Ep #86: The Identity Series (Part 1)

98% of how we operate on a daily basis comes from our subconscious. Most of our habits, personality traits, and mannerisms come from this part of the brain. It’s also where the foundation of our identity comes from, which impacts every part of our lives and businesses.

No matter where you are in your business journey, understanding how your identity impacts your ability to show up will help you grow and scale more effectively. Your identity has helped you create the results you have so far, which makes it the most powerful force in your business.

I’m kicking off a three-part series this week all about your identity and how it impacts your ability to grow your business and become the leader it needs. Today, you’ll learn what exactly an identity is, what impacts its formation, and how to become aware of the parts of your identity you aren’t currently tapping into.

If you’re ready to build, grow, and scale your business, check out my two programs, The Mastermind and my Million Dollar Mastermind! Enrollment for both of these programs is open, so schedule a call with me by clicking here and I look forward to working with you!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why this series is so important for you to hear.
  • Why you can’t outperform your identity.
  • What creates the foundation of your identity and belief systems.
  • Why your identity plays such an important role in growing your business.
  • How identity differs from self-image.
  • A few key questions to help you uncover your own identity.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

  • If you’re ready for a real breakthrough in your business and want to grow and scale your business to at least six-figures or more in annual revenue, I invite you to apply for my exclusive program The Mastermind. I look forward to seeing you there!
  • Ep #1: The Identity Shift
  Download a Transcript for The Life Coach Business Podcast

You are listening to The Life Coach Business Podcast with Amanda Karlstad, episode number 86.

Welcome to The Life Coach Business Podcast, a show for coaches who are ready to up-level their business and take their impact, leadership, and results to a whole new level. If you’re ready to start taking powerful action and become the leader your business needs in order to grow and thrive, this show is for you. I’m your host, Amanda Karlstad, certified life and business coach, and entrepreneurial leadership expert. Now, let’s get down to business.

Hello and welcome everyone, so glad to have you join me today. I hope you’re doing well. I hope you’ve also had an amazing week. I am super excited to bring you today’s episode as it’s the first in a series that I will be bringing to you over the next couple of weeks. And I’m super excited about it. And we’re going to be talking all about identity. And your identity as it relates to being a coach, as an entrepreneur, and the impact that your identity has on your business. So I’m really, really excited about this. And I can’t wait to bring these episodes to you.

But before we dive in I hope for those of you in the US, I hope you had an amazing Memorial Day weekend. As I’m recording this show we are actually gearing up for Memorial Day. We are officially done with school this year so my kids already had their last day. And we’re looking forward to summer and kicking things off this weekend. And I don’t know about you but I just feel like this year has flown by. I can’t believe that school is done and we’re moving into summer. And I totally feel like this year flew by, I don’t even know what happened but I feel like this happens every year.

And I also feel like every year it just gets faster and faster. Now, for all of my Life Coach School friends I know that this is a thought. But my brain is telling me that it’s really true. And it’s funny because as I say this it’s funny as I can see all the ways that my brain has found evidence of this and all the ways that my brain is validating this thought that this year has flown by and that every year just gets faster and faster. It seems like a fact, I’m telling you. It does not seem like a thought. It’s so funny how our brains do this with everything.

Alright, that’s why it’s so great that we get to do this work. I love being able to be onto my brain and see these things. Alright, are you all ready to dive in? I’m super ready. Let’s dive in.

So as I said I’m super excited to bring you today’s episode. And to bring you the next few episodes that like I said will be all about your identity. Now, I want to just frame this up because there were a few reasons that I decided to create this series. And so I want to start off by saying that first of all my goal with every episode of this podcast is to give you the tools, and the strategies, and the insights that I have found to be the most critical when it comes to growing and scaling your coaching business.

And so my goal is to really help you in that process, to help you accelerate your results. And to help you truly become the highest version of yourself so that you can ultimately become the leader that your business truly needs and ultimately allow you, and ultimately allows you to make a huge impact with your work and to build a highly successful and highly profitable business along the way. So I’m super passionate about coaching. And I believe that it’s some of the most important work that we can do.

And I also want to say this, I also think that being a coach, and having a coaching business, and coaching others, it’s an honor of a lifetime to do this work. So I really take this career, I really take our profession as that, as a career, as a real profession. And I know all of you do the same as well.

