Sometimes, it only takes one small shift to change the course of your life. That’s what inspired Anthony Trucks to develop The Shift Method. Anthony is the creator of the Identity Shift Program and author of Identity Shift: Upgrade How You Operate to Elevate Your Life. As a foster kid turned NFL athlete and now serial entrepreneur, Anthony has his own life as proof of why one change, a single shift, can become the catalyst to living the life you want. He sits down with Rodney Flowers to share his story and how he took control of his life for the better. Tune in and be inspired to make shift happen!
Listen to the podcast here:
Identity Shift: A Strategy On How To Elevate Your Life With Anthony Trucks
Welcome to another episode. As always, I’m excited about this show. How many of you want to understand how to make shifts happen? I have an expert in the studio with me who was a foster kid turned NFL athlete. He’s a serial entrepreneur and he has a superpower, and that superpower is making shift happen. He does it by accessing the power of identity.
For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know how big I am on identity. I think identity is everything. You’ve heard it on my shows and on my talks, and we’re going to get into that because from one expert to another, we’re going to talk about how you can use your identity to make the moves that you want to make in your life. Without further ado, let’s welcome Anthony Trucks to the show.
Thank you. I’m excited to be here, genuinely. It’s always good to have conversations with experienced people who understand the concept I talk about, so I’m looking forward to it.
You’re the expert now. I’m going to sit back and I want to learn. I know what I know, but my cup is always open to receive from someone else. First of all, you’ve been to the NFL. That’s one of the things that I wanted to do in life. I don’t know if you know my story.
I know much of it. Tell me. I’m actually curious.
I didn’t want to start with my story, but I’ll start with my story. I was a football player back in high school and I had big dreams to go to the NFL, but during the first game of my sophomore year, I suffered a spinal cord injury while making a down. I was paralyzed neck down with doctors saying, “You’ll never walk again.” I spent eighteen years of my life fighting, just trying to bounce back, and then one day, I was able to leave the wheelchair, walk independently and wear crutches.
I wrote a book about it and it became a bestseller. I started inspiring and talking to people, and here I am now with this platform and experience. I’ve had to change my identity, who I was not just out on the football field, but then who I was in a wheelchair or who I was injured to become who I am now. From learning about you, it says you’ve been through 30-plus traumatic life events. What’s that all about?
Most people go, “How do you know it’s 30?” I’ve got my best friend and friends for 30 years, and my wife’s my high school sweetheart, and my siblings. I’m like, “What are areas of my life where you’ve noticed some things that I’ve overcome that maybe I forgot?” We pulled out 30-plus ones. I call them life-changing ones because some of these things people don’t get over. That’s the way to explain it. It’s the kind that when people experience them, it rides in their life for their entire life.Identity is who you are when you aren’t thinking about who you are. Click To Tweet
I’ve somehow navigated 30-plus different ones that I never really got stuck behind. It doesn’t mean I never took time. On some, I was stuck behind for multiple years. I’ll be honest. It wasn’t like I was like, “Got it. Let’s keep moving,” but at this point in my life, I’ve gotten past them to the point where I’ve garnered some information I can now share with the world.
Let’s talk about that because you’re the king at making shifts happen. How did you come up with that? What does that mean?
It was an accident, to be quite honest. We were sitting around this campfire in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with a whole bunch of great brains and great minds. I was telling my story because when I first got into all this, and I’m sure we’ll talk about my story as we get into it, but at this moment in time, I was telling my story and I told them this brand that I created called Trust Your Hustle, which is all about trusting you and trusting the hustle inside. It was a little identity-focused but wasn’t fully.
I’d spent 3 or 4 years developing this brand and the guy goes, “I don’t like it.” I go, “What do you mean? This is my life’s work.” He goes, “I don’t like it.” I go, “Why don’t you like it?” He goes, “There are two people in this world where there are two things that a person has to have. One has to be the message and the messenger, and one has to be the speaking coach war.
If you’re the messenger, that’s beautiful. You can talk and share, but the message has to land too. You’ll lose people, or you won’t make the greater impact that you’re meant to do. I believe in a messenger, but the message you have is something more. I want to know, based on what you told me, how’d you get through all these little things and end up here? How’d you navigate those different shifts of your identity to get to this moment here?” I go, “That’s a great question.”
The concept at that moment became an identity and shifting identity, and then I was like, “I’m going to own the word shift,” so everything shifted. My podcast has shift in it. My programs and the words I use is all based around shift because I want people to grasp that shift is an important thing, and we all do it. It’s a lot easier than change. I look at it like Atomic Habits. James Clear uses an example of this. If you were to leave San Francisco, California and fly on a trajectory towards Orlando, Florida, and you were to shift the trajectory by one degree, you’d end up 40 miles South in Lakeland, Florida. The idea isn’t that we need to change to get to a different location because change is heavy, but making small shifts will take us to a whole new place.
How does that tie into identity? In order to make the shift, maybe there’s something that we need to shift in who we think we are or who we say we are.
If we go back to the beginning, its essential concept is who you are when you aren’t thinking about it. It’s this natural state of flow that we happen to be in how we show up, talk, think, react, act, and judge. These are all things that are unconsciously but consciously happening. They’re habitual and habit. I call it instinctual to an extent. That’s our identity. Most people go, “How does that affect my life? What does a shift have to do with that?”
