Time to Reinvent Yourself

The Secret To Transforming Your Confidence, Business Success, Income, And Life

Do you ever say to yourself – “I can’t do that”? Whenever we do this, we are viewing ourselves as fixed and limited.

Join Dr. Aziz as he interviews one of the world’s leading coaches about how to reinvent yourself whenever you want to be more confident, effective in business, and enjoy amazing relationships.

Click below to hear this episode!

It’s Time to Reinvent Yourself

Welcome to today’s episode of the show.

Today, you are going to learn some powerful insights from one of the most down to earth wisest people that I have ever had the privilege of speaking with, and one of the things that we are going to be diving deep into in today’s episode and today’s interview with him is this idea that you are a verb that you not a noun.

We tend to think of ourselves in this fixed way like I am this. I am nervous. I am awkward. I am not a good conversationalist. I am not confident. I am not good in meetings or wherever your area is that you are struggling with confidence. I am not good at sales. I get nervous on the phone.

When I get to work with people day in and day out I get to hear them use this language and what it does is it takes a process of verb. In each moment you are acting, you are doing something. So when you are picking up the phone to call in that moment you feel nervous and that is true in that experience, right.

Then, later on when you say, “I always get nervous before phone calls,” now you are taking this very active ongoing process and smushing it down into a static permanent way of being in the world and that is when your identity can get locked in place. That is where you can really get stuck for a long time and so Steve has got some brilliant ideas about how to work with this, how to break through this. I mean, he is one of the world’s top coaches and it is going to be an honor to speak with him.

So, without further ado, let us jump into our guest expert interview for today.

Today’s guest expert is Steve Chandler. Steve is a pretty amazing guy. He has written over 30 books that have been translated in over 25 languages. He is a personal success coach, public speaker, business consulting, he has been used by CEOs, top professionals, major universities, and over 30 Fortune 500 companies.

So he is an incredible speaker, really down to earth guy. I personally have benefitted tremendously from learning from Steve and I thought it would be fantastic to have him on the show for an interview. So we could pick his brain about confidence in business and he has got some interesting thoughts about reinventing ourselves and how to really transform ourselves to be that confident person. And, the beauty about Steve is he lives this himself and so he is able to put himself out there in a really high level but also just to be really down to earth.

I am so excited to have you on the show. Thanks for coming, Steve.

STEVE CHANDLER: That you Aziz. It is a real privilege to be on your show. I admire your work. You do such great work in the field of confidence for people in the world so I am really happy to be here.

DR. AZIZ: Fantastic! You know, one of the things I would love to start with is you teach a lot about how to build courage, how to create courage. In fact I received an email from you, I think it was this morning I am on one of your sort of inspiring email lists, and it was about calling on courage and building courage and I thought that would be a great place to start. How can we build courage?

STEVE CHANDLER: Yeah. So, this was a hard one for me to learn and you said you described me as an expert earlier it was kind of funny to me. I am expert in feeling really scared. I wrote about fear and courage called Fearless and it took me years and years to understand that courage is not some kind of personality trait or some kind of character trait or something that I either genetically got or not.

Courage is something available to everybody and it can be cultivated and grown and where we go wrong is keep thinking we have these permanent characteristics like, “I am cowardly. I am nervous. I am an introvert. I am not good on the phone. I am not good with people,” and things that we describe as permanent characteristics and really they are just temporary situations. They are just temporary states of mind and courage is something that anybody can cultivate.

You do not have to be a courageous person to demonstrate courage, cultivate it, build it up. So that was the good news for me in my life with learning that. And I had a coach myself who taught me about *0:05:24 taught me how to leave my comfort zone and start to experiment with different ways of being, and not get stuck with all these negative beliefs of myself that I was a certain way. And what he showed me was we invent ourselves all the time anyway so why not just invent yourself as you go along to be the person you really want to be instead of being stuck with all these stories about who you are as if that were permanent.

DR. AZIZ: That is a really interesting statement we are inventing ourselves all the time. What do you mean by that?

