You are listening to The Life Coach Business Podcast with Amanda Karlstad episode number 88.
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. Welcome to the show. I’m so glad to have you with me today. I am really looking forward to our episode today. I have to tell you it’s a big one. So today’s episode is part three in a series I decided to create which is called the identity series. So if you’ve been listening along, that’s amazing. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you go back and listen to part one and two. Today’s show is the final episode in this three part series. I’m very excited to talk to you today all about what we’re going to talk about.
So I want to share with you that as I was thinking and preparing for today’s episode, I started thinking about a very important shift in my life that happened five years ago this week. I want to share a bit of that with you today because I think it really ties into the topic. That topic is how to create your identity on purpose.
So the more I thought about what I’m about to share with you, where I was five years ago, and what was happening at that time, what was happening in my life, who I was at the time. I can absolutely say that where I am today and who I am today while is in some ways obviously is very much the same, but in other ways I’m significantly different. The truth is is that different and the intention behind that different that I’m going to share with you is really what led me to where I am today. It’s led me to have created the business that I have created today. To the life that I have today. It’s a very, very profound thing.
So five years ago this week, I was in what I considered to be my dream job. Literally. So for many years, over 15 years, I had spent the majority of my career working in higher education.
For those of you who don’t know my background, I worked for two of the largest educational institutions, and really helped to drive the growth of those institutions over the years to a point where really, they were leading the market. Where they were two of the largest educational institutions that were truly, when I look back and still are in some ways, very much on the leading edge. Really leading the way through their programming, through distance learning, through curriculum, adult education, all sorts of things. Very, very highly innovative institutions.
I was really passionate about my work. The truth was is that I really did love my job. I loved being able to work for such a purpose driven organization. I loved the mission. I loved my role. I loved the fact that I had a great team. I loved leading that team. I loved coaching employees. I loved developing new curriculum. I loved developing and delivering leadership development programs. I loved the students. I learned so, so much, and I grew so much in that time.
So if you would have asked me five years ago what I was thinking, in so many ways I would have told you that I had arrived. The reason I’m sharing this with you is because the truth is is that five years ago, I really didn’t believe that there was anything better. I really didn’t believe that from a career aspect that I could do much better to be honest.
I remember thinking at times that if for whatever reason I wasn’t able to do what I was doing, what would I actually do? The truth was is that I honestly had a really hard time coming up with an alternative. I had a hard time coming up with what that would even look like because I was so passionate about what I was doing. Because, like I said, I truly enjoyed what I was doing. I had thought I had made it in so many ways.
So what happened five years ago this week and when I look back really was the catalyst to put me on the path that I’m on today to owning my practice. To now working with my own private clients. What happened was is it was announced that there was going to be a major restructure that was happening. Through that restructuring, a large majority of the campuses would be affected. The campus that I was based in, unfortunately, was one of those that were impacted.
So it led me to make some pretty big choices. So the choices as I saw them at the time were to continue on that same path that I was on. So that would have likely required me to relocate. It would have required to probably move somewhere else and continue on that path or move to another institution completely. So I put myself in a similar role, just maybe a different institution. Or I had the choice to leave the industry completely. What I decided to do was I chose to leave.
So these types of career transitions happen a lot. I know that a lot of people, many of you listening even, have likely switched industries, have made some big decisions as it relates to your career. You’re probably in the process right now as you’re working to build your business. Many of you, if you’re still working in your corporate career, you’ve got some big decisions to make. So these are significant life and career decisions.
I want to go a little bit deeper than that because what’s really significant when I look back at that experience, when I look back at that decision that I made is the experience that I then had in terms of the identity shift that I was truly forced to make. So when I made the decision to leave, when I decided to walk away from a career that I had literally been building for almost two decades. Literally the majority of my career. I had poured a lot of my time, my energy, my life force into that career. Into the work, into my teams, my employees, my students.
I quickly became a stay at home mom for a few months. That was by choice. It was a choice that I made to what I lovingly refer to as really my own personal sabbatical. So I really choose to take some time off, and essentially recalibrate and really decide what I wanted to create, what I wanted to become next in my career.
So I took about six months off. What happened during those six months of that sabbatical was truly life changing for me. It was really the start of what I also refer to as my spiritual awakening. There have been so many spiritual aspects of this process. So many interesting and just fascinating things that I’ve experienced as a result of making the decision to walk away. As a result of making the decision to step into coaching full time and launch my practice.
It’s why I tell my clients all the time that building a business, I believe, is one of the most spiritual journeys you can go on. I believe this because building a coaching business or any business for that matter is extremely personal. It is that way because of what it requires from you. Because of what you will need to confront in that process. Because of how you, in so many ways, are forced to grow in that process. It’s who you really do become in this process.