The reality is, those things I talk about the who you’re being, those go into actions and actions create my life. It’s the action that gets the job and loses the job. It gets the girl and loses the girl. It gets the client and loses the client. It’s these little nuances in between that we’re unaware of, but those things are creating our life. We’re going through this flow. When I talk about shift, you don’t have to change everything about you. For example, there are six core areas of identity. These are beliefs, thoughts, actions, mindset, habit, your personal ego or personal pride.
If you shift a belief, in and of itself, that will have a ripple effect in every part of your life. If you shift a thought, so you go from like, “I don’t believe I can do it to,” to, “I believe I can do it,” it changes. If you think like, “I’m not capable,” and go, “Maybe I can,” that simple thought changes things, or, “Maybe I’ve been taking a lackluster action, but at this moment, I decided to go real hard at a small shift, then a different outcome changes my life.”
These little shifts create these nuances that allow us to have a different ripple effect in our lives, and so when I talk about an identity shift, the unique thing is you don’t have to change all parts. It’s making small shifts to who you see yourself to be. If I see myself to be a little bit different, it creates a seed that I can turn into a big, beautiful, amazing tree. It’s different from who I see myself to be later. It’s this concept that people go, “It’s very philosophical and spiritual. It’s airy.” It’s not. It’s a really concrete control my life thing, but it’s those little shifts that change our lives.It’s those little shifts that change our lives. Click To Tweet
Can you give me an example where you had or did make a shift?
There’s a lot, and they’re not all good, but we’ll go with one when I was fifteen years old. I was given away into foster care at three years old. I bounced around between a bunch of different foster homes at six years old and landed in my current family at that time and still my family. I was the only Black kid in a really poor all White family, so then, at fifteen, I was in this nuanced situation where I got adopted. At fourteen years old, I finally knew the place that I woke up, and I got to go to bed for sure.
The first identity shift took place when I tried my hand at football. I was like, “I’m going to go do this thing that I’ve been doing at recess and elementary school. I’m a baller. I’m going to do my thing. When I put shoulder pads and a helmet on, it’s a different game,” then I go out there and I’m getting murdered. These kids were smacking me around. I’m not very fast and I sucked at the game.
I did what most people do when you’re met with the realization that you’re not good at something, you quit, or you find a good excuse to make it look like you didn’t quit, but you still aren’t doing it anymore, which essentially you quit. I check out and I’m sitting in the classroom and these two girls are talking to each other. They have no idea I’m listening. One makes a statement that was an amazing gift to me. She says, “The reason I’m so bad is because I’m in foster care.” At face value, it’s not a big deal, but for me, it was a gift I hope we all get. I got to hear my stupid excuse out loud. It was dumb.
When we ever say our excuses for not doing something out loud, we would all be met with this like, “That doesn’t sound right.” I got this gift and I made this decision at home to be great. I was like, “I’m not going to be that guy. I’m not going to let my life be washed simply because of something I had no control over in foster care,” so I went down this path of trying to find what are the things that a great football player does. I didn’t feel like a great football player and none of us will feel like that thing, so I go, “What does that person do?”
I’ve found that all the things that I had to do were out of character. I say that and most people go, “No one wants to be out of character,” and you’re right because we all have this weird connotation of negativity around it, but the reality is out of character. It’s that mean guy who becomes nice out of character. It’s that unhealthy person who decides to eat healthily. Those are all good things, but they are out of character, but in positive directions, so I realized what a good football player does and I’m like, “I’m going to do those things.”
I got made fun of, poked and ridiculed, then it got to a point where all of a sudden, I showed up seven months after putting in work, and I was a monster. I was angry and mean, but I was better skilled. I tell people, “This process shifted me into a different version of my identity. It’s a version of Anthony that saw more, believed more, thought differently and had different habits and actions.” That was the first major shift that put me on a trajectory to now and what I do.
There are many more besides that, but that was the first one that I went back to and realized that we all do this. It sometimes takes 7 to 10 months or 7 to 10 years, but at some point in time, you’ll know you’ve made a shift when you try to look back at the past you and you can’t get into the same headspace. We can all attest that we have done it and we never did it proactively or with intention. That was the first one, and now in my life, I do it with much more intention and proactive desire. That was a game-changer for me to learn the process of all of that.
It’s so good to hear you say that that’s a game-changer. It’s something that you and I have in common because the same thing happened to me when I was introduced to football. It changed everything about me because I wanted to be that guy. I created a vision. One of the things that I teach people that are in adversity is, I ask them, “If you could look beyond this and see something, what would you want that to be? What would it look like?” For me, it was walking again and doing something outstanding and great, like what football would have been to me.
I went through this process that you’re talking about and I asked myself, “Who do I need to be in order to accomplish that? Given the circumstance, because I got what the doctors were saying, but who do I need to be? What do I need to do to make this a possibility?” I said yes to that guy and to being that person, and I still do. I go through this over and over with things that may come up like, “Who do I need to be with the adversities that are present in my life now? Who do I need to be to get to the other side of this?”
