In Brendon Burchard's book, The Charge, he explains that how we think of ourselves (our self-image) is often congruent with how we behave.
For example, if we think too little of ourselves, it causes us to act timidly in "real life". But when we set our intentions on who we want to be in life, our behaviors are more likely to follow.
One way to set your intentions on who you want to be in life is to list three words that will, from now on, define the trait of who you are as a person -- who you are today and who you want to become.
I chose these three words:
Although it's an over-used term, to me being passionate means being enthusiastic, energetic, positive, optimistic, interested in others, interested in ideas, and of course, living a life filled with love! I'm passionate about:
Eating pasta. All the pasta. Every day the pasta. On a trip to Sicily recently I took more photos of pasta than I did of anything else. I'm always thinking about eating it, and even when I'm eating it, I think about when I'm going to eat it again next.
Cats. Our fospice cat, Sydney, is 19 years old and not dead yet -- what a legend! My husband and I could talk about how cute and amazing and fluffy-cheeked Sydney is all day long.
Travel -- if I'm not on holiday, I'm planning one, much to the chagrin of my American boss who doesn't quite understand the Aussie obsession with travel. In the past year I've been to Sicily, London, Mexico, San Diego, L.A., Chicago (twice), Yosemite, Big Sur and all over northern California. I'm going to Hawaii in a couple of weeks and then back home to Australia over Christmas!
As for bold -- I put that one in because for a long time I've said things like this to myself: "I'm just an accountant. I'm very risk adverse. I don't like to make mistakes. I don't like to fail. It's better to stay safe and comfortable."
For me being bold means being courageous and standing up for what I believe is right. I've always been opinionated and I've made the decision to stand up for what I believe in (like I have done with gender equality) and make myself heard even when I'm scared.
Living in San Francisco, I'm surrounded by people who either work at or consult to companies like Google, Apple and Facebook. These companies have changed the world through their innovation. Being innovative always seemed destined for other people -- creative people, techie people, imaginative people, people with "original" ideas. Not a boring goodie-goodie "square" like me.
To me being innovative means that I'm a creator. So I've been creating things through my words and my writing. And on Monday this week I bit the bullet and signed up to an eight-week course to create and perform my own solo performance (eek!). As Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Big Magic, "most things have already been done -- but they have not yet been done by you ... Once you put your own expression and passion behind an idea, that idea becomes yours."
I recently participated in a group exercise where we had to describe each other. This was the first time the group had met in person, although I had done a three-months course with them online and over the phone. These were the words used to describe me (I've grouped them as the relate to my three chosen words):
Passionate: Passionate, Lively, Energetic, Contagious, Magnetic, Follows her heart
Bold: Brave, Courageous, Determined, Decisive, Driven
Funny how once you start to see yourself in a different light and take action to make your beliefs a reality, others start to see it, too!