Episode #97 What if I were...?

2 Techniques to Flip Your Personality Traits
to achieve your New Year's Resolution
December 31, 2021

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You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 96.

Welcome to My Freedom Grove podcast. The all inclusive podcast that teaches mindset and business tools. We'll help you rise as your authentic self. Be unshakable with your emotional freedom and unstoppable in achieving any goal and living your purpose. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. If you want to put your mental health first in life, relationships and business, you've come to the right place.



Happy New Year's Eve my strong friends. I am feeling so in love today, but probably not for what you're expecting me to share. Typically when we think in love, we're thinking about our partners and being in love with them. And I definitely am. But what I'm feeling in love with today is my body. I know that sounds really silly, doesn't it?


But I just got back from a doctor's appointment. We were reviewing blood work and stuff, and everything came back all in normal ranges. Now I wasn't expecting anything to be out of range. I didn't have any concerns about it, but you know, there's always that little, like worry in the back of your mind, because you know that you haven't been treating your body as well as you should. So it's like uh-oh this is getting real. What are they gonna say?


But no, my body had my back, as it usually does. I love my body. I'm in love with my body. I appreciate it so much, you have no idea. Now, why am I even telling this?


Well, it's because years back I absolutely hated my body. I was a person that would make New Year's resolutions about losing weight. And I would come from a place of shame and anger and disgust. I hated my body; therefore, I had to go and lose weight so that I would love my body.


Well, that never seems to work. Right? Have you ever done a New Year's resolution based on anger and hate and disgust? Your actions will start to follow all of your thoughts that generated your resolution in the first place.


So, of course I'm not gonna be loving on my body if I'm having all of these hatred kind of thoughts.

Years back, my coach challenged me. She's like, well, but what if you loved your body? And I was like, oh please have you seen my body? I don't love my body. Like, that's just who I am. It's been ingrained in me since I was a kid that if you don't look a certain way, then you should hate your body.


But what if I was a person who loved my body?


If I loved my body, would I be treating it a little bit differently? Well, of course, I mean, when you have thoughts about love, it gives you feelings of love and then your actions are a lot different when you're feeling love. If you're feeling anger and hatred, then you're gonna be doing things to punish yourself and you're gonna hate it because punishment is never fun. And then your results are gonna be that you don't actually hit your New Year's Resolution.


But, if you came from it from love that be totally different, totally different actions. And most likely you're gonna get the result that you want. So, when she challenged me saying, what if you loved your body? What if you were a person who loves your body? I thought, well, that's just not even possible because that's just not who I am.


But what if it was, what would my life be like if I was a person who loved my body?


The “What If” Flip


In this episode, we're gonna look at all of those different things that you say about yourself that you think are just facts that are just truth about you. And I'm gonna challenge you. And have you flip that around and ask yourself, but what if, what if you were the type of person that had this different view about yourself, what would your life be like?


And you know, I'm not gonna just pose one question and call it done. I wanna share with you the two techniques that I used that helped me to get from "I hate my body" to "I love my body" because these are great techniques that have helped me throughout my life. And especially in the last five or six years to make some really difficult mindset shifts.


Because switching from something like I hate my body to, I love my body. That just doesn't happen as just one flip. You gotta work at it.


I'm gonna teach you the two techniques that help me to get there so that you can make some of these big impossible flips for yourself.


Your Untrue Truths


Let's talk about some of those things that you say to yourself that you think are just true, that are facts. I made a long list of some of the things that I've heard my clients say to me and then coming up with the opposite so that we can start that conversation. Now, this is a pretty long list. I don't know if I'm actually gonna get through all of it. So I'm gonna start. And then at some point I may decide, okay, that's enough and you get the point.


Here we go.


I'm not organized.

So that can definitely seem like a fact. You look at it, you're not organized, but what if you were a person was organized? What would that look like? How would you go about life? If you were a person that was organized?


I get sick all the time.

Now, that can definitely seem like a fact. You can look and see how many times you were sick and all of the actions that you take as a result of being sick or some of the inactions. But what if you were a person who doesn't get sick all the time? It's kind of an interesting one, right? Because we think we don't have any control over it. But what if we do? What if we do have control over that and you become a person who's not sick all the time? What would your life look like?


I'm not as smart as others.

Well, are you sure? That might seem like a fact. You might look at other people; you might listen to the conversations that they're having. But what if that was just a thought that you're having? What if you were just as smart as everybody else? What would that mean for you? What would your life be like if you were just as smart as everybody else.


