In this episode of the C.LI.M.B. hosts Brent Baxter and Johnny Dwinell share their advice on failure. Namely, how to never fail again, using what Dwinell likes to call “blueprint identities.”
Throughout the episode, the two share their own personal experiences with failure and how this idea of shifting and congruent identities can help their fellow CLIMBers evade failure too.
First, