EPISODE 81: “You Cannot Outperform Yourself”
How often have you set goals or wanted something badly only to find that you fail over and over in achieving it?
If you can say yes to the line above, you’re not alone, this is the pattern for most people and the cause is simple, people are setting goals for things that are not in their self-image. People are trying to perform at levels that are outside their self-image and subconscious identity.
Many years ago I remember hearing the motivational speaker Les Brown said, “You cannot operate outside of the context of the vision you have for yourself.” Which basically means, you cannot be, do or have what you are not.
In this episode I talk about:
There’s an old Tibetan saying, “What you are on the inside is what you are on the outside.” If you want more in your life you must BE more in life.
There is absolutely no escape from this concept. You must first be it in your mind before you can have it in your life.
You cannot outperform yourself!
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You're listening to episode number 81 of the Transform Your Life From the Inside Out podcast. In this episode I talked about self image, identity, and I talk about why you cannot outperform yourself. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start Transforming Your Life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation. And I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype. Because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life. Then this podcast is for you because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want, then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
You Cannot Rise Above Your Self-Image
The headline, you cannot outperform yourself. What does that mean? You know, when you hear that, what do you start thinking? So, what that really means is, is that whatever your self-image or your identity is, and you've heard me talk a lot about self-image in this podcast. I mean, go back to the very first couple of episodes where I talked about identity, whatever your self-image, slash, and I interchange the word self-image and identity, it's how you see yourself. Whatever your self image is and your identity is, you cannot outperform that. So the best example would be here and a very simple example, not the best, but a very simple, you know, example would be that however you see yourself in your mind, your unconscious identity, your unconscious paradigms, you cannot outperform that. So very simply, if in your mind you're poor, you know what, what a lot of people want to do is they want to outperform that by being rich or successful, or however they define that achievement or whatever it is. But the reality is you can't outperform yourself. You can't outperform your identity. And if your identity at an unconscious level, which this is why it's so vital that you shift this, if your identity at an, you know, your paradigm at an unconscious level is that you grew up a poor kid, then no matter what you do, you're always going to operate within the context of that identity.
You know, I've given this example before, and another episode and I want to share it again. I used to coach high end real estate agents, the top one percenters, people that made over a million dollars a year. And there was a market center where I coached and now I'm only telling you just the demographics kind of like, you know, I'm CYA-ing here. And I'm just being very politically correct because there's no reason not to be. But this area was predominantly upscale, wealthy, in this area is predominantly white. And I tell you that for a reason, because it's particular to the story. And there was a guy in this office that wanted to hire me as his coach. And this was about, I don't know, 5, 6, 7 years, I don't know when, several years back. And he was a very smart, very polished, very articulate, I mean, there's no reason that he couldn't be and I also put people through assessments when I work with them. And everything showed that there was no reason he could not be a top-producing real estate agent in this particular area. Now, what I want to point out is that the owners of this real estate branch, were very, very successful in the industry and nationally with a reputation and they were Caucasian. They were very, very wealthy. And this is what the guy said to me one time, the guy that wanted to go into coaching with me. He said, "I'm not like them. I am the poor Mexican boy from the other side of the tracks." Now I do believe that he also grew up in East LA or something like that. And the reason that I bring this to your attention is I mean, this guy was sharp. He was really a sharp, with-it smart, savvy kind of guy. And he could have done really well. But he couldn't outperform himself, and himself was the poor Mexican boy from the other side of the tracks.