STEVE CHANDLER: Well, right from the start, from the time we were children, we look around as we see how other people are being, we hear how they are speaking, we are watching how they act and move and we start to pick things up from other people and keep creating personalities that fits for us that does not embarrass us and we might pull a little something from a moviestar that we liked or someone that we admired in school. We find that we are acting a little bit like that person and we are always creating this. There is not anything permanent that preexisted in us. We are creating it as we grow.

Now, once we get around the junior high school or high school level we have pretty much put it all together. We pretty much created a social being or personality that we somehow can live with. We can use it to navigating society and to get along and not embarrass ourselves too much.

But this is an illusion, this is all a creation and that is the good news because it means that we are not stuck with it. We can keep creating. And now as we are older, out of high school, we can create based on what we want to accomplish, on what we want we to do. We can be who we need to be in order to do what we really want to do, instead of being stuck in who we think we are.

DR. AZIZ: And what you said there was really interesting which is we kind of create this social self to avoid embarrassment so that we do not feel bad and that is I think why we preserve it into our adult years. And so the question that someone might be having is, “Okay. So if I choose a new set of behaviors or way of being in the world, then what if I embarrass myself? What if something bad like that happens and then I will fell rotten and uncomfortable and how do I deal with that?”

STEVE CHANDLER: Yeah. Well, it is always possible, you know. Every time you interact with other people there is always the risk of embarrassment. So that is always possible but that is not going to stop me from experimenting.

Now, here is something that I only learned a few years ago and given how old I am I am pretty lucky that I have learned this at all. And that is , when you leave your comfort zone all growth, all acceleration, all joy, all personal growth occurs outside your comfort zone. It does not occur inside your comfort zone.

Most people try to live inside their comfort zone. They wake up and they subconsciously try to execute a Ground Hog Day. You know the Bill Murray movie where he lived in the same day over and over and people just lived in the same day, the same year, the same life over and over and over because it feels safe and they have learned how to live that way.

Now, they also would agree with you when you tell them all growth takes place outside your comfort zone. So if you want to grow more confident, or if you want to grow stronger physically, or you want to grow in any direction you want to be better at something, public speaking, singing, acting, better at sales, you have to leave your comfort zone or you will never grow. There is where the growth happens. You can test that out in things like playing a musical instrument or testing your strength by going to a health club. You will never grow your strength if you do not add weight to that bar. It will always stay the same.

Now, in life we are afraid to leave our comfort zone because when we picture leaving our comfort zone we picture some huge change. Like, we picture going from someone who is afraid to talk to other people at a business gathering to someone who is going around and slapping people on the back and laughing and telling jokes and gathering people around them. And we think, I am afraid to do that. I cannot do that. That is just not me.
And, what we have done here is we have pictured something so far outside the comfort zone that the mind shuts down and says, “You cannot do that. It is not safe to do that,” and we do not do it.

Now, here is the thing about all growth happens outside the comfort zone. You do not have to go very far outside the comfort zone to grow. You can go just a little bit outside and that is where growth happens. See, if I am lifting a bar of weight, I do not have to double the weight on the bar to grow muscle, I just have to add a tiny bit more. And then in a month a tiny bit more. And the months will grow, grow, grow, grow.

And the same is true with building confidence. I do not have to go from zero to a thousand in confidence and that is what people picture when they picture leaving their comfort zone. All I really have to do is leave it a little tiny bit.

So for example, when I was writing my first couple of books I was afraid to write a book. Who am I to write a book? I mean I was 49 years old, I had not written any books, for once I have been a total failure in life, who wants to hear from me? Who wants to read a book I have written? So I was afraid to write one and yet  there was a publishing company who had given me an advance for a book.

So, rather than sit down and write a whole book which was intimidating me and scaring me, that would take me way out of my comfort zone I realized, I somehow stumbled upon the method of waking up and only writing a little tiny bit. And what I would do is I would put together 30-minute sessions with my book and I would visit my book for 30 minutes and then leave it. And it was not long before the book was written. And so the question was, Can you sit down and write and take notes and work on your book for 30 minutes? And the answer to that, “Well, yeah. I can do 30 minutes. That does not intimidate me.”