I usually ask the question. It’s the same exact lines. When I work with clients, we always have these moments that I call my identity walls where you show up to this moment in time where it doesn’t feel like it’s who you are to do this thing or that out-of-character thing. They don’t say, “I can’t do it,” but they say, “I didn’t have time. I was busy. My wife was having me do something or work picked up.” I pause and I go, “Tell me again your dream,” then they’ll tell me the dream. I’ll be like, “I’m going to ask you a question. What would the person who is living that right now do right now? Would the person who has everything you want make the same excuse?”
That’s more of a momentary of, “Am I becoming the person that has a thing?” I am a full-fledged believer that if your identity does not match the dream, you do not get the dream or you don’t get to have it for its longevity. You don’t even know how you got it, so you’ll lose it or you’ll self-sabotage because you don’t think you deserve it internally, so you won’t keep it.
The guy who gets the good girl messes the relationship up because he doesn’t think he deserves her and that she’s too good for him. I have family members who did this. I’ve got a guy who left his girl because he says like, “I’m a dawg and she’s not.” I’m like, “That’s so weird,” but in reality, he doesn’t think he deserves her for whatever reason, and this is what happens in life for a lot of us. We don’t grasp it. If I don’t ask that question of, “What would the person who has that do now?” I’ll then do whatever I want, which will keep me having what I have now.
We’re saying it’s not so much what you do to achieve success and get what you want out of life. It’s who you become.
It’s who you are. There’s this process of the BE-DO-HAVE. If you think about the things that we are in nowadays, we have a plethora of information at our fingertips. There is an abundance of information. It’s not centralized at schools, universities, or in the books anymore. You could Google anything. The idea is if we have information, why are so many more people unhappy than they used to be?
I think it’s because we start to realize we’re in this epidemic of shelf-esteem. I buy something and I put it on the shelf in my house, or it’s on the shelf of my email. Maybe I’m 1 of the 10% of people that consume it, but it sits on a shelf of my mind. If you’re lucky, you’re 1 of the 3% that put in the world, but most people don’t, so what happens is you get back and go, “I can have success.” It’s not what you know nowadays. It’s who you are with what you know because if you are that person, you will do those things, and you’ll have those things.
For example, there’s cold calling for your business. There’s an action that must be taken. For a certain person, it’s not who they are to make cold calls, so it’s like pulling teeth to get that thing done. Getting 100 calls drains their soul. It’s hard to do it. Now, this is the difference. There’s a person who has done it enough to where it’s hard for you to do it, but it is harder for me not to do it. I can’t go to sleep at night until those calls get done. It makes me feel icky inside. You’re like, “I got to get it done,” so now, it happens more consistently. It doesn’t drain. I have more joy and more energy.
Who do you think wins in the end? It’s the person who saw themselves as an individual that cold calls, or the person that goes, “I’ve got to do it.” You can take that and apply it to anything in your life. If you’re sitting there going, “Why don’t I have that success I’ve been desiring from all this stuff that I know?” That’s the first part to look at. It’s not an information problem, energy, or mindset. It’s who you are.
I believe that you don’t have to do something until you want to. When you want to, you don’t have to do it at all, but what you’re describing is doing the calls has become part of your identity. It’s who you are.
It gets done. That’s why I think a lot of individuals look at successful people and go, “They make it look easy.” For me, it is easy. It’s an effortless effort. It’s effort, but because it’s who I am, it’s effortless. After a while, it’s easy to get to the weight room, where for some people, it’s hard to get to the weight room. It’s easy to eat healthy, where for some people, it’s hard to eat healthily. It’s easy to be a good dad because I do these things, where for some people, it’s hard to do these things. It’s this in-between.
I tell my kids I love them every day, and for some kids, their dad struggles to even think of saying I love you. There’s a difference there. It’s who I am now. It’s a matter of building into it. It takes action and a lot of time and energy, but that’s where most people fall short. They figure, “It’s not who I am, so I’m not going to do that.” You have full control over this. The problem is as kids, by teachers, preachers, coaches, leaders, you name it, we were all programmed an identity level a long time ago, and we started living our life from that. We’ve never revisited it.
We weren’t even part of that programming. We were just there being told what to do from the TV, the shows, or the teachers telling us what to do and what’s right, then we went off into the world and never questioned it, and then we’re living this life going, “Why am I not having success?” You’re living off an old world of unintentional programming, trying to make it work in this world. It’s like trying to say, “I’m trying to work Mac OS work on Windows.” They are two different things. It doesn’t fit. It’s a different operating system, but if you can learn to upgrade that operating system to fit, then you get to have that success, and it’s much easier.
I believe in being authentic. Not being your real self, but being real with yourself about these types of things. Challenging the status quo and the identity that you think you have for the identity that you want. Take us through the mental challenges that you faced with making these mental shifts. What we’re talking about now is the shift has been made. You have this new identity. It affects who you are and how you show up. I get it. Sometimes, people face trip-ups. They fall short. How did you deal with that?
It’s a process. I went through a lot of them. After high school, I got a college scholarship. I had a kid at twenty years old with my high school sweetheart. I met my real dad at twenty in the same exact year. I got a chance to play in the NFL. In the third year, I tore my shoulder. I came home at a massive crisis. Life came tumbling down. I had two more kids, who were twins, so now, I’m in this thing where my marriage falls apart. I’m not a good dad. My business was going up and down. It was falling apart. My body is out of shape. All of it was horrible. I hit the dark bottom. I was suicidal.