In that same vein, another friend of mine, he, I'm not going to reveal because people might even know who he is. He's extremely well known in his industry, and his industry's online. That's all I'm going to say. And all of his friends, I mean, he's probably the best networker that I know. And all of his friends are well known multi, multi multi millionaires online. And one time he said to me the very same thing that I just mentioned about the other guy, because we're talking about how come all of your friends are multimillionaires and you're not?You have all this expertise at your fingertips. And he goes, "I guess I'm still the poor Mexican boy from X, Y, Z." Now, I'm just sharing, these are their words, not mine. But I use these very powerful stories to share with you is that neither these individuals at that point, neither could outperform their self-image. But I see this and I've mentioned here, you know, there was an interview that I did here another woman named Niduk and she was in one of the stories that I did several months ago. And she couldn't outperform that she thought people would judge her based upon her name. She didn't like her name. And personally, I like her personally. I like her very much. She's very successful. She's a student of mine. She's an amazing woman, amazing heart, and an all-around amazing individual. But she held herself back. She could not outperform which she doesn't have it anymore. But she could not outperform that self-image that she had a herself. And the self image was well, people are going to judge me for my weird name. And that kept her in a box for many years. So the whole point here, I think you're getting by this point is that whatever your self-image is, no matter what you think you want in life, and all of us want more. I mean, all of us are always wanting to go to a higher emotional state. But no matter what you want in life, you will never outperform your self image. That's why I think it's episode number five or so when I talk about subconscious reprogramming. That is why that is so so vital, that you learn to reprogram your subconscious mind, because you will never outperform, and by the way, your identity and your self image is held subconsciously. And by the way, also, I'm going to give you another slant at the end of this episode, but you will never outperform ever, no matter what you think you want, which is prefrontal cortex. left brain, you will never outperform your identity. And remember, and by the way, what is self-image and identity? Plain and simple, it's how you see yourself. I mean, I'm going to just make it as simple as I can, how you see yourself. And the two guys that I was mentioning earlier, and then the woman, look at how they were and notice how they were seeing themself, when in truth, they're all extraordinary. And by the way, they're all extraordinary people, and they're all doing amazing things today, but until they released themselves from that image they had of themselves of not being good enough, not being worthy, second-class citizen, Niduk's, you know, wherever she's from, and the name and all this kind of stuff, and her ethnicity, and her heritage, as long as they had and they held that in their self image, that was an invisible prison for them. So to recapitulate, your self-image is basically, plain and simple, your identity is how you see yourself.
I don't listen to motivational speakers anymore. Just not something in my universe. In my world of activity and things that I follow, but many years ago, I listened to a guy who I think is phenomenal. He's still out there speaking. If you want to listen to a motivational speaker, I think the guy is just phenomenal and I adore his work, is a guy named Les Brown. Les is extremely entertaining and has really good content for motivational speaking. And I remember in 1992, it's always stuck with me. And little did I know all these years later, that this would be one of the areas that I really focus on. But I remember in 1992, I was sitting in the audience, and he said, "You cannot operate outside of the context of the image you have for yourself." And that's basically what I've been talking about this entire episode and I talk a lot about in this podcast. But that exact verbiage, you cannot operate outside the context of the image you have for yourself, and that's your self-image and your identity and you cannot operate outside of that. Very quickly, because I know there's some inquiring minds out there and some analytical people and curious and people could wonder, "Well, you know, how do I create my identity? And how was my self-image created?" Again, really simple explanation, here's the process. When we pop out of the womb, we are for the most part, if we're sighted, we are video and audio cameras. And if you can hear, I mean, you're basically this, this little organic video camera and you're absorbing the world around you. And we start absorbing quite literally, and I don't know what cognitive science say. I mean, I used to remember all this, I don't anymore. But we start absorbing literally just the second we're in the world. And the way we form our self-image and our identity is through observation as small children. I mean, toddlers, one and a half, two years old is when I think we really really start. And we become a participant in that observation, about one year old or after, we're observing the world and w have experiences in the world and our families, our churches, our families, or our social gatherings, school, little later, daycare, whatever it is. And in these observations and experiences, we make interpretations. And then from these interpretations, which are generally survival mechanisms. At that point, our interpretations are the best interpretation to keep us safe, generally speaking. But we make interpretations. And then we talk about those interpretations, which is our story. The story becomes a belief. And then in that moment, we've created repetitive self-fulfilling prophecy, meaning that we tell a story and it reinforces the belief and the belief reinforces the story. And now we quite literally put ourselves in just this glass prison. And we live there for most of our lives.