“And could you write an email to someone?” “Yes.” “Okay. Why don’t you write an email to someone a pretense person and that will be a short chapter in your book?” “Oh, okay.” So that was a tiny bit out of my comfort zone and by doing that I finished the book and I discovered I can do that in any area of my life. I used to be afraid to give talks and stand in front of a room so I practiced with little tiny versions of that and build up, build up, build up.

So the key to leaving your comfort zone is leave it only a little tiny bit.

DR. AZIZ: We are going to pause for just one moment, take a quick break, and then jump back into our interview with Confidence Expert, Steve Chandler.

Yeah. I think that is incredibly helpful because to try to leap into the deep end is scary and can sort of drown out there and so I think that is really helpful to build up that ability, that confidence over time, and I am curious about the small steps. To use the analogy of doubling the weight on the bar, have you seen people or have you personally at times done something like that just taken a huge leap or a huge plunge? And, what are your thoughts on kind of more of the jumping in approach?

STEVE CHANDLER: Every once in a while there were these things that I have done that scared me and they have been huge junks. Every once in a while I have seen people do that and not necessary. You do not have to.

So, for example, there is one I was coaching years ago and she was terrified of leaving her job to go into coaching full-time and so I said, “Do not leave your job.” Instead of jumping into the profession why don’t you create a little bridge from where you are to the profession?” And so she began to setup a little tiny coaching practice on the side where she had coached over the lunch hour sometimes on a Saturday morning, sometimes in the evening and really got her side practice build up enough so she had the confidence to them going to it full-time.

You do not have to leap across the Grand Canyon. You can build a bridge and walk across, that is my point.

So, there was a woman I am working with and she was about to give a talk to a bunch of leaders and she was not really scared but she told me she not a real people person or was not really good one on one with leaders or something.

So I said, “Okay. When you get to your talk, get there early and as they come in to the room make sure you shake hands with everybody, look them in the eye, and thank them for coming in the room.” And she said, “Well, that is not what I normally do because I am an introvert, I am this, I am that..” and so she is trying to sell me the labels she has put on herself as the reality and the truth about how she operates. I am trying to get her step just a little bit outside of her comfort zone and say, “All you have to do is reach out, shake their hand, look them in the eye, and thank them in a real nice way for being in the room that day and coming to your course and thank everybody who comes and do not hide behind the podium or sit there in the greenroom and wait until you are announced or something like that.”

And so, that is just a small step by doing that it starts to get her warmed up to realizing that I can be a person who talks to people. And I do not have to make some radical personality change I can just try to go a little bit outside my edge.

DR. AZIZ: Yeah. Absolutely. And I think the beauty of what you are describing here is when you really get this and start living it, it is amazing how effective it is and there are so many areas that I thought I did the exact same thing you are describing. “That is not me. I am not attractive enough. I am not smart enough or capable enough to do that,” and then by simply moving towards what scared me slowly and then I would build up that confidence, that courage, that ability. So it is very simple in its concept but then when you apply it, it has a profound effect.

There is one thing that I am curious about. I think it is a fear that a lot of people have that holds them back. Now, you sort of touched on that when you had that voice in your head when you wanted to write your early books, “Who are you to write that book?” And I think people have that feeling around or that thought that idea around a lot of different things whether it is writing a book or giving that talk or just even looking people in the eye and shaking their hand when they walk in that room like you mentioned with that woman.

They say, “Who are you to do that?” And underneath that there is a sense of, “There is something wrong with me. I am not quite enough,” and people are going to see through that and find me out. And I am curious, what are your thoughts on that kind of common human fear and how do you suggest people might work with that?

STEVE CHANDLER: Yeah. You are right. That is very, very common. People get really focused on themselves as a permanent entity when actually they are nothing but a collection of actions.
So, what I would like to do is help people move from being a noun, which is this permanent thing, into being a verb which is an ongoing action.

So, for example, ii had a person say, “I do not think I am generous enough to use your system for selling which is a service-based system.” And he said, “I do not think I am a generous enough person.” And I said, “Well that would not matter because I do not care what you are like as a person. I only care about what act of generosity are you willing to perform.” That is a complete difference.