It was like, “I don’t want to be here if this is life after football,” moments then my adoptive mom passed away from multiple sclerosis. It started this trajectory towards me, realizing that I cannot go through this life and not make the most of it. This woman did way too much to help my life to not be a statistic because if you go to any prison in America, 75% of the inmates are former foster kids. There’s a lot that I’m supposed to go towards.It’s one thing to see what’s holding you back in your blind spots, and then to see where you can go now. Click To Tweet
I didn’t know that.
I didn’t know it for a lot of years either. Half of the homeless population are former foster kids and less than 1% of us graduated from college, so I was not set up to do well, but this woman loved me. I’m like, “I’m not living this life right.” I had this moment in 2016, a year and a half after she passed, where I finally woke up and I was like, “This is not a man that I am proud of. I am ashamed of him. My daughter, I would never want her to be with a guy like me. I would never want my boys to aspire to do anything like I do. This guy sucks.”
I started out this process when you figure out what the world’s going on. I read the books, been to the programs, took little courses and seminars, and still wasn’t acting like living that life, so I started digging in. This is where I started uncovering more of the things that I needed to do. I went towards the direction of what felt very uncomfortable. In that direction, I built a life where I remarried my ex-wife after three years of being divorced. I got my family back together. I got a great business. I teach, coach, and have been loved by folks but I was able to craft a process from this.
I went back and said, “Where was the common golden thread? On top of that, if I saw this thread, I found out where does psychology tie into getting people to understand the concepts? How does our brain work? Where’s the rewiring of the brain? Where does that neuroplasticity come into play to hardwire new habits? How does it all tie in?” I took it all. I codified and simplified it. If I can simplify it and get you to do it, you get the result. Here’s the answer to your question in a long setup, but it will help to link all of this down.
There are three stages to it all. The end destination is what I call your zone identity. Your zone or ideal identity. The perfect identity for you. Being an athlete, you know what it’s like to be in the zone. We may only get in the zone 1% of the time, but we can float close with it for a long period of time, I believe. There are those times that we edge into it and everything drowns out, but we can get to a good close point where we got some good focus and we’re not distracted. Life is in a groove. My health, relationships, and business is good, all this stuff.
I’m like, “How do I get to that version of my identity?” I took it back, and this is what I found. Whenever I was trying to get to that next tier of who’s the highest and the best football player, who’s a better husband, or what’s a great dad, I look at the beginning and realize there was a stage where I was not aware of it, and none of us are. It’s what I call the see stage. You have to see your zone lags. There are things that are lagging that keep you out of the zone that we are not noticing. I tell people, “It is hard to see the label when you are inside of the jar.”
We’re living our life and doing our thing, but we don’t see ourselves. Therefore, we keep doing the same things that keep putting us in the same place, and we just don’t get it. I watched a video of a sheet that was stuck in a ravine on the side of a road. This guy pulls it out and it takes two jumps, then it’s back in the ravine. He wasn’t even aware. I’m like, “Those are the people.” We do these things. We get out of the hole and go right back to it because we didn’t even look at what was keeping us stuck in the first place, or we weren’t aware of it, so the first stage is to see who you really are the most.
If you can get self-awareness, that’s a big piece because it does something very difficult but very helpful when you get self-awareness. One, the difficult part is it shows you where you have to reel back your ego. Ego is something that I call EGO, Everyone’s Greatest Obstacle. It’s what hinders us from doing the work because we don’t give ourselves permission to improve that. When somebody points it out, I go, “I’m good. I don’t need your help. I got this.” It’s like, “No. I’m not a good dad. I’m not a good husband. I’m a bad businessman.”
If you own that, you give yourself permission to improve, but not if the ego won’t let it go, so in that see phase, you have to see things and go, “I see that. I suck there. I’m going to work on that.” Now, you got some openings to go do some stuff because when you give yourself that permission, you can go and take a look in the blind spots for those things. What’s in the blind spots that I haven’t paid attention to that have kept me funky and stuck right here at this time? You probably got people around your life. Everybody that’s reading got someone around their life right now that tells them things and they go, “I don’t want to hear that,” so they cut them off.
They say, “You don’t believe in me.” They love you enough to tell you some things. Don’t cut them off. If you listen, you can go and say, “I see the blind spot.” That’s like a trailer hitch, and when you lift that trailer hitch off, now you can go somewhere faster. I tell people that it’s one thing to see what’s holding you back in your blind spots and then to see where you can go now.
When I go, “My lack of communication has been hindering this relationship at work. If I get rid of that or if I start talking more, maybe I can get the promotion. If I can have this new project that they want to put out, I can get the next client. Now, I can be more hopeful of what’s out there.” That’s the first stage. Can I see both what’s behind and clarify what’s in front? I then can run towards it.
Now, we have the second stage. The second stage that is much more familiar to people is the shift stage. I call it a personalized shift plan because now that I know what I got to work at, I can work on it. The problem is that most people jump here. They go, “My life is not doing what it needs to do. I’m not in the place I want to be. I got to work on some things. Let me take a look at Steve Harvey. Let me take a look at Tony Robbins. What are they doing?”