I want to tell you that this shift happened over a long period of time. This shift by no means did not happen overnight. It didn’t take weeks. It didn’t take months. It’s honestly something that’s still ongoing. It’s something that’s taken me years of work to become who I am today. To become both the coach that I am and the leader that I am. It’s required a lot. It’s required a massive shift in my identity, and it requires daily work.
The honest truth is that I don’t expect it to ever stop, nor do I want it to. Because I truly think that if you’re not willing to do this work that we’re going to talk about today, if you’re not aware of or willing to do the work, I think you really risk losing out on who you could be. On the opportunity that you have to become who it is that you most want to be. To what you can really create in this world. The life and the business you really want to build. There is so much potential that is available to you, that’s available to everyone. So this is why I say today’s episode is a big one. Because this is, I think, some of the biggest work that we have to do in our lifetimes.
So in the last two episodes, in episode one if you haven’t listened, I talked all about what identity is. I talked about where it comes from, why it’s so important to consider your identity, why it’s so important to understand where it comes from. So, again, if you haven’t listened to that episode, I do recommend you go back and listen to that episode.
Then in last week’s episode, so in episode two of this series, I talked about how to identify your identity. How to really become aware of what your identity really is, and also a process on how you can start to unpack that identity for yourself. So I talked a lot about how to become aware of your belief systems and how to become aware of the conditioning that you’ve experienced. In most cases, those experiences that you’ve had at a very young age, and how that’s really impacted you. It’s created the results that you have today.
So it’s really important for all of you listening to understand this, and to understand the role that your subconscious mind plays into your identity. So please go ahead and if you haven’t, go back, listen to those episodes. Okay? But let’s talk about today. Let’s talk about how to create your identity on purpose. How to create what I’m calling an intentional identity.
The reason I think this topic is so important is because as humans, we are very much programmed to live from our past. I’ve explained this in depth in this series. We’re very focused on who we think we are and what we’re capable of, and we looked to our past to answer that question. But here’s the crux of the matter. Our past can’t answer that question.
Because when it comes to the future, when it comes to thinking about the future that you want to create and the possibilities, the possibilities that you have are endless. They’re limitless. I want you to really consider that because the capability of your future when, unfortunately, we let our subconscious identity that in so many ways have served us to a certain point in our lives. They’ve certainly served us to a certain degree in our lives.
But when it comes to building a business, when it comes to making this shift in identity, which by the way for all of you will be required in some shape or form. The capacity of our future is being based solely on what our current identity is. The truth is that in most cases, that identity is extremely outdated. It’s literally been passed onto us from others. It’s been passed on from parents, grandparents, whoever was significant in our lives as we were growing up had such an impact on that identity that we hold.
So what does this really have to do with building a business? Well, let me tell you. When it comes to building a business, if you haven’t figured this out yet, you will. It requires massive action. Building a business requires a whole new level from you as the business owner. It requires you to do things that you’ve never done before.
What happens is that so often when we start on this journey and even when you’ve been in this journey for a while, there is such a strong tendency because of our identity to default to the past. To then live from the past from the evidence of the past that we have versus intentionally creating the future. This is such an important distinction to make. So rather than defining yourself from the future from where you’re going, instead we end up defining ourselves from the past. Because of that, we put limitations on the future that are based on the past.
So I want you all to just think for a moment about this because when you really get this, you can start to see this everywhere. So take, for instance, if you ask someone how they are, right? The typical answer is, “I’m good. Or I’m all right. Maybe I’m okay.” Right? Something along those lines. What’s happening is that person is typically answering from the present, or they may be answering from their past, right?
So the majority of our society is not consciously aware of how their past is affecting their present. How that’s affecting their future. Because the way that our brain works, it’s offering up continuously what we hold in our subconscious at the level of our identity. That’s how we ultimately shape our present. It’s how we ultimately shape our future.
But what I want to offer you here is that you have the ability to create your present and your future from your intentional thought creation. From the intentional identity you decide based on what you want to create. You can define yourself. You can define your life. You can define your business in your future. You can look to your future to define that for you right now. This is extremely powerful. You all have the opportunity right now to live from that future. You have the opportunity to become the coach, to become the business owner that creates the results that you most want.
So if you want to build a million dollar coaching business, for example. Which if you do by the way, you are my people. You are in the right place. But I need you to understand that you first have to live from the future. We can’t expect to create that result from the past. We have to decide first what we want that future to be. You can define yourself by where we’re going. You can define yourself by who you are becoming.