You know, to give you an example, and I've shared this before, and, you know, I'm going to share it again a little, a very quick story about me. I did well all the way through my school years. I can't say I'm a fan of traditional learning. I mean, I did well, I'll put it that way. But I did obviously well in subjects that I'm really interested in, psychology, no doubt. And I was actually, I have a degree in Political Science and degree in psychology. And I did really well. I was at the top of my graduating class, even in a small town. And I struggled with math for many, many years. And my parents couldn't figure it out. They were like, how come you can make A's and everything else, every subject you can make A's in, but you actually make Cs math? We just don't get it. And I even failed algebra the first time that I took it. And my teacher said to me, he said, "You know what? You've got some block about math," because he said, "You know, you're a smart kid" and all the teachers knew other teachers. He's like, "You're a smart kid. What's your challenge with math?" And I always had this block, and I resolved that block because in 10th grade, we had a Japanese exchange student and she helped me in math that year, and I was in geometry class and I made the highest grade in my class. I mean a 99% which somebody might be like big deal. 99 I mean, come on, what about 100? But anyway, I made a 99 in the class. And when I made that 99, that dispelled belief, and it got rid of the block that I had, that math was hard for me.
Now, let me take you back to first grade with me, 1971 Stuart Place elementary school, Mrs. Schilling, I will always remember this. What she did is she actually put a paper down in front of me. And I think I was probably at that point, adding one plus two. Anyway, she put the paper in front of me and marked on it was a D. And this is what she said to me. She called me Jimmy. She said "Jimmy, you are not good at math." Now notice that imprint became part of my self-image and my identity and I had that experience. And then I made an interpretation about it. Now at that age also our analytical minds have not developed. So I didn't say, Well, what is this old lady? No. Are you kidding me? I'm great at math. I just have I, I was up late last night watching cartoons and I Love Lucy or whatever. And I didn't I didn't get enough sleep. And that's why that badly on this test, no, we don't analyze it that age. So what I absorbed was that an imprint from my experience with her is that I was not good at math. And that became my interpretation. Then what happened, it became a story. And then it became a belief. And then it became unconsciously perpetuating, self-perpetuating. And then I wasn't even conscious that this had even happened in first grade. And I lived from that self-image. Now, I tell you that story, because if you look at my story, my story pertains to you. But it might not be about math. It might be about you know, English. Or it might be about You're so clumsy, or it might be about money is always going to be hard for you. Or like I mentioned in a recent podcast, it might be about you know what, you're more trouble than you're worth, or who's going to want you, or you know what you're meant to be seen and not to be heard. So I don't know what applies to you. But these are all many, many ways that we are, imprints are created very early in age and they become prisons for us. And that's why this whole episode is about you can't outperform yourself. So let's say that you want to become more social, and sociable, but you have an imprint from early on that you should be seen and not heard. Well, then you're going to live in that glass prison because you can't out-perform the self- image.
Something I want to share with you here. And it's so profound. I mean, it's so gargantuanly profound that most people miss it is notice the sequence that I went through. We go through observations and then we have experiences and then we make interpretations. And then we create stories and we have beliefs and then it becomes unconsciously self-perpetuating. What I want to share with you here is that every bit of that is made up in your mind. Just let that sink in. Every bit of that is made up in your mind. You're living your life today, whether you have money or don't or health or wellness or whatever it is in the world. You're living by what was created in your mind, when you didn't even have enough intellectual capacity like you have now. The world quite literally programmed you to be who you are as a child, and specifically, mom and dad and grandma and grandpa and your siblings, they programmed you into the person that you are today. And if you don't like who you are, you don't have which we just did an episode on that self-worth. And if you don't like who you are because of the programming that you've been taught, or you don't have what you want, guess what, it's nothing more than programming that is all made up in your mind.