And I also know that for many of you one of the reasons you listen to this podcast is because you’re also 100% invested in growing and scaling your business. And you’re 100% committed to growing your coaching practice as a professional coach. And I know for some of you that means being able to create more impact with clients. I know that you’re all great at what you do.

The clients that come into my world, those of you that listen to my podcast I know that all of you take your profession as a coach very seriously and that you want to be the best you can be not only for yourself but also for your clients. And the truth is, is that in order to do that there is also a responsibility that you have to grow your business to its fullest capacity, to grow yourself to your highest version so that you can ultimately grow your business.

And that’s really my intention with this podcast, to bring you the tools, bring you the strategies, bring you the action items, the mindset shifts, everything to really help you make that happen. So with that I’m super excited to have created this series and to be able to bring this first episode to you today. And so this is one of the concepts that I do think is one of the most important things as it relates to your success both as a coach and also as a business owner.

So as we dive into this over the next couple of weeks I’m going to bring you this series. And we’re going to be diving into the role that your identity has when it comes to growing, and for those of you that are scaling your business, and for those of you that have been loyal listeners of this show. You probably remember that the first episode of my podcast, so when I first launched my podcast, the first episode that I dropped, when I launched The Life Coach Business podcast was all about identity. It’s called The Identity Shift. It’s episode number one.

And if you haven’t listened or even if it’s been a while I want to encourage you all to go back and listen to that episode. I believe it’s a really important one. And it’s so important that I framed my entire podcast around this concept. And it’s funny because I still have clients; I still have people coming to me all the time telling me what a good episode that was. And what a differentiator that episode really was for them.

And so I will also say this that throughout my podcast I may reference back episodes. I might encourage you all to go back and listen to various episodes depending on what topic I’m talking about. And I want you to know that there is a reason I do that.

And there is a reason that everything that I do in my business, whether it’s how I structure my programs, the level of support that I offer, whether it’s resources that I create for my clients or I give to my clients, or whether it’s content that I’m bringing to you each and every week through this podcast. I want you all to know that there is a very specific intention behind everything I do. And so if I’m recommending to go back and listen to an episode, I’m recommending it because there is value there.

And my intention is to truly help you on your path and to truly help you become an example of what’s possible. So my goal for all of my clients is to become examples of what’s possible in this industry, to become the examples of what it means to be a professional coach who is doing important work in the world and is setting new standards for what is possible in the industry. And so that my friends is what we’re doing inside of my programs, I have The Mastermind which is my six month Business Accelerator program.

I also have my High Level Mastermind which is for coaches who are scaling. So if you have questions on either of those programs, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m happy to have a conversation and see if you’re a fit for either of those programs.

Alright, so back to my intention with this series, so what we’re going to talk about in this series is really important. And it’s something that I am super passionate about. And I think that you’re going to find a lot of value in these episodes. So I want to encourage you all to really tune in and really be present with what I’m about to share over these next couple of weeks.

And so I also want to start out by saying something that is going to be really important as we have this conversation. And it’s really one of the reasons why I decided to create this series to begin with and why I do think that this topic is so important. And it’s also one of the things that I want all of you to take away from today’s episode and that is the idea that you can’t outperform your identity. And I want to say that again, you can’t outperform your identity. So let that sink in for a moment.

And I want to talk about what that actually means. So let me explain. For those of you who are familiar with my work, who listen to my show, for those of you that are clients you know that one of the things I coach on all of the time is your subconscious versus your conscious. Now, this might seem somewhat insignificant but it’s not.

And what I want to say about it is this, the truth is, is that the majority of how we operate on a daily basis. And there have been studies upon studies that show this. That really it comes down to literally 98% of what we do on a daily basis actually comes from the subconscious part of our brain.

So to simplify this for purposes of this series it’s important to first understand that one of the things that makes us so unique as humans is that we all have a conscious part of our brain. And that conscious part of our brain is called the prefrontal cortex. And so that’s the part of our brain that’s responsible for the executive functioning of our brain.

And so I like to think of this as it’s the most evolved part of our brain. It’s where our complex thinking happens. It’s where planning and decision-making, short term memory, personality, personality expression, moderating our behavior and where certain parts of our speech and our behavior are controlled. So things like when you think of conscious planning, or deliberate goal creation, conscious decision-making, all of those things, all of those really important things happen in our prefrontal cortex.

