The Cure For Mistaken Identity

Woman overlooking Manhattan. Know your worth. When I met with this architect, she was scared to raise her fees. “If you SEE yourself as young, new and not able to command high fees, then how do you expect your clients to respond? Even at this low rate they are questioning your fees. Your problem is your fees are too low because you have a mistaken identity.” Discover the mindset strategy she now shares with Muhammad Ali and the other greats who BE - DO - HAVE.

Of all the Big Idea Letters I have written about marketing, I think THIS letter is the most powerful of all.

The cold hard truth is, you can have all those golden tickets, and still fail if you do not know what you are about to receive today. Those golden tickets are just marketing strategies … but there is something even more powerful.

Your life will change, with this little secret, but not until you release yourself from the curse of mistaken identity.

Let me explain …

I suspected my first nervous architect client wasn’t earning what she was worth, so I asked her a series of questions to find out why.

“Out of ten, how do your fees compare with other architects – 10 being most expensive?”

“4 out of 10,” she replied.

“Okay, then how do you rate yourself when compared to other architects on ability?”

“8 out of 10” was the answer.

“Why are your fees 4 out of 10 when your ability is 8 out of 10?”

Then the architect gave me the real answer.

“Because I am a small business, I am a woman, I am young, we have low overhead, and people wouldn’t hire me if I charged what a large firm architect charged.”

The real answer was not the excuses she gave me for low fees, but the beliefs behind her answers. So I challenged her.

“What do your overheads have to do with your fee? What does your age or gender have to do with your fee? How do you know they wouldn’t pay you what you are worth?”

I continued my rant. “Here is the problem. If you are going to charge like a 4 out of 10 architect, no one will thank you, they will just SEE you as a 4 out of 10 architect. AND the people who want an 8 out of 10 architect won’t call.

“If you SEE yourself as young, new and not able to command high fees, then how do you expect your clients to respond? Even at this low rate they are questioning your fees.

“Your problem is your fees are too low not because of the reasons you gave me but because you have a mistaken identity.”

I knew this because I had made the same mistake myself. But before I tell you my story of mistaken identity, you must understand how your mind works.

Imagine this …

What color is the front door of your house? Once you have your answer, say it out loud. Come on, out loud!

Now consider what you did inside your mind just then. Allow me to read your mind …

Here’s what you just did.

  1. You visualized the front door in your mind.
  2. You looked at the image of the door.
  3. You saw the color and verbalized the color.

We do these quick visualizations ALL the time and don’t even realize it. If I ask you to tell me who your favorite singer is, notice how you quickly see that person when you think of him or her. Favorite food – wooosh, there it is, an image in your head for you to look at. The image may not be crystal clear but it is there.

One of the most important images to flash into our heads is what comes to mind when we think about ourselves. If I asked, “Who are you? Describe yourself to me,” what images pop into your head? Are they images of great success, or of failure, or a mix of good and bad? Do you see yourself as a winner or a struggler, a family person or a professional? Do you see yourself as addicted to work, coffee, a digital screen? As old or young or what? You might call it “realistic” but is it?

Realistic Thinking 

The image you see automatically determines how you SEE yourself, which then drives your DECISIONS, which drive your ACTIONS, which drive your RESULTS

That natural sequence is the problem because if my results are what I want then I am stuck in a downward cycle.

Stinking Thinking

When I was 20, I was a highly ambitious but frustrated cricket player. While I was playing for my local club, I was unable to make the professional team in my area.

Motivation was not the problem as I was doing more than anyone else, but it felt like I had hit a glass ceiling. My uncle said, “You may have to accept that playing club cricket may be the highest level you reach.” That felt like a punch in the stomach because, secretly, that thought was what I feared most … but dare not admit.

When I thought of my situation, all I could see were images of myself trying even harder and being more frustrated and disappointed by the selectors who chose others ahead of me.

