I recently just finished a podcast from The Tim Ferriss Show (yes, another one) where he interviewed Terry Crews!
You might know him from the NFL, or from one of his appearances in movies like The Expendables, Bridesmaids or White Chicks. The guy is a big deal, and he was hilarious, which made this podcast so fun to listen to. You can practically feel his energy radiating from the audio! I learned a lot of awesome things from this podcast, and I think one thing that can help a lot of people was his focus on how to be who you want to be.
Because, really, isn’t everyone searching to be their ideal self? I don’t know anyone who would be feel fulfilled by being less than their best. Terry said this concerning that topic, and it really spoke to me:
“Everything about you, you get what you want. Now, the way your life is, truthfully you want it… the truth is if you wanted something different you’d change it.” (44:30)
This hit me hard because he was right. We all have the power to change who we are, so if we aren’t changing, we must be okay with who we are. But, I feel like so many people are not remembering that they have this personal power in their lives. One thing I have learned throughout the years is that we are not complete victims of chance. Sure, things will happen that are out of our control, but the way we react is choice. Our inner-self is our choice. Your thoughts, your actions, your attitude… this is within your bubble of control. And Terry Crews hit it right on the nail: if you want something different you will change it.
What I think is even more powerful is what he elaborated on next, which is that who you believe you are – you will become. You have to be before you are.
“In order to have you have to do and in order to have you have to be.” (47:15) He had this realization after reading The Master Key System, and he credits it for creating a profound change in his life. “I always had dreams of like one day, I’m going to have money. And I said, wait a minute, I’m rich. I’m rich now. And this is the thing – didn’t have a penny. But, when you do things then you say ‘now that I’m rich what would a rich man do’…and I started doing things that rich people did. And once I did it, I had it.” (48:39)
This almost sounds too good to be true – do we really all have the power to be exactly the person we want to be? The answer is, yes. Look at it this way: If you believe you are not smart, you are going to have a really hard time acting like a smart person and performing like a smart person. You’re not giving yourself a chance! But, if you choose to embody the characteristics of a smart person and ask yourself – “what would a smart person do?” consistently, you will start to mold yourself into the person you want to be. And I know we can’t change the level of our God-given ability and talents, but we can change so that we are able to use them to the fullest capacity. I’m sure we all know that one person who isn’t naturally the smartest but works super hard and gets Straight A’s or achieves great success academically. They want to be a smart person, they are doing what smart people do, and as a result, they are achieving like a smart person. Even though science or the world may say they are not naturally smart, they have chosen to disregard that and be smart anyway. And this isn’t just left solely to intellect – sports, art, relationships, character traits, you name it!
Be → Act → Become
The most notable area that this is demonstrated in is your level of confidence. Amy Cuddy did an incredible Ted Talk called “Your body language may shape who you are” where she talked about how doing just two minutes in a power pose (one that is open, confident, and dominant) can significantly increase testosterone and decrease cortisol. Testosterone is often associated with confidence and dominance, while cortisol is known as the “stress hormone.”
In the opposite direction, spending two minutes in a hunched, fearful, and vulnerable pose decreases testosterone and increases cortisol.
So, just believing you are confident and holding a pose that demonstrates that significantly impacts your body physically so that you actually feel more confident. Just like Terry Crews said: if you be it, you will do it, and then you will have it!
This idea is confirmed in studies that evaluate what happens when an Alpha wolf has to be abruptly displaced by another wolf, and it has been discovered that within a few days the replacement wolf generates higher amounts testosterone and lower amounts of cortisol. Amy Cuddy explains this physical change by saying “role changes can shape the mind”, or in other words, who you believe you are can actually change who you are.
And you might be thinking: This seems fake.
And I’m here to tell you: You’re right.
Trust me, I know. I’ve utilized this tactic for the majority of my life. But what I’ve realized is that the best way to reap the rewards of this strategy is to not over-think it and just do it. It might feel fake at first, but trust it, and like Amy Cuddy said in her Ted Talk: fake it till you make it.
Amy Cuddy elaborates more on this by talking about the devastating car crash she was in when she was nineteen. You can watch the whole video here, but I will summarize it quick, too. After waking up from her crash, she was devastated to find out that her IQ had dropped by two standard deviations. Despite the presumed loss of intelligence, she climbed her way back and was able to attend Princeton University. However, she felt like an imposter. Convinced she wasn’t smart enough, she told her advisor that she was quitting, and her advisor replied:
“You are going to stay, and this is what you are going to do: you are going to fake it… until you have this moment where you say ‘Oh my gosh, I’m doing it.'”
Eventually, she ended up teaching at Harvard University, where a student was experiencing the exact same thing she had been going through. The student came up to her and said: “I’m not supposed to be here.”
And that was when she realized she didn’t feel that way anymore. She had become it.
Just like Terry Crews, Amy Cuddy, and so many other incredibly successful people in this world… you can become who you want to be. I truly believe this. Question what you think is holding you back because odds are that it is all in your head. Even if it feels fake, be it so you act like it and one day you will have your moment where you realize you have become it.
There is no better time than now. Who do you want to be?
Ferriss, Tim. “Terry Crews – How to Have, Do, and Be All You Want.” The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss, The Tim Ferriss Show, 20 Dec. 2017, tim.blog/2017/12/20/terry-crews-how-to-have-do-and-be-all-you-want/.
TEDtalksDirector. “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are | Amy Cuddy.” YouTube, YouTube, 1 Oct. 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc.