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Feeling stuck? You are holding yourself back

Bryan Liu
Bryan Liu
3 min read
Feeling stuck? You are holding yourself back
Photo by Filippo Bortolotto / Unsplash

Table of Contents

I ran out of steam. After just putting out 2 episodes, I stopped my podcast efforts. Isn’t this what I always wanted? After all, I’d already gotten all the gears – microphones, cameras, the software – and a huge list of topics I wanted to dive into. But after seeing myself on camera, I hit a big resistance – I couldn’t quite put a finger on what it is, but I can feel the deep, nasty phobia clawing at me.

Little did I know, but when I was attempting to produce my video podcast, I recalled the memories of my high school days where I was often publicly harassed and humiliated by my peers. As I was seeing myself on camera, I felt super awkward and the memories of high school returned to me. “This is so embarrassing; I am not a people person, who am I kidding to build up a social media presence?” I told myself and dropped my efforts of being a podcaster.

Have you seen someone defend their identity tooth and nail? A obese person who is trying to lose weight will sometimes say self-fulfilling words like, "i'm just like that, I'm fat, i've done everything and it doesn't work for me" They tried to change the outside without changing the inside, and soon revert back to be consistent with what their self-images are.

Unbeknownst to me, I was walking down the same self-defeating path. I attempted to change the outside – producing podcasts – but soon my inner identity came screaming out and stopped my efforts right on the tracks.

The strongest force in human psychology is the need to remain consistent with how we see ourselves. In other words, the results we experience are outward expression of our inner self-image. In this case, memories of my high school experiences won. The fears of public humiliation took over and stopped me from making more videos.

When we look in the mirror, we not only see the physical reflection of ourselves but also ourselves in our mind. We see that person with interpretations we deemed true, no matter how biased we may be.

I was never a morning person. Let alone a morning "work out" person. But things changed when I was living in the suburbia in San Francisco Bay Area. Life was too boring at the time with nothing to do past 9pm. So I slept at 10pm and got up at 5am. With a lot of time on hand before I need to hop to work, I decided to head to the gym and see what happens. I worked out and got done before 8pm. I felt superb, and I continued this habit.

Little did I know I was slowly reconditioning my own identity. Instead of dreading the mornings and working out, I slowly became the "morning workout" person. This identity carried with me without my life, even to this day. Whenever I sleep in late, I felt guilty. And even if i skip many workouts in the row, I still think of the bar as 6am working out. Eventually I'd roll myself out of bed early in the morning and hit the gym, no matter what.

The strongest force in human psychology is the need to remain consistent with how we see ourselves. In this case, I became a morning workout person and that's when I go workout.

Our self image can be the chains that hold us back. But it can also be the key that liberates us.

To get the results we desire, we must re-engineer our self-image. To get the life we want, we must become the image we see in our minds. To dream the life we desire, we must be the image in our minds.

As we approach the end of 2022, let's ask ourselves 3 questions,

  1. "Have I experienced all that I desired this year?"
  2. "How did my self-image limit the height to which I can fly?"
  3. "In 2023, who do I need to become to experience the life I desire"

(next post: How I re-engineered my self image and became a shameless writer)

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