Welcome to the 14th issue of Inward Ventures, my weekly share of what I’m working on and fiddling around with. I share thoughts and ideas I come across in my continuing quest for self-improvement, productivity, and education for myself and my coaching clients. I strive to excel in my writing, creativity, and, well… LIFE. Thanks for being here. Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks.
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Who do you think you are?
I finished reading Steven Pressfield’s genius work “The War of Art,” and I’m thinking about the concept of identity. Specifically, MY identity: what it was, what it is currently, and what I want it to be.
To figure that out, I don’t need to look in the mirror. I don’t need to journal about it or muse endlessly in therapy or coaching.
All I need is observation—sustained, non-judgemental scanning of my environments and my behaviors.
What am I surrounded by, physically and emotionally? What do I engage in regularly? What do I have to force myself to do? Why do I choose certain actions and others are defaulted to?
Because this isn’t an exercise to beat me up, it’s an effort to improve myself. It’s to assess who I am and if that jives with who I want to be. I know I’m not yet the person I want to be; physically, emotionally, artistically. I’ve got a long way to go with some serious shit to cut out, to instill modern, revised beliefs, and corresponding supportive habits to install. You know I consulted Prof. Google about it, mais oui! Fellow grammar nerds, I’m lookin’ at you, JLM! 🧐 Click below!
In taking a detached look at my situation: courses I’ve taken, choices I’ve both made and ended up with by default, I can detect a pattern of thoughts and behaviors that make up my current life. I don’t blame anyone for where I am now (or where I think I should be by now but am not.) Then I think about who I WANT to be; what does she say/do/think?
I love analogies!
If you look at it as punishment, oh no! once I start, it’s something I have to do for the rest of my life, wah! … well, damn. You’re gonna have a hell of a time committing to it, be miserable the entire session, and a COMPLETE pain in the can to everyone around you as you suffer through it. This is me just being Jersey with ya, deal. You’re not going to be thinking about improving your work capacity or strength to bodyweight ratio, aw hell no. Your focus is instead, dear god, when does this END?!
☝🏼 That’s you when you judge yourself and your current identity. ☝🏼
If you feel bad about your current self, can’t even take a hard look without wincing and a flaming shame spiral, how can you seriously expect to improve?
Wait, where was I?
Ah yes. If you view exercise as something that you GET to do, because hello, you’re alive! and it’s a sure-fire way to improve a multitude of things in your life all at once like, you’re going to be more likely to not only enjoy it but find ways to sustain it and look for improvements rather than eyeballing your watch the whole session.
For the record, I am one of those unicorns (or assholes, you decide 😂) who SMILES and ENJOYS training.
*see what I did there? I don’t even “work out,” I train.
I don’t do cardio, I do conditioning.
Try this, it works!
So take a gander at your hobbies, your amazon cart, your google calendar, your email inbox; what youtube and podcasts do you subscribe to?
What’s on your kindle or audible libraries? What apps are on your phone?
View your weekly screen time (mine is horrifying, and I am considering another 6-month break from social media.)
What’s in your fridge, your pantry, the back seat, or the trunk of your car?
What’s on your nightstand? Bathroom sink? In your garage, attic, or storage closet?
Again, none of these points are for shaming purposes. This is a science experiment. By observing what and where I spend my time, money, and emotions, I have a damn good idea of the person I am. Do this, and you will too.
Creating a new Identity
Do I like who I am?
For the most part, yes.
Am I satisfied with her? No.
As I said above, I’m a weirdo/unicorn/smiley-faced-asshole who loves training, an athlete. I have been since Nina was born. It’s part of me; it’s who I am.
Yet I didn’t play sports as a kid unless you count running bases, handball, riding bikes, jumping double-dutch, playing various forms of tag, especially a favorite called “Bloody Murder.”
Prof. Google informed that runnning bases is a real game. I was jazzed to find that out ~ I thought my brothers made it up!
I was active but never played sports.
So how can I call myself an athlete, having never played high school or collegiate sports? Because I bought into the mentality of what athletes do; how they train, eat, sleep. What they talk about, read, and watch matters in this aspect of their life. It matters what they surround themselves with. It matters what they talk about; it’s a priority.
My new identity? Writer.
In addition to writing my book, I’m writing this newsletter. I’m creating media images for myself and friends; I’m writing, editing, and proofing for others; I’m learning about the ins and outs of compelling copy. I’m learning about hooks, thesis, conclusions, and links.
That’s what a writer does. She behaves, acts, works as a writer. ✔ Follows and consumes media for writers ✔ Belongs to and contributes to forums for writers ✔
Did I feel like an outsider at first? Sure did. An impostor? YES, ma’am. That didn’t stop me. My desire to become was greater than the pain of not becoming this new self.
And did I have to borrow someone’s belief and faith in me?! More than a few times, LOL, I almost think that half the writing battle is fending off self-doubt and sabotage. The actual writing, when it flows, is easy!
What’s your next identity?
We all move on and grow; it’s part of life. You’re not the same person you were a year or two ago, and certainly not the same as you were ten years ago. Of course, this carries through to the future. You won’t be the same person in a year, and you’ll be very different in ten years. Will you let those changes occur by default, or will you choose them?
Think about who you want to be. What does he or she do, think, have? Then look around. Please give it a long look. Do things stack up? How do they project over time?
Please give it a go and let me know how it happens. I’m all ears and eyeballs.
And no, I’m not perfect. Me yesterday:
I’m out here, just like the rest of ya, making it one day at a time. Days like yesterday, an hour at a time 😂 THANK YOU FOR READING, SHARING and SUPPORTING me.
So whaddya think? If you’re so inclined, leave a comment here or hit REPLY; shoot me an email with your thoughts. No lie; I am TICKLED to get reader mail 🥰 If you write, I’ll always respond.
Feeling inspired and want to share? Please forward it to a friend or post it on social media.
Have a great week ~ talk soon!