“Needs Work” and “That’s Like Me!”

One of the most useful tools that I learned while subscribed to Brian Johnson’s Optimize program was the “Needs Work”/”That’s Like Me!” idea.

Brian learned it from Lanny Bassham‘s book “With Winning In Mind.”

It’s billed as a self esteem/self image building tool – but I don’t think that’s completely accurate. Trying to artificially build our self esteem can have disastrous results, both to ourselves and to those around us.

I think of it (and use it) as a method to push out of a fixed mindset and into a growth mindset.

It’s pretty easy, actually. And I like easy.

When you do something “good” (whatever good means to you) – say to yourself “That’s like me!”

When you do something “bad” (whatever bad means to you) – say to yourself “Needs work.”

No over inflated ego. No beating the hell out of yourself. Just a couple of statements of fact.

This can be used for nearly anything – I’ve used it when learning to drive one of the lift machines at work while being terrified that I was going to kill someone by knocking over all of the racking in the warehouse (like this). Whenever I placed a pallet correctly – “That’s like me!” Whenever my aim was off – “Needs work.”

I’ve also used it in relationships. When I’m not my best self to those that I love – “Needs work.” When I notice myself being kind and loving toward others – “That’s Like Me!”

It can be used when you are writing an article for your blog and the part of your brain that would rather be laying in front of the TV decides that it’s time to quit starts yammering away, but you keep putting words on the screen anyway – “That’s Like Me!” Find yourself flipping over to watch videos of forklifts destroying warehouses? “Needs Work.”

Both sides of the equation are important. Without “That’s Like Me!” we may not notice that we *are* learning and growing and give up before the magic happens. Without “Needs Work” we can become complacent and think of ourselves as better than we really are.

Maybe try it for yourself? When you find yourself using it, especially the first few times, you get a double whammy of “That’s Like Me!”, one for the thing that you’re using it on and one for the using of the tool. When you notice yourself *not* using it, just remind yourself that it “Needs Work” and move on with doing the work you need to do to become that person that you want to be.


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