They go do that stuff and it’s great, but then you’re getting broke, broken, tired, and go, “I’m working so hard, but I don’t have anything.” You were doing what that person was supposed to do for their life. Not what you’re supposed to do with your life. You’re not plugging the holes in your bucket. Your bucket is still leaking. You’re doing all this work and all of their work, but it wasn’t your work. It wasn’t the right work. All of a sudden, you find that you’re spent and you have nothing to show for it. You have to go in and say, “Now that I see the things that I must work on, I got to work with them.”
It was a humongous issue in my marriage. I blamed it all on my ex-wife for three years, and then I got to the point of realizing like, “You were a bad husband. You weren’t there. You were gone. You didn’t take care of the kids with her. You didn’t show up. You weren’t even making money.” When I did that, now I could go, “My work for this marriage is to show up different. To be a different guy and to own up the thing.” When she says something to me to not fly off the handle and be like, “You’re tripping,” but I would be like, “No, you’re right.”
Work on it. Really do the work without having envy, anguish, or pride towards it. That’s the work I had to do. Now, I’m doing that work and it shows up in every area of life because we have multiple identities. Who I am here is not the same with my kids, wife, or clients. It’s different, and that’s okay. I’m not a different guy, but it’s a different expression of my identity. When you can figure those things out, now you can do the work to improve your life, and that will boil down to specific actions you have to take because all this stuff is great and it sounds good, but if you don’t do it, it doesn’t shift anything.
I tell people that action ends suffering. All this stuff we’ve planned and we’re experiencing, it’s all great until you take the action because then it does suck, but if you don’t take the action, it will never adjust. That’s where the second part is. I see the things and I know what my personalized shift plan is. Now I go to what’s called a discipline system. Most people will try stuff for a day, two days, a week, maybe the longest, and they go, “This sucks,” and they walk away. What I explain to them is, the reason you do it is that it’s so overwhelming and you don’t really know why you’re doing it.
Eventually, it makes more sense to stop because no one wants to be masochistic and hurt themselves. That’s what it feels like. I walk them through a process and it’s the psychology of it. When you first try something, let’s say I got on a stage for the first time, I was horrible. It was a 10 out of 10 of pain. I bombed. No one clapped. No one wanted to talk to me afterward, which is the mark of a speaker. If they want to talk to you afterward, you did a good job.
I’m like, “Damn.” I got off the stage and was like, “I don’t want to do that again,” but then somebody told me like, “You should try to do this next time.” I’m like, “I got it.” I went home and I told more people that I bombed, but I said, “I learned this one thing someone told me. I’m going to do it again.” They’re like, “What do you mean you’re going to do it again? You bombed. Why would you go out there and do it again?” I’m like, “I learned something,” and they’re like, “You’re going to bomb again. You want to feel like that?” I go, “I don’t, but that’s the only way to get better,” so I went back, and the next time, it was a 9.5 of pain.
People were like, “You still suck. Stop doing it.” I had to learn this thing and do it again, and eventually, it goes to 9, 8, 7, then it gets to zero. After years, it got to zero, and people think at zero, it’s painless, but it’s not painless. It’s joy. This thing I hated doing, I love now. I’m great at it. People love that I do it. It’s a sweet spot. When you can do something that you love, and people love what you do, it’s that beautiful little space there. That’s where I tell people that a discipline system is in place to not let you operate based on your feelings.If you don’t like who you’ve become, that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Just start being someone different. Click To Tweet
What must get done? I’d tell people to ask a question in those moments, “What will make the next moments of my life better?” The question is not what do I want to do to make the next because you’re not going to want to do what has to be done, but a discipline system of setting boundaries and having the structure to where you show up to your life. Your life tells you what to get done now, not you saying what you want to do now. Your life says, “Get up. Here’s your morning routine. Here’s your breakfast. Here’s your workout. Here are your conversations. Here are your meetings. Here’s your date day or your dad’s day with the kids.” Your life tells us what’s going to get done, so you do it.
All of a sudden, it’s that it was hard to do at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. It’s like going to a coffee shop. I go work at coffee shops. I like them when COVID isn’t all crazy. I always show up and go, “I got an hour to do this thing,” and I would be on my phone scrolling for the first few minutes, then I’m like, “You got to get some work done,” so I put the phone down and I get my computer. For the first couple of minutes, I’m trying to focus on doing stuff, and then all of a sudden, the hour disappears. I pop my head up and go, “Where did the hour go? Everything is done. Emails are done. I wrote that email and I sent the stuff. It feels like it flowed. I feel so great.”
The same thing happens with a discipline system. On the first day, two days or a week sucks. I keep learning things and going back, but after a while, I pop up 90 days later and go, “I’m in better shape. My marriage is better. I’m healthier. My kids got a better parent and my business is running smoothly.” These things have all happened because I focused on doing the work and the discipline system.
All of a sudden, where it was hard to do it, it was hard not to do it. I’ve made that shift and people go, “How do you know?” I alluded to it earlier. You’ll sit there and you’ll seriously in your head go, “I can’t even put myself back in the headspace of the person I was months ago. I don’t see how that person didn’t get up, do this, didn’t like this, and didn’t say these things.” That’s when you know you’ve made the shift.
Take us back to seeing yourself. A lot of people have a hard time seeing themselves. This is the sticking point. If you can get beyond this, then you’re in secondary.