I'm not good with money.

You can come up with different reasons on why you think that you're not good with money, and that might look like it's facts. But what if you became a person who is good with money? What would your life look like? Now, you might think that this is a fact and you're never gonna be able to change it. That I'm not good with money. But the first thing is just deciding, just thinking about it. The what if, what if you became a person who's good with money,


Let's talk a little bit about emotions. Have you ever found yourself thinking… 


I can't handle this.

Things happen in the world, and you just automatically go to that default. I can't handle this, but what if you were a person who could handle anything? What would that look like? What would that feel like? You can definitely shift to something like that. It can take a while, but you can get there. I'm a person who can handle anything.


Other people make me mad.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard this one. Other people make me mad. We know that other people are gonna act however they always do. And do you want to stay believing that thought about yourself? That other people are just always gonna make you mad? There's nothing you can do about it. It's just a fact in life. Or what if you could be a person that doesn't get mad, no matter how people act. Wouldn't that be something? You'd have to choose what feeling you would have when people act however they're gonna act, but mad doesn't have to be it. You can be a person that doesn't get mad, no matter how people act.


I have anxiety.

I think all of us have felt, especially in the last couple of years. But what if you were a person who lives without anxiety? What would that be like? I know it seems hard to imagine that it's possible you could get to a point where you are a human being that lives without anxiety. What would your life be like if that was you?


I always ruin my relationships.

That one that has popped up recently a couple of times. What if you were a person who always has fantastic relationships? What if you're a person who always makes relationships work? What would your life look like? If you were that person? If no matter what relationships you have in your life now, or new relationships that come in, that you are that person that always makes them work, and they're always wonderful relationships. What would that be like?


Here's the last one. I am gonna shorten the list a little bit. So we're just gonna go with this final, last one which is…


Nobody likes me.

You can have that thought about yourself. You might believe it's true. It may or may not be true, but what if you were the one that people did like? What if you were the one everybody liked? How would your life be different?


As we're starting out on a fresh year, anything is possible. You can get into that excitement about what's possible for you.


Party Like it’s 1999


I was thinking back to 1999, and I was partying like it was 1999. I was brought up in the era of Prince.


When I was there as an adult in 1999, you know, I had to go out and celebrate. I did my fiance and I, at the time, we went out to a club, and we were celebrating and so excited because we were celebrating that we had bought a house that year.


We were celebrating that we were getting married the following year, and I was imagining future me and what my life would look like. And I could picture it all. Even though that wasn't me. I had never been a wife before. I had never been a mom before, but I could imagine what it would be like if that was me.


In celebrating that, we had bought a house that year. I was 26 at the beginning of that year. And I bought my very first house. I had never been a homeowner before; I had never lived in a home that was owned. Growing up, we didn't have much money. We were always renting homes. And I was teased a lot for being poor. Like all of my friends lived in homes that were owned, and their parents had plenty of money. So, as a kid, I had never been the person that had money. That had the stability of own owning a house.


My fiance at the time also had not considered himself to be a homeowner. He didn't see that in his future just yet. In fact, when I first presented the idea of buying a house, it was when we first moved into our first rental house.


So it was like day one. We're moving boxes in. He had never lived outside of his parents' home. I'd been on my own for about seven years at that point. I was used to paying my own rent. He was still trying to get used to the idea that he would be paying rent. And here I am saying, Hey, what if we became homeowners? So, complete identity shift. He was like, yeah, no, I don't think so. And I said, well, how can we buy a house in one year? Like what if we became those kind of people that could buy a house in one year?


And the cool thing was 15 months later, we did! We bought our first house, and I was only 26 years old. And we were both only making like eight bucks an hour. It was completely possible. But we had to get into that belief that we could be those kind of people that could buy a house when they were 26 years old.


All of those other things that I just shared with you, that long list of all those things that you believe about yourself, and the what if, what if you could be that person? Even if you had never been that person before in your whole life, how would you do that? I'm gonna share two techniques with you.


One of them I already kind of alluded to, which is future you.


Introducing the Future You Technique


So as I was celebrating in 1999, thinking about being a wife and being a mother, I had never been that person before. I had only been a single individual college student for quite a long time. And then working for a little while. I had a lot of thoughts of, you know, where I was my very beginning self, but I was inspired about future me.


I was imagining how great it would be. It was giving me all of those feelings. So when you are thinking about future, you, you start putting it in a question. That's why I put everything in the form of a question of what if. What if you were a person that was organized? What if you were a person that never got sick? What if you were someone who's just as smart as everybody else?


