Friends, today I bring you Show #339 and the title is “You are what you’re TOLD you are”. Did you hear that? You are simply, for better and/or worse, what you’re told you are. And who tells you who you are? Two people:

  • Others
  • You

That’s it. Other people have told you what they think you are, or what they think you should be. And you have obeyed and are living accordingly. Because you agree. Which means you’ve taken what has been given you and then jumped on board and told yourself what and who you are.

So today, in this show, you have the charge to decide if you are in agreement or not, and if you need to tell yourself something different. AND…if you can be a catalyst for telling others what they are. What more they are than they currently believe.

Which means in regards to you, and others, it starts with you. You must be the catalyst.

Which brings up Zig Ziglar’s infamous self-talk cards. That you can get at anytime, absolutely free atziglar.com/show/selftalk. Folks, go get them. They’re free, we aren’t selling anything. I get testimonies every week on them. Here is one that is dramatic.

Josh Allred writes in just this week, with this:

“I have been doing the self talk cards for 4 weeks. I visualize what Tom said about watering down road rash. Slowly watching the pieces fall away to cleanse the wound. I struggle with confidence and in my own abilities. Although I am outspoken, my own self talk can be crippling at times. Things like “You can’t do this. You are too scared. You are not good enough. You don’t deserve that.” have haunted me for a number of years. My father was abusive both verbally and physically for most of my life. His marriage with my Mom had taken a nose dive in 2008. He had been mixing anti-depressants with alcohol and drugs for a few weeks. He would lose control, go into total rage to even physically abusing members of the family. Before he would black out he would say every hurtful thing you can think of. I can’t even describe how horrible this time in our lives were. My Dad wouldn’t remember a thing that happened. When he died on Christmas Eve, 2008 (I was 22), our final conversation was an argument where he proceeded to into one of his rages. Everyone left the house. He was alone. He left messages on my phone that were hurtful. The next morning I woke up and had over dozen messages of hateful words from him. Things like “you’ll be sorry.” I am not sure all of the circumstances of what happened that night but he did overdose, questions of his intent or whether he lost control will never be answered. As you can imagine this left a huge wound that took years to heal. It is now a scar I can look back on. I was making choices that where not best for me and had my own struggles. The way I looked at it was there was no choice but for me to make changes in my life. I didn’t want to follow in my Dad’s footsteps. I ended moving out of state, slowly put my life back together. I had a few friends and mentors that help guide me to a better path. I found God and a testimony. I met my wife. I finished my degree. I’ve accomplished more in the last 7 years than I thought I ever could. One of the last effects from this point in my life is the negative talk that goes through my head. Often when something happens this voice comes in telling me I don’t believe I could accomplish a certain task. I wouldn’t let it stop me but it made everything that much harder. This self talk has helped silence this voice in my head. From time to time it still comes but I am able to quickly shut it out with the words from the cards. I walk more confidently, stand taller, and look at myself in a better way. Thank you for the cards. They have helped me be a better person. I won’t be stopping them anytime soon and hope someday in the near future to put to bed this negative self talk completely.”

Wow. That hit’s right at the core of our essence, doesn’t it? Some of you out there can relate completely. Some of you will hear that and think, ”Dang. I had it good.” But did you? You could have less blatant criticism that has and is undermining you. Or seemingly positive encouragement that imprisoned you!

Either way, most anyone and everyone has been told things that have caused damage. Maybe you believed them, or maybe you didn’t at face value, but they haunt you. Let’s start changing this today.

Ok, here then is a 13-minute clip from Zig, and the entire show:

Zig leads off citing stand-out pro athletes that, through traditional measurements, didn’t perform well. But listen to that. Not merely pro athletes, but STAND OUT pro athletes. Hall of Famers. They didn’t stand out according to normal measurements. But if you looked closer, they eclipsed and outperformed everyone though unconventional measurements. And they became legends.

Some things you just can’t measure through the normal, expected measurements.

Where are you today, where you’ve measured yourself against the normal measurements, and you don’t come out on top? But you know you outshine the competition in some aspects? You may have an inkling , but not be clear.

Tom, don’t you think that often, to see where and how you shine, it’s nearly impossible to have clarity on it yourself? You need to look to others? You often need outside help to see your glory, don’t you think?

> > Hear Tom’s response in the show

I’m going to take a quick rabbit trail from our topic here, because in the message from Zig he mentioned something I just couldn’t let go astray. He talked about him being a professional salesman, knocking on thousands of doors. But he tells us he never got excited about the idea of knocking on doors. He did it because that’s one of the things he had to do, to make sales. He believed in the product. He liked helping people and influencing them to something that would serve them well. He liked human engagement. But it all started with something he didn’t relish.

The notion of finding work you just adore and it’s just play and fun…is a tragic myth. If it is to be fulfilling, it WILL be challenging. If it’s of value, it will require overcoming challenges and resistance. The work I’ve loved the most that has served people the most and benefited me the most and even made the most money, has entailed HARD work and a bevy of duties that I most certainly did NOT enjoy.

Tom, in today’s marketplace, I don’t see Zig being one of those purveyors of seeking work that is merely play. My best play doesn’t involve the pressure of big results and revenue and providing to others. That is still work. Play is play, just fun. Does this line up with what you saw from your Dad and experience in your own life?

> > Hear Tom speak of digging deep wells.

Let’s talk about encouragement. Zig jokes about the person who says, “I’m going to tell you something for your own good?” Why do we primarily focus on constructive criticism? Why do we not offer…constructive praise? As a charge to say to someone, “I’m going to tell you something for your own good. I just have to tell you, you are amazing at __________. When you do _______ it is just inspiring. I can’t imagine doing ________ so effortlessly. I just think you should be aware that you inspire and impress me with your ability, I can’t imagine being able to do that so easily.”

I’m one that believes people can do more. I expect they can do better. Which sounds great, doesn’t it?! And it is, when used appropriately. I have a testimonial wall that gives credence to this quality in me. But I also have caused wounds. It also causes me, especially to those close to me, to naturally not be encouraging of what they are doing NOW! I encourage them on what MORE or BETTER they can do. Which means, they are never good enough now. They aren’t acceptable now. If you are my spouse or my child or close friend or team member, you aren’t getting kudos for who you are and what you are doing today. I take that for granted and am focused on what more you can do and how you can do better.

And I do it to myself. I’m not naturally at peace with who and where I am today, but only on where I could be and where I want to be. That is not peace and acceptance.

Tom, do you think true encouragement starts with affirming who someone is, right now? And isn’t that something we can all do for others…now?

> > Hear Tom’s answer in the show.

Ok, I’m going to throw you something I’ve grappled with Tom. I’ve had it said to me, “You should encourage others! It costs you nothing!” And you know what, I don’t agree. It does cost. Sometimes it’s hard to encourage someone who…we struggle with. if someone truly impresses and wows us, it’s easy to encourage. But for the everyday people in our everyday life, we often are acutely aware of their shortcomings. To encourage them amidst their lack, and even things they do that frustrate us, is hard! It feels like it may be false. What do we do with that?

> > Hear Tom’s answer in the show.

Zig talks about the courage of Jerry in the story. The courage she had in taking the first step. It reminded me of the movie ‘We bought a zoo’, where the character Benjamin Mee says, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s going ahead despite the fear. So can you have the courage, to encourage…someone else. Despite all their flaws. Can you have the courage to encourage yourself, regardless of your failings? Shakespeare said, “The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.”

It’s been often said, “If you want friends, be a friend.” Tom, is it fair to say, “If you desire true encouragement, then start by giving others…encouragement!?”

> > Hear Tom’s answer in the show.

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