Something that I heard a lot, also from my parents, and I'm sure you did when it came to math is, oh, gosh, we've all heard this, live up to your potential, right? You've got to live up to your potential. Well, you will never and I'm going to speak in two terms here. But let finish my thought you will never live up to your potential. Why? Because your potential is unlimited. I mean, no one even knows what human potential is. Most people actually categorize potential based upon some kind of external validation, starting a company or winning a medal or this or that and that's still not your potential. I mean, I have seen over my years people do what we would call extraordinary things. I mean, extraordinary but all they're simply doing is living up into a higher potential than the masses. We've all heard that living up to your potential, and I mentioned this before, about an American Idol, I like watching American Idol. I don't watch much else on TV. And I'm not enjoying the new one so much anymore. But anyway, several years back, there was a guy named Phillip Phillips, who's relatively famous now who won American Idol. The next I don't know, two or three years later, another kid audition, and he was on the very first episode, and I watched the kid and I said, that kid can win this. And the judges were even like, yeah, that kid can win this. Now, I'm no musical expert, but I have a pretty good eye for just watching talent. And I guess prejudges I don't know if it was Keith Urban, and whoever else it was when they said, this kids win. And I'm like, Yeah, they just validated me. But and I was kidding. But anyway, the very last episode, the kid came in, I think fifth and in my interpretation when I talk about my musical ability, which personally I really don't have any personally, but when I saw the kid come in fifth. And what happened in the last episode, the season finale, Philip Phillips also played, and this kid played next to him. Now Philip Phillips had some years like two or three years of experience on him and he had already won American Idol. But this kid was mega talented as well. I mean mega talented. I mean, obviously the judges said he could win American Idol. And the thing was this, the kid was very rigid in his body language. I mean, Philip Philips just cut loose, of course, he had more experience. But this kid was very modulated and very rigid. His name was Sam wolf. And when I watched that, I'm like, here's the reason Sam Wolf, one of the reasons Sam wolf didn't win American Idol is because you know what he has as much potential as Philip Phillips, but he has a different identity than Philip Phillips. So consider that and just tie that back to yourself is that you will never outperform. And I'm saying it multiple times that you'll never outperform who you are. And if you want more, you must be more in your identity.
So this is what this episode is all about, you want more, as I alluded to earlier, a baby, we all, when I started the conversational loop is we all want to go to a higher state. I mean, babies cry, because they want to be held, they want to be nurtured, they want to be fed, or they want their diaper changed. They're crying because they want to go to a higher emotional state. And the same thing with you, you want to go to a higher emotional state in life. Everyone does. I mean, people who make $20,000 a year want to make $70. People who make $70 want to make $120. People to make $120 want to make $500 and the list goes on. So because we're always seeking growth, for the most part, and we're looking for higher emotional states, but the reality is its external world. And if you want to achieve the higher emotional state, in the context of having more things in your life, and I don't mean just inner happiness, I'm going to talking about the cars and the homes and the money and all that, you must first be it in your identity. Because again, let's repeat aloud is you cannot outperform yourself. You cannot outperform yourself. And wherever you are in the world right down whether you're in Australia or England or India or Peru, I mean, obviously podcasts are listened to all over the world. And whatever you're doing right now, whether you're running and jogging and washing dishes or working out, or doing homework or driving or whatever, wherever you are, is the 100%, airtight, direct result of your self image.