Then one day, a thought popped into my mind. I don’t know where it came from, but as soon as I heard it, I knew it was powerful. This statement has shaped my life ever since.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A CHAMPION

YOU HAVE TO THINK LIKE ONE FIRST

As soon as I contemplated that statement, I took this to mean that if I wanted to be a professional cricketer I needed to think like one FIRST. As if I was already there. Not “wanting,” not “hoping,” but already in possession of that outcome.

I looked at myself. Was I doing that? Was I thinking like a professional cricketer? No way.

Suddenly I realized that the problem was not the selectors, not my dumb luck or a glass ceiling, but the problem was me. My results were in alignment with who I saw. When identity and reality are in conflict, identity will always win.

‘BIG Thinking’

Psychology calls it “visualization,” NLP calls this process “future pacing,” religion calls it “faith,” movie makers called it “The Secret.” I call it “BIG thinking” (“Bathing In Glory”).

To my horror, I realized I was SEEING myself as a struggling, unlucky cricketer, working harder than everyone else but never making the cut. Based on my results, this image was accurate but now I realized that ACCURATE, reactive thinking – using current results to determine my self-image – was not going to change my results. It would only lock them in place, and had. The “accurate image” was only reinforcing the reality I was trying to escape.

I wasn’t thinking like a champion. I was thinking like a loser. 

“Nothing is impossible for a man 

who refuses to listen to reason.” -Gary C. Halbert

The path forward was clear: I needed to SEE myself as I wanted to be, not as I was based only on my results. My identity needed to be proactively created based on my goal rather than a reflection of the current reality. So I decided I needed to think like a professional cricketer NOW. Not “IF” or “WHEN,” I achieved the goal.

This new thinking would not happen by itself. My mind needed to be trained to see myself using new images “as if” I had already become a professional. How would I think, move, speak, behave, train, feel if I were already there?

I began to think, act and feel as if I were a professional cricketer, like a kid pretending to be a hero.

It was tough at first. I did not know what I looked like as a professional cricketer, I was only used to seeing myself trying to be one. So had to imagine and craft the images like an architect creating a stunning building on a blank piece of paper. To start, the images in my head were sketchy, but after a while and by adding detail and emotion, I could see everything. I could see myself as the player who was confident, successful, lucky. Within 30 days of crafting my new identity my new thinking became second nature, natural and automatic, not forced.

I could feel myself slowly becoming the person I was seeing. Now, the results were still not in line, but I could a sense of confidence and faith in myself that I’d never had before. Like I was on a path where my results were inevitable.

Breakthrough

I don’t know if I changed, or if the way people reacted to me changed, or if it was because I was feeling better about myself – maybe my training was more focused – but my results started to change. I became lucky, got selected and performed at the level I was thinking. Within only six months, I was selected to join a professional team.

Using the same approach, I went beyond just seeing myself as a professional cricketer and started to see myself as an international cricketer playing around the world. I adopted an even bigger self-image, just as an architect can design a large house almost as easily as a small one. 

My first international game was against Australia. Walking out in front of 60,000 people at the SCG and some of the greatest players to ever play the game was a surreal experience. Because I had only seen many of these players on TV, it was like I was watching a game on TV … only I was also in the game.

When identity and reality are in conflict, identity will always win.

But beware our identity can just as quickly drag us down.

An Old Identity Makes Lotto Winners Poor Again

Whether they win $500 million or $1 million, about 70 percent of lotto winners lose or spend all their money in five years or less.

Welsh-born Luke Pittard won US$ 1.9 million in 2006, but spent almost all of it on a trip to the Canary Islands, a wedding, and a house. A year and a half later, Pittard was forced to return to his job at McDonald’s.

“They all think I’m a bit mad but I tell them there’s more to life than money,” Pittard told the Telegraph in 2008. “I loved working at McDonald’s before I became a millionaire and I’m really enjoying being back there again.”

Lottery winners are more than three times likely to declare bankruptcy within three to five years than the average American.