You’re in a whole different world. I think too many people are in love with the destination of the day. I think that’s what it is. Everybody has a style where I don’t want to see myself because I’m presently aware of how far I’m not, and it hurts. I looked at myself first in 2016 on New Year’s Day and there was a strange woman in the bed. I was hungover because it was New Year’s Day and I had hookah smokes on my tongue. I looked in the mirror and I hated this guy. That was the moment where I saw myself, and seeing myself, it took not just me, but I had some great friends who told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. They could see the label of the jar.
I enlisted outside people to give me insight. I had a lot of long, very hard, and difficult conversations, but then I saw myself, and when I did, I didn’t try to justify, rebut, and make it all sound great. I owned it very powerfully. I said, “If this is who I am to them, then I’ve got to find a way to have them see me different because if they see me different, I’ll see myself different,” and so I started doing the things that were necessary, but it didn’t happen without me trying to fall in love with the day.
What I mean by that is whenever you realize you suck at something, the thought is like, “I don’t want to work on that because I’m not there yet. If I do it now, my kids aren’t going to care, but you do it for 365 days, they’ll see a different dad.” What I realized is I was in love with the end result, and because I was only in love with that, I was feeling the pain of not being there every moment of the day. I started saying, “What are the things that I got to do that will eventually get me there, and how can I find joy in those things?” That’s it. How can I find joy in this thing that I don’t like doing?
For example, I wasn’t in the best shape. I played football. For me, it’s like, “I’m not playing football. Why am I working out?” That was the thing. The thought of it is like, “Do you know hard it is to be back in football shape and be that guy? I don’t want to do that. What if I loved the aspect of getting my heart rate to a certain level, so I felt good after an hour? What if that was the thing and I want to build on that? What if I love the warm-up? What if I fell in love with bench press, the technique of it, trying to get better at that or the squat?”
We like to do things we love to do, so if I could find some way to love this thing, lo and behold, I would do it. What happens is all of a sudden, you’re getting up and going to be like, “I’m in love with the day.” It’s moving and smooth. I pop my head up one day and I’m like, “I’m stronger and in better shape. It’s all good.” That’s the cherry on top.
I believe that’s where a lot of us fall short. It’s trying to find that focal point of seeing ourselves and thinking, “I’m going to see myself and all I’m going to see is how far away I am.” You will. I’m not going to take that from you, but when you see yourself, you’ll also be able to find the things you got to work on, and if you can see a way to love the things that you can do in a little space and love those things, it takes that pain away. It’s a lot more enjoyable to pursue that next stage of life.
You bring up an interesting topic. I love the see phase. One of the things I love about challenges and I think challenges are a gift at all levels. I think this has something to do with me being an athlete. It exposes where you need to improve. I’m not even going to call it a weakness, or where you need to improve may not be a weakness. It just may be an area you need to improve. Now you know versus not knowing, and when you know, you can do something about it. You can take action.
You do, and you can’t fix what you can’t see.
I really love that. It changes the perspective.
It does. Almost too much. Some people are not okay with dealing with it. Here’s the thing. I understand why a lot of people battle it in seeing it because there’s that statement that goes, “Your new life is going to cost your old one.” It’s in everything, and for people to give up all of who they are to get this unforeseen thing that they don’t grasp, it’s very heavy. The way I explain it to people is it’s like being homeless.
No one wants to be homeless because when you’re homeless, you got nowhere where to go. You’re uncomfortable. You’re the leech of society. You resort to drugs and drinking, but the reality is we have a home now. Most people have a home in their current identity. However, it’s a home they don’t want to live in. They don’t like this house. They know it stinks and it’s not a funhouse.
It’s cold in here, but the thought of leaving this house and not having another house to go to and to be homeless, they’re like, “I don’t want that. I don’t want to see and look at that. I’m going to stay in here and board the windows up. I’m going to lock myself in his house.” What I explain to people is in that moment of seeing it, it sucks. There’s a thing when the windows open up, and you can look out there and go, “I don’t want to be homeless, so what do I do?”
Just like you built this house, you leave this house during the day and you go lay brick-by-brick in another house, for one day, you can go, “I’m leaving this house and never coming back. I got a place to go live now.” I can see it, and I can work on it, but a lot of people are so deathly afraid of leaving this house because there’s nothing else for them, but you can go build that. It’s doing out-of-character actions to build that new house of a new identity so that you can go and live in that house at some point.
We have the highest rate of suicides now as a result of what we’re dealing with in society and in the pandemic. To me, what you’re explaining here is the path forward to dealing with that. A lot of people see themselves and they don’t like what they see.
They’ll lock into it. It’s sad. It seriously hurts my heart. People assume that that’s their forever thing. It’s not. We have now that we have become somebody, and the only way we became this person is because of how we were being each day. That’s it. We were being someone. We became someone now, and tomorrow will become who we were being now. It’s a progression. It’s an always moving fluid thing. It’s never locked. I explain to people that if you don’t like who you’ve become, that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world.
Start being someone different, and that being those small actions and shifts that we talked about. You will look back in 90 days, 120 days or a year, you have become someone different. The feeling you have now will completely disappear, but you have to let yourself admit that you’ve got to work on some stuff and realize your identity is not concrete. Just like the brain has neuroplasticity and things can move, your identity can shift a move the exact same way. In fact, your identity resides in your brain. There is a place called the default mode network.