Now, that’s actually not what we’re going to talk about today. What we’re going to talk about is actually what drives 98% of what we do on a daily basis. And that’s what happens in the primal part of our brain which is sometimes referred to as the reptilian part of our brain. And so it’s the oldest part of our brain. It’s the survival part of our brain, the part of our brain that is 100% solely concerned literally with our survival, that where we as humans we’re operating from this part of our brain the majority of our time. It’s the subconscious part of our brain.

And what’s really important to understand with this is that as humans we’re operating the majority of our time from the subconscious part. That is the part of our brain that has the most power in what we’re doing on a daily basis. And so it’s really significant to understand. So it doesn’t matter at any given point in time, when we look as humans how we’re operating in most cases it’s coming from that subconscious part. So it’s important to understand that our subconscious brain, that part of our brain is really the compilation of our environment from a very young age.

So to break this down what truly happens is from birth until about the age of seven, and I would argue even before birth we are forming our identity which is based largely on our external environment. So it’s based on our parents. It’s based on our grandparents. It’s based on anyone that’s around us at a very early age. And what happens during that time is as a very young child our subconscious brain literally acts like a sponge. So it literally takes everything in, every conversation, every experience, everything that we observe as a very young child and it records it all.

And from there what happens is that we form our identity. So this is why for so many people. And this is why just in general this topic is so important is because I have found that even as adults what tends to happen is that our identity that has formed at a very, very young age is still what I call in the driver’s seat as an adult. Meaning it’s that part of our subconscious which is driving a lot of the thought processes that we have. It’s driving a lot of the belief systems that we’re carrying. And so this is something that’s really important to be looking at.

And it’s also where if there’s any part of your life where you might feel stuck, so money is a great example of this. So when it comes to money we all have belief systems. We all have our thoughts. We all carry various belief systems as it relates to money. And so that’s something actually that we’re going to be diving into as well in the series is what that really looks like for you and how to really start to rewire that.

But for today I just want to say this. Let’s take for example a lottery winner. So all of you can relate to having probably observed someone that has won the lottery or seen a story in the news where someone has perhaps won the lottery. And within a matter of a very short time, maybe a few months or a couple of years that someone can literally go from winning millions and millions of dollars on the lottery to ultimately becoming broke. So if we just use that as an example. If we look at, you know, it doesn’t really matter who it is.

But if you look at for instance a lottery winner that has the identity of not being a rich person. So that person won the lottery, they won 25 million dollars. But because they don’t have the identity as being a rich person, they have the identity instead of being poor, or having to maybe spend all of their money or lose all of their money, all of the belief systems, whatever that looks like for them. That’s the reason why we see these stories.

That’s the reason why this actually matriculates and happens in the world is because it starts with the identity level of all of us. And so what happens is, is that when we form our identity which is based on our experiences, which is based on the people, the conversations. And we take all of that in those become the foundation to our identities. And it becomes the foundation to our belief systems, which when you really look at this are really just the compilation typically of the belief systems that we grew up around.

So this is why for most of us when you start to observe things that we say, when you start to observe certain behaviors, even characteristics that we all have there is usually a connection that we can make back to our parents or whoever it was that was significant in our life as a young child helping to raise us.

And so there was an example that I remember a while back of this that really surprised me. So this was several years ago before I had launched my business. I was still working in my corporate career. And what happened was is we were working on a new initiative within the organization. And part of that initiative I was asked to do a recording of one of my meetings that I was leading at the time.

And I remember after the meeting because I had been asked to record the meeting so that it could be shared with other leaders in the organization. It was going to be used as an example to model some things after. But I remember watching that video back and I was honestly shocked. I was shocked because it was really the first time that I observed certain mannerisms that to me were so obvious. They were so reminiscent of my mom and my sisters. But I had no idea that I was expressing those same mannerisms.

And so to others, these were things that nobody outside of me, nobody would probably even think twice about, nobody would even recognize. But to me I just remember it hit me so deeply because it was like I was watching my mom. And I could see certain mannerisms that reminded me so strongly of her. And I know all of you could probably come up with examples for yourselves. So whether that’s a parent, or a sibling, or someone else, we all have these mannerisms.

We have certain behaviors and characteristics that we express that are a great example of what we’re talking about. And so the unconscious habits, those unconscious ways of being, those identities that we all have, those were all formed at a very, very early age. So I want you to really consider that. That a big part of our identity was really formed in those early, early years which we know are those formative years. So really from birth, and again I would argue even before that time in the womb to about age seven.