So if you want to create a future that’s better than your past, you have the opportunity to define yourself by that future. You can define your identity based on where you’re going. One of the most powerful byproducts when you’re doing this is who you actually become in the present moment. When you truly define who you are becoming and what your identity is that’s based on that future, one of the most powerful byproducts is who you become in the present.
So let’s talk about how to actually create your new identity. How you can create that intentional identity on purpose. So the first question you need to answer is this: who do you most want to become in this world? This is also going to answer the question “who are you?” This will define your new identity.
The next question I want you to consider is what do you most want your future to be? I want you to really consider these two questions. Here’s why. One of the most important questions that I think we can answer and spend time with, but that honestly, we don’t give a lot of serious consideration to is this. That question is what do you truly want? What do you truly want to create in the world? What contribution do you truly want to make?
The reason for this is because we continuously base our thoughts and we’re reacting to circumstances based on what we know. Based on the past. The real switch is we have to intentionally create this future with purpose.
So you can answer these questions however you want to answer these questions. How powerful is that? Now, let’s talk about the resistance that you’re all going to experience when you’re going through this process. So when you intentionally decide to shift your identity so that it’s not based on your past, but it’s based on where you’re going. The truth is is that you will experience resistance. The reason you’re going to experience this resistance is because you already have the confirmation. You already have a mental construct of who you are, which is based on your past.
So as I’ve been talking about in this series, that identity, that mental construct of who you are is based on years, and in most cases decades, of programming, of unintention. So what will happen is you will have the confirmation of who you’ve been, but you’re also going to have this new imagined identity from your future that you’ve created.
For most of your listening, those two will not match up. So there will be resistance. But your work will be holding the intention, holding the image, imagining and envisioning and spending time with this new future, with this new you. It’s going to feel uncomfortable. It’s going to be uncomfortable because it’s not familiar.
So here’s one way that I recommend you approach this. I recommend that you approach this as if you were an actor. As if you were playing a part in a movie. When you think about the process of creating a movie, being a character in a movie, one of the ways actors do this is by becoming and acting as that character while they’re in production. While they are filming. Even if they’re not currently on set.
So what does that process look like? Well, the first step is that you have to write the script. You have to write who is that new you. So let’s say you want to become a life coach who creates a million dollar business. You’re a life coach that generates over a million dollars in revenue per year as a coach. The next step is to answer the question, “What does that version of you, what does he/what does she believe? What are the thoughts that I as a million dollar life coach have? What are the things that I’m doing? You have to get very, very specific about these things.
Once you have that script written out, once you have those details, that is when we memorize that script. That is when we spend time with that script. That is when we start to practice that script. That is when we start to feel that script. That is when we become that person now. That is where we start to be who we are becoming.
So the first step is to define who do you most want to become? Define what you want to desire, what you most want to create. Then I want you to write your script. Memorize that script and take action and do the exact things that your future self, that your new identity takes.
So here’s a good way, I think, to understand this. If we look for a moment at someone, for example, who is battling some type of addiction. So it could be alcohol, or it could be drugs, or it could be good or even sex. Whatever that might be. When you look at someone who had an addiction to something and if we use alcohol, for example. What happens is is that addiction takes up so much of that person’s mental space. So there’s so many thoughts in regard to when is that next drink or what does that next drink look like?
Versus, let’s think about someone who isn’t battling an addiction with alcohol. Someone who doesn’t desire alcohol. Someone that doesn’t have a problem with alcohol. So when you consider what is that person thinking about? The truth is that person is not likely thinking about alcohol. They’re not concerned with when their next drink is. They’re not concerned with what they’re going to drink. It really doesn’t take up any of their mental energy.
So the same is true here. If you want to become a million dollar life coach, then you must think and behave like a million dollar life coach. You have to think and behave like a million dollar life coach before the million dollars is in your back account.
Here’s what happens when you start to think like a million dollar life coaching. When you start to envision that future for yourself. When you start to make decisions like a million dollar life coach, you’re going to stay to feel the emotions of what that feels like. When you start to feel the emotions of what that feels like, you bring that future into the present. I think it is so amazing. Your future is literally a blank slate. Your identity is a blank slate. By the way, whatever you want that to be, you can create what you want. You don’t need any permission for it.
So who do you most want to be? I want you to answer that question truthfully, and I want you to start to envision this new identity for yourself. I also want you to know that as you do that, know that it’s already in the process of manifesting for you. It’s already in the process of becoming your new reality. This is so profound.
So when you imagine the possibility for yourself. When you are creating an idea that now exists and now it’s just a matter of time before it’s realized. As you memorize and you rehearse that script with your emotion. When you start to feel and do those things in that script, you will become that script. You will create that intentional identity. I encourage you to let that be your guide to live from your future identity. Be your future identity today.
All right my friends. Have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you all 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.