Luke’s financial reality changed but not his identity and in the end, his identity won.

Sub 4-Minute Mile

Before 1954, the common belief was that man was not physically capable of running a mile under 4 minutes. The 4-minute barrier. It had never been done before … scientists claimed the human body was unable to stretch this far. For years, men had attempted to do so and failed.

John Landy, Roger Bannister’s closest competitor said,  “Frankly, I think the 4-minute mile is beyond my capabilities. Two seconds may not sound much, but to me it’s like trying to break through a brick wall. Someone may achieve the 4-minute mile the world is wanting so desperately, but I don’t think I can.”

On May 6th, 1954, Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute barrier. Under less than favorable conditions, he clocked the time of 3:59.4, becoming the first man to run a sub 4-minute mile.

After Roger Bannister ran the sub 4-minute mile, every athlete got on the track knowing that the 4-minute mile was humanly possible – that it could be done. 

John Landy then smashed the record with a 3:57.9 timing just 46 days after Bannister accomplished the feat. He had clocked multiple 4:02 performances before, but this was a full 4 seconds faster than his personal best.

To Landy, the 4-minute mile was not something he could see himself doing. But that changed when his rival accomplished the feat before his very eyes.

Since then, over a thousand runners have gone on to run the 4-minute mile. Today, the 4-minute barrier is the standard of all professional middle distance runners.

When identity and reality are in conflict, identity will always win.

‘I am the greatest, I said even before I knew I was.’ Muhammad Ali worked his ideal identity early. Ali trained himself to see himself as the man he wanted to be. His brainwashing was drilled in over and over again until he convinced himself he was the greatest. Once he persuaded himself, he was able to convince the world. 

‘I am the greatest, I said even before I knew I was.’ – Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali worked his ideal identity early. Ali trained himself to see himself as the man he wanted to be. His brainwashing was drilled in over and over again until he convinced himself he was the greatest. Once he persuaded himself, he was able to convince the world. 

 

BE DO HAVE

Most people live their lives in this order, DO-HAVE-BE.

They think that if they DO the right things, they will get to HAVE the things they desire and ultimately BE-come the person they want to be.

As you have discovered today, the secret to success is BE-DO-HAVE.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A CHAMPION

YOU HAVE TO THINK LIKE ONE FIRST

Everyone who enters our SIX Sunshine Island Express program is given a marketing system that is like a 700 horsepower Aston Martin Vulcan racing car. But everyone gets different results. Some drive around like race car drivers and change their lives; while others drive like a nervous grandmother in 2nd gear because that speed is as fast as they can see themselves traveling.

A heating system set to 70 degrees will switch off if the temperature rises above 70, and then, as the temperature drops below 70, the pump switches back on until 70 is achieved. 

If you SEE yourself as a mid-range architect earning $80,000 a year and fall below $80,000, you may start to get hustling, networking and finding projects to maintain your earning identity. 

If you start earning more than $80,000, then maybe you justify taking your foot off the accelerator just like a heat pump switching off as a room gets too hot.

How?

Maybe you resist calling yourself an expert for fear of what other architects will think.

Maybe you resist putting up your fees.

Maybe you do not promote your educational resources as actively as you should.

Maybe you resist connecting with people who could be outstanding Dirty 30 members because you don’t see yourself as their peer.

“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” –Mark Twain 

You cannot outrun your self image, but you do have the power to choose any image you wish. By choosing to see yourself as the person you want to become NOW and seeing your new self daily, you reprogram your subconscious and the world bends around you.

“Imagination is more important than intelligence.” –Albert Einstein 

Einstein knew the cure for mistaken identity is deliberately CHOOSING your identity based on your goals, not based on your current results.

When identity and reality are in conflict, identity will always win.

The most powerful force in the universe is our need to remain consistent with our self-image.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A CHAMPION

YOU HAVE TO THINK LIKE ONE FIRST.

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