It’s this place where if I ask you who you are, it shuts down and what lights up is the rest of the brain telling you all the things that you’ve accomplished like, “I’m a dad and I’m a businessman.” Whenever you stop that and you sit there quietly, and you start staring at things and daydream, or you look at something and you start processing, that’s who you are. It’s when you’re not thinking about who you are.
The default mode network lights up, and that person you are is based on the pre-program stuff that happened at a conscious level, how I handled stuff, what I did, how I formed judgments, and how I formed beliefs. It’s all there. All this stuff can be adjusted and shifted. If I look back to 2015, when I was doing my stuff and I wasn’t the best guy, I thought that my ex-wife was horrible. Now, I’m remarried to her.
Every time I saw her, I got pissed. Now, I have a love for her. How is that possible if that was concrete? I was able to adjust and see, and I could shift that part of my identity, so now my passive thoughts are different. If I can do that for a person that I hated, we can all do it for some new part of ourselves. That’s the idea. You’ve got to get to the point of realizing that nothing is concrete and it all resides in that brain. If the brain can be rewired, your identity can be rewired.At the end of the day, you're the common denominator in all your problems. Every problem you’ve got involves you. Click To Tweet
The thing that’s being unspoken here is the control that we have. A lot of times, we feel like life is out of control and we have no control, but this is a place where we have total control.
Here’s the thing. At the end of the day, you’re the common denominator in all your problems. Every problem you got involves you, whether you’ve allowed this to come in or you have caused this to come in. It’s a control thing. People go, “I can’t control my boss at work.” You can’t control your boss at work, but you can 100% control your response or control the job you have. They’re like, “I can’t. That’s my job. I make money there.”
Gay Hendricks says this really cool statement in his book, The Big Leap. He says, “If you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them,” and you do. If I fight to make an excuse to stay in this place, you get to keep it all day long, but the moment you give yourself a possibility for a different thing and pursue that thing, it all changes. It’s a ton of control. We have ample control of everything in our life, but it’s so ingrained in us that everything has to be this way that we just endure. I think that’s the suckiest part of society. We endure and no one tries to live because we don’t think it’s possible when the reality is there’s a ton more control of our lives by us than we could ever imagine.
What you’ve beautifully laid out here for us is the work for us to do. It is something that I knew, but I’m realizing it more that we just don’t want to do that work a lot of times. First of all, we don’t want to face ourselves because maybe, we don’t want to see ourselves in that light, and then when we realize that there are things to do, we don’t want to do it. We don’t want to better ourselves. We point a finger and tell other people what to do, but owning our own stuff and making our own lives better, for some reason, that’s something that we try to avoid.
When we say, “I want a better life. I want this in life. I want the wife, the kids, the family and the money,” it’s being willing to do the work and put those structures in place that will allow those things to happen for those small shifts. What that means is the comfortable person that you are, that person has to die. You have to face those things, put that person to the bed and become this structured, disciplined guy, and is allowing life to dictate what I do every day.
It’s not a bad thing to give all of you if you don’t like what you are. That whole it’s going to cost your old life, if you don’t like this, then quit fighting for it. Stop fighting for the life you don’t like and give up yourself because you’re not going to be homeless. I’ve noticed every person who’s gone through this work with me. There are a lot of people in their lives who’ve been waiting for them to do this. The wife has been waiting for the husband to communicate more, the boss has been waiting for the person to show up, or the client has been waiting for you to be more of a communicator.
When you do it, when you think you’re giving something up, you’re gaining something more. It’s support and guidance. You’re not by yourself anymore. The lifeguard doesn’t want to save the person swimming away from the shore. I want to save the person swimming towards me. These people are the lifeguards who want to save you and help you, and you’re swimming away from them. The moment you let go of that and swim towards them, you’re never alone. You gain way more by letting go of these things that are holding you back.
Why do you feel like we don’t need help? I guess that’s the ego.
The ego is a big piece of it. Societally, we also have this aspect of social media which is a very detrimental thing and beneficial. Detrimental because we look at the world and we go look at how great everybody’s life is. I don’t want to be a burden on their lives, so when I have a bad day, I get off of social, don’t call anybody, and seclude myself. When the reality is I’ve never had a person who is in a dark place call me and me going, “Why are you bothering me with this?” I’m like, “I’d love to help.”
Every time somebody calls me, I’m like, “I appreciate that you see me in that light of a person that you would call me in your dark time.” Think about that. If that’s how you would feel for someone, why do you think someone would do the opposite for you? I think what we end up doing is we have these things that we don’t go and reach out to individuals who have more joy and borrow their joy, and I say borrow intentionally because when they got joy and I don’t, you don’t seclude yourself because you’re not going to be a burden.
You go and get around them because they realize that it’s a blessing to have you and they want help. We get to these points of feeling secluded, siloed, and by ourselves but the people in your life want to help. Let them help you. You will find that you now have two people or more people helping you solve your one problem with different perspectives and different joy levels. It gets solved faster. If you do stay by yourself, you’re making it hard on yourself and you’re robbing the people in your life of a great feeling of helping you.
Speaking of help, how can people reach out to you if they want help from you?
It’s super easy. You go to Instagram, @AnthonyTrucks, and send me a message or hit the link that’s on that bio. All this stuff is in a book that I wrote. The book walks through a lot of the concepts and the shift method that I talked about earlier with some exercises you can do. If you go to IdentityShiftBook.com, step one is getting the book and going to a different place. Step two is you come back to that same website, get the receipt from the purchase you made, and use the code GCMP. What you’ll get is a free audiobook, a free digital book, but also a $97 workbook for free that walks you through this stuff.