By phrasing it in the form of a question, it makes you start to imagine what life would be like. And you can imagine all of the good things about it, all of the good feelings that you would have from it.


It starts with very firm thought; I am organized. I never get sick. And I'm just as smart as anybody else. Now there'll be a whole bunch of other supporting thoughts that go along with that. But that's future you. Those are thoughts that you would have about yourself once you are future you. And you're gonna have all of these great feelings that come along with it.


Now there's several aspects about future you, the concept, and how you would use this so that can become future you.


Technique #2: The Tought Bridge


But I'm going to introduce the second concept first because it'll help to set up the second half of the concept of future you. So this concept is called a thought bridge. Now a thought bridge is something that's used to get you from a thought that you're having now, that's very ingrained, that's really hard to move away from, to this complete opposite thought. Something that is almost out of range for you right now. That seems impossible for you to believe.


When I had the thought, "I hate my body," and I was trying to get over to "I love my body," making that jump, that is way too big. It was too hard for me to flip just like that. Just like these other ones that I've brought up, they're probably gonna be too hard to go from "I'm not organized" to "I'm organized." There's other parts that have to happen between where you're starting and future you.


That's where the thought bridge comes. A thought bridge is made up of incremental thoughts that shift you over there. The very first thought on it would be something that you can believe right now. It might be a little bit outside of your comfort zone, not an exact default thought that you would have, but it's something that you could believe in, and you could practice, so it could become a default thought. And then you can move on to the next one and then believe that one. And then, once you believe that, you can move on to the next one.


You gradually move from your starting point to future you.


If you imagine a creek or a river and one side of it is a riverbank, and it's all dry. It's cracked. It's not fun to be on; it’s just, eh. And then you can look over to the other side, and it's all nice and lush and green. Birds are chirping, sun is shining. You can see a bridge that goes over it. So you're standing over on the dry side, here's this bridge.


The bridge has sturdy wooden planks between where you are and all the way over to that beautiful lush side. Each of those planks is gonna represent a new thought.


Now there's space between the planks because there's a little bit of discomfort, but it's not too much. It's just enough for discomfort but not enough to make it dangerous and unsafe. But you would start off with your very first plank.


So I'm gonna give the example of when I went through everything with my body so that you can have an idea of what this looks like of those little incremental thought-shifts that help you get over there. So I started off with my before thought, which is, "I hate my body." I'm there on that dry, cracked riverbank, not very fun over there. So my very first plank that I stepped onto was that thought I have a body. 


Because that's something that I could believe in. I could look down, and I could see it's like, yep, I have a body. I didn't have a whole lot of excitement over it, but I also didn't have feelings of hatred or disgusted or anything like that.


So it was definitely a step forward because I hate my body really didn't feel good. That's the first thought shift.


Now it was something that was easy to believe. So it's like, okay, I can get safely on that plank, but I still had to practice it. Like I wasn't ready to go on to the next one yet, because if I looked in the mirror that default thought of, I hate my body would still pop up. I had to practice, and I had to make it an intentional practice that I'd look in the mirror. My brain would go, "I hate my body." And I go, wait, hold on. I had agreed that I was gonna practice, "I have a body."


So I had to practice that one for a while, took me a couple of weeks to get into the habit of that. There was evidence for it. I could prove it. And I started to realize that it felt a lot better to look in the mirror and just think I have a body. And that in itself was the reward for me. Instead of feeling all of the hatred and disgusted and stuff, it just, it felt so much better to just feel neutral. I have a body.


The next little shift on that one was "I'm a soul with a body." I was separating myself from my body as having two separate entities, so to speak. Because I am not my body, I am a soul, and I live inside of this body. So that was something that I would practice. It's something that I could believe. And so that was my next plank.


From there, I went to my body reacts to what I put in it. Well, that felt pretty true. So, me as a soul, I was having emotions, and whatever, my thoughts, and then I would put things into my body, and my body would react to it. So, yep, I could practice that one that felt pretty neutral.


And then I had one, which you know, could be either way, which was my body has a high tolerance for mistreatment by me. So that was a little bit of a judgment against my soul for mistreating my body. But it goes back into the separation of soul versus body, but that I could appreciate my body. That my body had this high tolerance. It was like, yeah, okay. Sometimes you're doing this, but I'm reacting to it; I have a high tolerance to it. It doesn't affect the body as much. The body's giving me some grace there.