There's a Tibetan saying that I love and I've said it myself in my own way. But the Tibetans saying is that, "what you are on the inside, is what you are on the outside." Consider tha. What you are on the inside is what you are on the outside. And I tell people, it just dawned on me, my own phrasiology is if, "I don't have it on the outside, it's because I don't have it on the inside." I mean, this is 100%. There's no exceptions to this rule. Because life reflects you on the outside from who you are on the inside. So here's something that you can start doing. start observing your thoughts. I remember Kahlil Gibran reading and I don't know if you've ever read Kahlil Gibran but amazing work. I think he's the third most published poet in the world. But Kahlil Gibran said something along the lines of that your words are simply drippings from your mind. So, before I can give you a thought here, I was going to go into that, but I remember I don't know five years ago or so. I was at my acupuncturist, and he's not a busy guy by choice. I mean, he's retired now and he teaches kung fu. He's my is my kung fu teacher and Qi Gong and Tai Chi and he does acupuncture. And by the way, if you haven't done acupuncture, I have I've gotten personally extraordinary results from acupuncture in many areas of life. When he puts the pins in me, by the way, they're not needles, people call them needles. They're literally as thin as a piece of hair. But when he puts pins in me, he'll set a timer for like 45 minutes and he'll leave and I'm in the room on the table, and I've got all these pins in me. It's quiet in the room that I'm in and I'm looking at the air conditioning vent and there's nothing in the room. He has a poster of the meridians in the body. But there's not much in the room and I'm observing all the places that my mind is going and then I even stopped myself and even said to myself like "Wow Jim, look at all the places that your mind is wandering while you're just sitting here on this table." So your mind literally wonders with you and your brain thinking and thoughts but your mind just wonder, wanders, not wonders, well wanders too but wanders aimlessly and it also wanders from your self identity.
There's been research on this and let's talk about identity and daydreaming very, very quickly here is that research has demonstrated that poor people actually daydream, and I'm going to use that word colloquially. But they actually think about, meaning they dream, they run through their mind, imagery and visualization. Poor people dream about staying poor. And that needs no defense when you look at the world, and we have families in the US on fourth generations of public assistance, why they perpetuate the poverty mindset. And rich people dream about staying rich, but why? This is all our identity that self-perpetuates. So think about that for a moment is your identity self-perpetuates.
So here's something that you can do. Take one day, just one day, grab a little bitty spiral notebook you know, the little two by three notebook you can put in your pocket with a pen, or use your phone in this day and age and just keep track of how many counterproductive, limiting thoughts you have throughout a day. Many of you are going to be shocked at your counterproductive negative self-sabotaging thought and the amount of thoughts you have on a daily basis and you're not even aware of it. And then what happens is this counterproductive self-sabotaging thinking just perpetuates itself as your identity because see, it comes from your identity, but you're not even aware that it's coming from your identity. That's what I would tell you to do. That would be the easiest thing to start with, is we can't change anything. We can't unless we have awareness. And you may not be aware and I'm, like I said, I'm a betting man. I bet you're not aware of the degree to how much self-sabotaging talk you have throughout a day and you're not even aware of it.
Many years ago I read a book, I don't even remember the name of the book. And now Dale Carnegie also says this in "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is "No complaining." And I remember that in this book, it was like a 10 day book. And here's your assignment for today. And it's no complaining for today. And I remember this was when I was waiting tables a lot of years ago. And I remember a guy said, and we were all friends, but a guy said "Jim, you're really quiet today." And I said, "Yeah, I'm reading this book. And day number one is no complaining." And he said with a grin, he's like, "Oh, well, that explains it." Because I think I used to be a complainer, no doubt about it. But I wasn't even aware at all. It took an entire day, to be aware of how much I was complaining. And I'm sure that you go through so much of your day, reinforcing your limiting self-image and identity. But by your self-talk, you remember, like Kahlil Gibran said, Is that your words are drippings from the mind, and you're not even aware of it. So that's where I want you to start. And then secondly, if you haven't downloaded it yet, go over to my website, jimfortin.com and download the Master Thoughts Formula, I have gotten more positive response from that program than pretty much anything I've ever created, free content that is. And in that program I talk about that you are not your thoughts, you are the thinker of your thoughts. If you're getting in any kind of counterproductive negative thinking, you're spiraling, you're getting into bad moods, go download the program, it's no charge. But in that program, I said, You are not your thoughts. You are the thinker of your thoughts. And I said, your thoughts are an illusion. Now, here's something that I want you to fully wrap your mind around, is that your self-image, your self-image that keeps you exactly where you are, and I'm just going to tell you most of you want more, a lot more than where you are. Your self image is a self-created illusion. Your life is made up in your head and you made it up starting by observation when you were 2, 3, 4 years old, and you're living today, in an illusion that's keeping you trapped. So I also want you to understand is that you have exactly what you have in life and in business, because, or you do not have because of the illusions of your mind.
