We are buildable and re-buildable. Our minds did not just appear fully formed, they were assembled through endless experiences and inputs, whether we realized we were doing so or not. External forces shaped us, most of which were forces we permitted and enabled. Personal decisions shaped us. Our habits have shaped us.
What we believe, the story we tell ourselves about our own identity and the world around us, is what we accept as reality. And it is very much a story — a manufactured, fabricated story that can go in any number of directions. Manufactured and fabricated does not mean false, everything we know to be real has been manufactured and fabricated. But not everything manufactured and fabricated is accepted as real.
To believe something, to really accept it as truth, we need evidence. What we see and experience every day is interpreted as proof. If I want to be a writer, but I rarely sit down and write, I will not see myself as a writer regardless of how much I wish it. But if I write every day, even just a little, the evidence will grow quickly and my self-identity as a writer will form. I will have manufactured it, and it will be real.
Everything we do and experience is like a vote on what we believe, and therefore perceive as reality. Our habits, since they are performed so often — over and over again — are rapid-fire voting machines on our beliefs and therefore our reality. If you want to change your reality, change the rapid voting machine. Your actions, your behaviors will re-program your mind. Through this approach you can design yourself deliberately. You can rebuild yourself into whatever you want to be, whoever you need to be to achieve what you want to achieve.
I have radically redesigned and re-programmed myself over the past year, not through willpower or determination, but by changing my self-perceived identity. I’ve lost 35 lbs, built a new mission-based business, designed a vehicle to meet the most fascinating people in the world, and am nearing completion of a process for prolific and deeply personal public expression (overcoming my massive weakness to obsess and hyper-fixate on perfectionist details and a paralyzing fear of sharing anything that might be imperfect, faulty, or vulnerable to criticism — a tendency that has undermined the quality as well as the quantity of my work output). I’m now so excited to share this explosion of ideas bubbling up, and will unleash them letting the chips fall where they may (even if I may be hiding under my desk, peering up at the screen to see the fallout).
But it all starts with designing myself to be the kind of person I want to be, who is capable of executing on the mission that gives me the greatest sense of meaning.
What do you want to achieve? Are you the person who can achieve it, or who do you need to become to be the person able to do it? What would that person look like? What actions would they be performing daily? Don’t worry about the results, just be the kind of person who does the necessary actions, daily.
Then you will believe, and it will be so.