My next plank thought was my body has my back, and that's true. My body still kept me up and moving for the most part. Like every once in a while, back problems, knee problems, whatever. But for the most part, my body had my back. No matter what my soul would do, all of those choices I would make, my body was still cooperating and doing all of this stuff.


My next thought was, "my body never gives up on me." And that was true for the most part. I mentioned the back and the knees a little bit, but for the most part, my body never gave up on me.


And my next one was "my body is patient with me." It keeps waiting for me to come up with a different plan on how to treat it. So, my body's just patient it's there. It's waiting for me.


And so then that helped me to get to the next plank of, you know, "I really appreciate my body." Because it's always got my back, it's patient with me; it’s tolerant of all of the stuff. That's pretty cool. My body is pretty awesome.


Then that helped me to shift over to that final part, which is "I love my body." How awesome is this? That my body does all of this stuff for me, no matter what. It's like my body has unconditional love for me. So I can love my body back and appreciate my body.


That shows all of those little shifts on that thought bridge to get all the way over to that green grassy side, where I can love my body. When I feel love for my body, it naturally flows into feelings of love, obviously, some happiness, some gratitude, all of that.


My actions are a lot different, and my results will be a lot different. I'm not acting out of punishment. I'm not trying to hurt my body. I'm doing nice things for my body because I love it. And I appreciate it. My results are gonna follow naturally from that.


And so then I am stepping into future me.


I have become future me, a person who loves my body. This is where the second half of the future you concept comes into.


Part II of Future You


When you can imagine yourself being future you, you can look back at that bridge that you went over. What were all of those thought shifts that you had to have? Did you have any extra actions along the way that you took to support those thought shifts? And what is it like now? What's it like being future you? Would you have changed anything about the bridge? Are there somewhere you're like, oh yeah, I tried this one plank, it didn't really help it? Actually, set me back a plank? Or maybe you didn't need as many planks as you thought you needed. Now that you look back in retrospect, you're like, ah, I could have jumped from plank one to plank four, a lot easier. And I have gotten here faster.


As future you, now you can go back in time to old you and say, "okay, old you, it's totally possible to become future you. To believe these new things about yourself. Here's everything that you're gonna go through so that you can become future you. And in fact, here's some optimizations along the way. So you can get here faster."


When you're imagining future you, you're saying, what if I'm a person who's organized? What if I'm just as smart as everybody else? What if I'm a person everybody likes? What if I'm a person that doesn't get mad, no matter how people show up in the world? As future you, what does it look like and feel like to be you?


And if you can imagine that you're already there, think back. What would be that thought bridge that you went through to become future you? How would you communicate that to present-day you, the one that's having the thoughts that are not serving you well? That you think are permanent, that you think are part of your personality, that you can't change.


Future you knows that your personality isn't permanent, that you can switch anything about your personality. Mainly by switching your thoughts about yourself. What would be the thought shifts that future you already went through those different planks in the bridge to get to be where you're at now? How can you communicate that to present-day you so that you can get there faster? So that you can believe this is possible for you. And as you're feeling future you, you're feeling all of this is true for you.


Think about how great that feeling is; that motivation. Do you want that for yourself all the time? Do you want that to become your reality? Let that be the fuel that sets that fire in you. All of this is possible for you. You can be whoever you want to be. It's completely possible.


So with that, I want you to consider what is a one-word intention that you have for yourself going into 2022. I am a person who has fun in life. I am a person who is smart. I am a person who is organized. What is that word that you're gonna set for yourself? I invite you to share that with me. You can email me, and let's just have a little chat about it. I'm so curious to hear what you come up with. I wanna celebrate future you with you. Go and send me an email at [email protected] in the subject line; you can just write One-word Intention.


Tell me what it is that you've come up with for yourself. I can't wait to hear it.


All right. My strong friends. I hope that you go out and you celebrate like it's 1999. Even though it's 2021, but I think we're all ready for this year to be wrapped up with a bow and to embrace the excitement of 2022. Have a happy and safe new year. And I will talk to you next week. Bye-bye.



Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove podcast.  I can't wait to work with you directly. I'll help you to be your authentic self, to have amazing relationships and to live your purpose. I invite you to check out Unshakable Men and Unshakable Women. The Unshakable programs will give you all of the tools, the coaching and the community to help you rise in life, relationships, and business. To learn more, go to my freedom grove.com/workwithme. I can't wait to see you there.


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