So why am I sharing this with you? Why am I framing up this series that way? Well, here’s why. Because of the fact that 98% of how we operate on a daily basis, so 98% of the habits that we all have, 98% of the unconscious thoughts that we have on a daily basis are purely coming from that subconscious part of our brain. And so this is where that identity has been formed. It’s where our identity resides.

So when you think about this, if you consider the fact that the majority of what we’re doing on a daily basis comes from the subconscious part of us, consider what that means for your business. It means that the most powerful force in our daily lives is our identity. And depending on what was going on for us from the time when we were in the womb until about the age of seven was very, very significant.

And it’s so interesting because when you start digging into this deeper, every result that we have, the majority of what you have created up until this point was formed from the identity that you developed at an early age. And so if I go back to what I shared with you earlier that you can’t outperform your identity, whatever your identity is and has been has actually been what has helped create the results that you have right now. So it’s helped to create the results in your life, in your business up until right now in this moment.

Now, let me say this, I know for all of you listening that that has meant achievement. I know that all of you listening are high achievers. I know you’re all very ambitious especially when it comes to your business I know you’re extremely driven. And you’re extremely driven to grow a very successful business. And I know that all of you are extremely capable of doing that.

And I also know that this has translated to probably quite a bit of success already in your life. But for whatever reason when it comes to your business you might be in a place right now where you feel stuck. Or you might be in a place right now where you know you’re capable but things might be taking longer than you would hope for. And you might be feeling some frustration.

I also know that you’re probably seeing lots of other examples. You’re seeing others in the industry that are doing what you know you can do but for whatever reason your results just haven’t gotten there. So what I want to say is this. It starts with your identity. And it doesn’t matter what we call it. In order to create the results that we want on the external we have to first make the significant changes on the internal at the level of our identity.

So one of the distinctions that I think is really important to explain as it relates to identity is how does this differ from self-image? And so the best way that I can simplify this is this. I like to think about identity as the whole picture. I like to think of it as the entire picture of who we think we are, based on what we just talked about, while self-image is usually only one part of that picture. So self-image tends to be the personal view or the mental picture that we have of ourselves.

So if we go back to the example of myself that I shared with you earlier. The reason that I was so surprised when I watched myself on video was because up until that point in time those mannerisms, I didn’t have an awareness to them. They were part of my identity but they weren’t part of my self-image. And so the mannerisms that I observed as I watched the recording back weren’t part of the self-image that I held of myself. But the truth was, is that it was part of my identity. It was part of my subconscious. I just didn’t have awareness to it.

So if you think about this for yourself, if you think about and consider the different aspects of your own personal identity right now and you think about your own self-image. There are going to be parts of you, part of your identity that you’re likely not even aware of. Yet again these are the things that are driving us on a daily basis. So let’s consider this for a moment in terms of your business.

And I’m going to give you a few key questions here that you can ask yourself that can help you start to uncover your own identity and how that might be impacting your growth in your business and in your life right now.

So here’s the first question. So the first question I want you to consider is this, number one, what do my results in my business or in life tell me about my current identity? So I want you to take a look at the results that you currently have. And I don’t want you to judge them. I want you to get really curious and just look at them right now. I want you to observe them objectively and to write down what your results are. So go ahead and write that down. I want to encourage you to sit with this question and really allow yourself to observe what comes up for you.

The second question I want you to ask yourself is how might my current identity be limiting the impact that I want to make through my business? So in other words, what parts of my identity could be holding me back right now for me either pursuing or showing up perhaps in a way in my business that I already know would take things to the next level? And again I want you to be objective and non-judgmental as you’re writing this down.

And thirdly, after you’ve identified these things I want you to also consider, what would need to change on an identity level in order for you to really grow into who it is you know that you need to be in order to go to that next level? I also want to encourage you to get really specific with this. So go ahead, write these down, sit with these questions, journal them out. Keep your notes handy because we’re going to be diving into this even deeper in next week’s show.

Alright my friends, I hope you have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you all again very soon. Take care. Bye bye.

Hey, if you’re ready for a real breakthrough in your business and want to grow and scale your business to at least six figures or more in annual revenue, I invite you to apply for my exclusive program, The Mastermind at amandakarlstadcoaching.com/the-mastermind. I look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Life Coach Business Podcast. If you want to learn more about how to build, grow and scale your business and accelerate your results, visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com.


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