're still the same person you were 10 years ago, or they're still the same person they were a year ago.

And so this is all about just again, what evidence do you have that this is true now, so that's assumptions. And then the last one is. Resistance, Stephen Presfield he's a prolific author wrote the book legend of bagger vans. Who's heard of that movie. It's it's a movie now, Stephen Presfield. He wrote a book called the war of art, and he talks about this.

This it's a book written for artists and creatives and leaders, because we're all creating something. We're creating our vision. He says that if you are choosing to be in a creative work, You have to face resistance day in and day out that voice that wakes you up at two in the morning, that voice, that when he in a writing con, if you're a writer, you put your ass down on the chair to write it's that voice that says, what are you doing?

Like you don't have any good to say, you know, it's that inner critic. That's constantly spewing out stories. And if you listen to that, if you listen to that resistance, this is what is true. It's gonna be true for you. You're going to play. You're gonna play it safe. You just will. Earlier everybody raised their hands, this resistance that we all feel that just makes you normal.

That just makes you normal. And you get to choose to listen to that story or replace it with a different story. Resistance is the number one thing that keeps people from achieving their potential in life. It just is because. Our number one priority in life is to survive, to stay safe. And that's the job of resistance.

So I want you to reframe this. I want you to notice it when it comes up that fear. And I want you to look at that fear. Don't try to push it away. Cause what you resist, persists. Invite it to the party said, Hey, I see you. I know that you're trying to keep me safe, but I've got this. Take a seat. And, and do the thing that, you know, you're, you're called to do let your values lead, not your resistance.

So that's, these are the four stories that we need to become aware of if we're, if we're gonna elevate ourselves in a leadership context. All right. So there you have it. Let's do a little debrief and I wanna give you some marching orders, if you will, to just to really take something from this. Because as you were listening to this conversation I had with this group of leaders, what came came up for you, you know, and, and I'm, I'm willing to bet there were some stories that maybe you became aware of stories that you're telling yourself that more than likely aren't gonna take you to where you want to go.

Now, what do you wanna do with that? Because how well is it gonna go for you? If you continue to tell yourself these stories that you're now aware of, that you're now aware that you know what these aren't conducive of the results that I want to get. So you now have an opportunity and this is your call to action.

I want you to rewrite your story, pick one, and pick one dominant story that you find yourself telling yourself over and over. You know, in the, in the recording I talked about, I don't have time for fill in the blank. You know, we all have things we tell ourselves, we don't have time for that. We really want to do change the story.

I can't be this, do that because of whatever, change the story, because here's the thing. Oftentimes if we really look at the evidence, there's probably less evidence to back. That you don't have time or that you can't do something or, or you're, you're an imposter in some way. There's probably evidence.

There's probably plenty of evidence that if you focus on it if you look in your past that if you focus on it, it's evidence that says you are more than capable of doing this thing now. So what is it? Bring that your past evidence, your past proof. Let it fuel your confidence and write a story. That's probably more true and a story that's gonna better serve you in the direction that you desire to go in your business and in your life.

And if you identified that story, Let me know what it is. I'd love to hear from you. If you're listening to this from the newsletter, you get every week reply to the email, or you can find me on Instagram, Zach dot Aaron DM me. I would love to hear what insights you had from today's episode. And until next time, thanks for joining me on the create purpose podcast.

All right. I want to take a moment to make an announcement. I want to let you know that I'm taking applications right now for the Create Purpose Mastermind, an intimate Mastermind group for aspiring seven-figure creative female business owners.

Who are looking to build their dream team. So if that's you go to, here's what it's going to look like. If you decide to spend a year with me and this intimate Mastermind, you know, when I was putting us together, I really was thinking about what are the outcomes that I want you to get as a result of spending a year in this group.

Number one is I want you to discover your unique greatness. Because when you surround yourself with people who see you for who you are and are able to draw you back to your own greatness so much can change. Number two, I want to help you master your inner game because everything in business starts with self-awareness of why things are the way they are.

Because as soon as you become aware of that, you get to decide and make a choice to change it for the better number three. I want to see you lead with confidence, you know, because I fundamentally believe you already have everything you need. You don't need another guru to show you the way and I want to see build your dream team.

And that's what you're we're ultimately going to be doing in this group is building a business. Around a team of people, the no longer centers around you, the leader, but you now have a team where you now are able to free yourself up to be the true CEO and creative visionary of your business. Ultimately to grow your business, make your business easier to manage more profitable, and a lot more fun.

So if you're an inspiring seven-figure creative female business owner, who's wanting to build your dream team and grow your business. Then please don't wait. There's only 12 seats available. So don't hesitate in getting your application in. What if this were to be your breakthrough? And what if this Mastermind is exactly what you need to really grow your business and bring your unique potential to life, to learn more, go to

Hopefully, you really enjoyed this podcast episode. And my hope is you found. Really inspirational. And also most importantly, I hope you took away some practical things that you can start to do and apply in your own life. So finally, I have one small favor to ask of you before you go, wherever you get your podcasts, whether that's Apple Music or Spotify.

If you enjoyed this episode, leave us a review. Love to hear your thoughts. Come find us on social media, share it on social media. It just really helps us get the word out, helps us grow our audience. So please do that. Thanks to my team, Ashley Bolden, who handles all the admin, and Chris Skipper who handles all the music and editing of this podcast for more information on.

Purpose podcast, you can go to, and you can also follow me on Instagram @zach.arend. Please drop me a comment, reach out, and drop me a DM. I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to hear what you're taking away from these conversations. What would you like to hear more of? Do you have any guests that you would love to see come on the show? And I'm always looking for great people to talk to people with great stories that can inspire you. And so if you know of anybody, send them my way, love to hear from. I'm your host, Zach Arend, and I'll see you in the next episode of the Create Purpose Podcast. Bye for now.