So, I want to set aside who I think I am and drop the question of who am I because I will never know the answer to that because that will just you in circles. That will send you in circles for the rest of your life while you are whoever you make yourself up to be. “Well, what is permanent?” “Well, you tell me.”

And so it will go on forever and ever and that will keep me frozen while I would not take any action. So I want to look at whether I am a generous person or I am a brave person, what act of bravery would I like to perform, what act of generosity would you like to perform?

So, perform enough acts of generosity and you will realize that performing an act of generosity has nothing to do with whether you think of yourself as a generous person or whether you do not. It had nothing to do with that. And it gives you so much freedom because now I am not trapped. You are always asking, who am I? Is this really me? It does not matter who I am.

So, if I bring to an event this kindness, warmth, and a loving presence to people and acts of kindness, acts of warmth, and acts of generous listening, these are states of being. These are not permanent personality characteristics. I wanted to leave those at the door.

So, if I go to a family event where I do not know who to be or how to act I want to say, “Listening is what I am.” Or, “Acknowledging people for what I admire about them is who I am.”

So, I want to have some verb, some action be who I am. And not some, “I am an introvert. I am a sad person. I am a victim. I am someone who had a difficult past.” This thinking that is the problem in life.

DR. AZIZ: Absolutely. I like the idea of a noun versus a verb. It kind of creates this fixed crystallized structure that then cannot be fluid and the reality…

STEVE CHANDLER: You are right. It freezes you. It traps you in your own limitation and it is the limitation that you created with your own thinking and speaking. So it is like you have created a cage around yourself that you are now stuck in by how you think about yourself. And the answer is you do not have to think about yourself at all.

A lot of people think, “I need to learn to develop more positive  thoughts about myself. No you don’t. What do you want to do? What actions do you want to take? Go do those and forget the self-obsession. Drop the fascination you have with what your permanent self is because you do not have one.

DR. AZIZ: But it is so safe in that cage. It is so safe. What would you say to someone who you not consciously but sort of unconsciously there is that desire to remain safe in the moment. I have been fascinated by this as I have been studying it more and more myself and others and I have been calling it the safety police where the is this variety of voices that we will have whether it is telling us that something really bad is going to happen out there or that sort of dismisses us sort of cynical mockery of our desire to do something different, or just a straight up, the policeman who sort of just beats you down and tells you that you suck and you are not good enough.

So it is all these elaborate ways that we stay in that little safe zone so courage, as we are describing it is just the action. It is not a state. It is not who you are. It is just the action you can take, the act of courage. There is this moment, there is this precipice where they want to take the act of courage and there is these voices, “You cannot do that. You suck,” and all that stuff is getting built up inside of them. How do they just take the plunge? How would you guide someone through that?

That is all the time that we have today for the interview with Steve. We are actually going to pick back up with more of that in next week’s episode. So stay tuned for that and before we end today we have to end with our action step.

Today’s action step is to look at where you are turning yourself into a noun. What is one area where in the past where you have turned yourself into a noun and had that fixed personality that Steve was talking about where he said, “This is just how I am. This is just who I am. This is just the way it is,” and really just find that area. You do not have to do everything all at once. You can just find one area and really look at it and examine it.

Say, “Is that really true? What is more true? What is the verb underneath? How can I free this up kind of break the rigid structure and get back to just being in the flow of life where I can be constantly evolving and changing and shifting and developing? Find that one area for you and then I want you to step into that this week. Step into being more of a verb, really looking at how you can flex your personality, your actions, your way of being in the world. Really become curious of what is possible for you.

That is your action step for today and you are going to learn even more about how to do that in next week’s interview.

So, stay tuned for that and I would love to hear your comments at shrinkfortheshyguy.com. Send in your questions there. There is a hotline you can call on that site as well if you want to leave me a message and I look forward to speaking with you and answering your questions in the future episodes.

And so until we talk again next week, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know that you are awesome.

Music Credit

All music is licensed or royalty free.

DeepSound – Rain Clouds
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Ask The Shrink:
Boccherini Minuet
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Action Step:
Justin Crosby – Skrillit
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Lokfield – Terra’s Theme Dubstep
(Creative Commons License)

Facebook IconYouTube IconTwitter IconVisit My Google+ Page!