Draymond Green and the Power of Identity
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
I write and talk a lot about identity. In my book Master Your Code, I dedicate an entire chapter to identity. Everyone has an identity. Most of us don’t realize it. But we do. Over the course of your life, you have subconsciously formed beliefs about your own capabilities. Many of these beliefs are limiting and disempowering. And, like most of us, you subconsciously seek out data to confirm those beliefs, ignoring contradictory information. Over time, these beliefs about yourself aggregate into a hidden identity.
And here’s the important part. The greatest driver of human behavior is the desire to be consistent with your identity. It’s almost impossible to act in ways that are inconsistent with your self-image. So if you want extraordinary results in life (and who doesn’t), you have to embody an identity that is consistent with and is going to produce those results.
One of my favorite examples of this is Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. Last season I happened to see this press conference and was blown away. Here’s what he said:
As a competitor, if you’re trying to do something meaningful, if you don’t have the mindset that you’re the best ever, you’ve failed already. So if you don’t have the mindset that you’re the best reporter ever, then you already failed. And that’s been my mindset since I can remember. That will be my mindset as long as I can remember anything – that I am the best ever at what I do. And every day that I step onto the basketball court, I will strive to be that. But my mindset will always be as such as I am the best to do what I do. And that’ll give me a shot at being my best. But before you can ever reach anything, you have to believe it. You don’t just mistakenly become great at something.
Wow! Draymond, like many elite performers, realized early on that if he was going to be one of the best players in the league, he needed to believe that he was. And he needed to embody the identity of the best player in the league with absolute certainty. When you watch the video and listen to him speak, there is no doubt that he believes that he is the best. In his words, such a belief gave him a “shot” at being the best. The rest requires hard work.
What’s your identity? Is it consistent with what you’re trying to accomplish and become in life? If not, what identity would you need to have? If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to consciously choose your identity. Practice saying it every day, multiple times a day, with emotional and physical intensity. If you repeat your identity consistently and with absolute certainty, the actions you will take and the results you get will naturally shift. Such is the power of identity. It is an essential part of mastering your code.