I remember the first time I heard about Jordan Syatt. It was a year ago and I was listening to him speaking on the Ripped Body podcast talking about how he ended up coaching Gary Vaynerchuk. Right from the start I found him fascinating and I loved every single thing he had to say, but there was one thing in particular which Jordan said that really stuck with me.
For those of you who don’t know, Jordan got into personal training when he was 14 and has since then become, in my eyes, one of the most genuine, important and influential figures in the fitness industry. If you don’t follow him on Instagram, definitely check him out.
Andy asks him on the podcast what it was like to train people and how he was treated by his clients at such a young age. Jordan answers very simply that he was taken seriously because he was presented seriously. His mentors never presented him as “just an intern”. They presented him professionally and confidently: “this is Jordan and he’s gonna be your coach.”
He goes on to say,
“I’ve seen a lot of coaches present people as interns or as someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, and when you present someone in that way they sort of live up to the way you present them, they live up to that expectation. So if you pour someone into a position of excellence, they will rise to that level.”
That tiny little piece of truth completely shook me. He was so right.
If I go to a party where I don’t know anyone, and my friend says to everyone as I walk into the room, “Guys! This is my friend Bonnie, she’s hilarious!” – well hell, I better make some good jokes. If someone introduces me to the room as amazing or inspirational or kind, I’ll be damn sure not to act like an arsehole and be blunt or rude to anyone.
This is what happens when there is expectation thrust upon you and you need to live up to it. Pour someone into a position of excellence, they will rise to that level.
So then I got thinking. What happens if you start regularly introducing and presenting yourself in this way? Affirming to yourself and to everyone you meet that you really are hilarious or inspirational or kind? If you start positively reinforcing your wishes and actions and goals by creating an expectation of yourself?
Magic, that’s what.
it’s just a matter of habits
We humans become our habits. That’s all we are. The tiny little things we do every single day, every thought, every action, every word we speak and letter we write are the things which make us, which make the difference between me and you.
So what do you think happens to your mindset every time you self-deprecate? Every time you tell yourself or other people “I want to do this, but I can’t”?
You start to believe it. It becomes a habit. It becomes you.
If you tell enough people that you’re going to be the next superstar, if you say if often enough to yourself, to your friends, to your family, if you repeat it over and over every day, you will believe it. You will become it. Presentation is just a voiced or visible display of how you see yourself, a reflection of who you think you are and, despite your own mistakes, faults, shakes in confidence or floods of doubt, you can present yourself as whoever you want to be. But you must believe it. Fake it at first if you need to, but embody that person, that character, those qualities, until it is what you become.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE
Let’s stick with the superstar story. You work in an office full time, but spend your evenings writing songs and stories, dreaming of being the next Sheeran or Rowling. When people ask you what you do for a living, you say “well I’m trying to be an artist but I dunno… I don’t think it’s going to happen.” You continue to do your writing on the side, but eventually work and personal commitments take over, and your dreams of being the next big superstar never come true.
Because you didn’t believe in yourself.
You never said it out loud. You never presented yourself as being the next superstar and in doing so, convinced yourself that this isn’t going to happen. You lived your life answering that question with “this I what I *want* to do, but it’s probably never going to happen because *insert list of reasons why you doubt yourself*.”
How do you ever expect your dreams to come to fruition if you never believe in them yourself? If you never yell to the world that you’re going to make them happen?
PRESENT YOURSELF AS MORE THAN YOU ARE
“You need to aim beyond what you are capable of. You must develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end. Try to do the things that you’re incapable of. If you think you’re unable to work for the best company in its sphere, make that your aim. If you think you’re incapable of running a company, make that your aim. If you think you’re unable to be on the cover of Time magazine, make it your business to be there. Make your vision of where you want to be a reality. Nothing is impossible.” – Paul Arden
Mark Beaumont said recently in a talk that you never do better than what you plan or set out to do, and I completely agree. If you know that you can run comfortably for 8 km, the vast majority of you will hit 8 and think “phew, smashed it.” But think, what might happen if you go further? If you go to 9? To 10? What if you never stop?
This mindset is the secret, I’m sure of it. Whether you want to be the next President, or you just want to be the kindest person in the room, what you tell yourself and others is what you believe, and thus what you will become.
Start thinking about how you present yourself. Do you create a positive, confident expectation? Or do you doubt yourself and talk yourself down?
We are all guilty of self-deprecation, but it is time to stop. Stop being afraid of your own confidence or self-belief. Nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself, but you must do it with your whole heart. You must be kind to yourself. You must be forgiving. The world will throw enough curve balls at you, make sure you’re on your own team.
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