So here's something else that I encourage that you do. I want you to imagine your life exactly as you want it. Not what you think you can have, but exactly as you want it. And now let's reverse engineer that. And I want you to ask yourself this question. First is what type of person would I be if I already had x, y, z? Consider that. What type of person would I be if I already had x, y, z, whatever it is that you want. Let's make this really simple. If you already had a lot of money, you would already be a rich person in your mind. And you could say, "Oh, well, no, Jim, people can win the lottery." I've already done an episode on that. And that research shows that when people win the lottery, and they actually are poor prior to winning very quickly, they're poor again. Why? Because we always revert back to our self-image. And I even mentioned the example of Mike Tyson, who made $330 million dollars in his career, and he's broke today. Why? Because he grew up poor, and he's poor in his mind. So ask yourself that question.
And then next what I'd like you to do is reverse engineer. And I've mentioned this in many other places, but I want you to write down on a piece of paper, if you're not driving, write down, and you're somewhere safe where you can do this is what do I want? Is it that I want $200,000 a year or 300 or 4 million, or you know, a great body, what do you want and then write that down. And then below that, I want you to write down what behaviors would create this outcome for me? That is your next question, what behaviors would create this outcome for me? Take a second write that down, or rewind.
Next would be, what skills or capabilities would I need to perform these behaviors to have this outcome? What skills or capabilities would I need to perform these behaviors to have the outcome that I want? And my brain is rabbit, you know, rabbit trailing a little bit here and that when I said write it down, rewind, you know what I'm saying here, just reminded me but when I was back in college and pledging a fraternity, and that's back when we used to use cassette tapes back in the 80s. One of the things that an active required me to do is to write down all the lyrics to REM's "It's the end of the world as we know it." Oh, my gosh, if I mean, REM the song, "It's the end of the world as we know it," I mean, it probably It took me, I don't know, I don't remember, like 10 days to play and rewind, play, rewind, play and rewind to get all the lyrics to the end of the world as we know it. Can't Google them like we can today. Anyway, it just popped to my mind.
Okay, so let's go back to what we're doing here at the podcast. Next, after that, I want you to write down what beliefs would I need, that would actually support the capabilities and skills that would support the behavior to get the outcome that I want? So next, obviously, we're looking at beliefs, what beliefs would I need? Write that question down. Now, the final question that I want to give to you is a question about identity. Who and how would I need to be to have these beliefs to have this capabilities to do this behavior to have the outcome that I want? Because see now what you're doing is you're creating from the inside out, not the outside in. What most of you are trying to do is you're trying to outperform your self-identity, and you're trying to start from the outside in. And I don't need to tell you that is a broken strategy for performance. Okay, so go back, rewind, rewind, go back and write those questions down. And I'm going to share with you right now that when you work within the answers that you wrote down, your life will automatically start to transform for you. If you work outside of those answers, guess what? Let's be honest with yourself, get out of self-deception, not much is going to change for you. So, your transformational takeaway this week, is that plain and simple is you cannot outperform yourself. You want higher performance, then you need to transform your self-image and your identity.
Okay, that's that wraps up this episode. And our next episode is a Monday episode Mari wrote in and said a question when I read the quote, when I read her email and read her question, I'm like, that is a question for a lot of listeners. And it actually is a way that many of them hold themselves back. Mari said, "How do I stop doubting myself?" So if you doubt yourself, whatever you do, make sure you listen to Monday's episode. Okay, stay well make it a great day and I'll catch you over on another episode. Bye bye.
Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family. You know, if you found value, they will too, so please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions, I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to email@example.com and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily, connect with me on Instagram, my Instagram name is @iamjimfortin. Finally I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together, you and I, let's help more people. If you would, please leave a review on iTunes and a good one by the way, I'd be grateful and through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.