I realized that not everybody can pay for my coaching in my world, but I want it to be accessible to some people, so I made this workbook that allows individuals to go through this in their own time in their own realm and uncover this. It’s a game-changer when you can get a chance to see this stuff, which you can do for sure with these processes for free.
This has been a great conversation and I truly mean that. You really laid out the blueprint to make shift happen in our lives. This is one of those episodes that you want to read over again. There are so many nuggets in this. It’s so rich. I want to thank you for taking the time to share with me and share with my audience. I’m grateful for what you’ve been through for those 30-plus traumatic life events. I don’t wish that on you again, but the fact that you’ve come through that and you’ve discovered these things and going through that, that’s a blessing for all of us.
I think that’s part of my Game Changer Mentality brand. We need each other. You being out on the field going through what you’ve been through playing the game and then you come back and say, “Here’s what I’ve learned on the field. This is what you need to do. This is how you progress forward,” that’s a blessing. You’re fulfilling a purpose there.
That’s the goal. That’s the point of this. There were moments when I’ve had people tell me things that I didn’t realize, but I did realize years ago that there is a benefit to sharing the hardship. We all feel like we’re running this race alone, or I’m the only person experiencing it. I had some friends point out something I never noticed about myself, and I realized that there are some things I can give back. At the end of the day, I do not have a story. I have an experience, but the story is a gift to the world, so I tell it every day with the intention of giving someone that gift they can apply to their lives.You gain way more by letting go of these things that are holding you back. Click To Tweet
The way I say it is I ran a bunch of races and crossed a bunch of finish lines which has allowed me to go back and feel confident telling you how to run the race because the left turn that I took, you might not have needed to take that left turn. I don’t think I should be telling people how to run the race when I’m still running it. After I crossed the finish lines and I go back, I’m like, “Here’s the best way to do this. Don’t do that. Try this and don’t try that.” It’s a beautiful thing.
When my mom passed away, I had made two distinct promises to her. One promise was I was going to fix my life. The second promise was when I do, I’m going to find a way to give back to the world unconditionally the way she gave back to me. I fixed mine and then I’ve been making good on promise two as long as I can ever since then.
Thank you for that. Before we go, what’s one thing that we could take away to help us navigate the challenges and obstacles? You’ve given us so much already, but if there’s one thing that you would say we need to do to put ourselves in the best position to play this game and win, what would that be?
It’s a simple statement that’s in and of itself as you can get it, but the three words make sense separately too. It’s called own your shift. You got to own your shift to make shift happen. In making shift happen, we get it. Remove the F and you get it, like, “I watered the lawn.” It’s like, “I got that. I made that. I did this.” That’s what you want. How do you do it? You own your shift.
The first word is to own. Own that. There’s something you got to work on. You have to, because if not and if you don’t give yourself permission to improve, you won’t, but you have to own. The second word is your. It is your responsibility to work on it. It may not be your fault, though. It wasn’t my fault my mom gave me away into foster care. It’s my responsibility to build a life from there. I can’t blame it on her for the whole entirety of my life. It’s your job to work on.
There are some people that understand a problem, understand the cause of it and they don’t do the shift work. They’ll just sit there for the rest of their life and blame it and the way they’ll focus on it is they’ll drink it away, drug it away and sex it away. It’s like a verb. Shift the way you think, the way you feel, the way you operate to where you can shift your life outside, so if you can own your shift, you’ll make shift happen.
Thank you so much for sharing. This has been awesome.
You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.
There you have it, folks. That’s another successful episode. I don’t think I need to say much here. You all know what to do. We got to own our shift. The reason why I think that’s so important, and Anthony laid it all out there, but by owning his shift, we were able to read that amazing episode and pull out all of those good things that we can apply to our lives. I love the see phase. You may have seen yourself as he was walking through this. You see those things came up for you that you need to work on, put a structure around, and be more disciplined in.Own your shift to make shift happen. Click To Tweet
If you felt that, then you know that that message was for you. You know where you need to go to begin your work and to begin your shift, and that is a gift. It’s not to point the finger at you to say that you’re less than, but it’s really to raise the awareness that there’s more for you. There’s more expression of you and there’s more for your identity for you to do. Let’s own that, and let’s own the shift. Until next time. Peace and love.
- Anthony Trucks
- Atomic Habits
- The Big Leap
- @AnthonyTrucks – Instagram
About Anthony Trucks
Anthony Trucks is a foster kid turned NFL athlete and serial entrepreneur with one serious super power. Making Shift Happen, no matter what, by accessing the power of identity. After overcoming over 30+ traumatic life events, and navigating the identity shifts that followed, Anthony has come to be known as the leading expert in “Shifting”. Which is making a shift internally, to elevate how you operate externally, which in turn changes your life. With his unique system called “The Shift Method”, Anthony weaves together neuroscience, psychology, technology, and hard fought life lessons to help anyone with a desire for more in their life achieve any goal they want, or have ever wanted. Before making it apparent their goals were actually set far below their true potential in the first place. Buckle up, It’s time to Make Shift Happen.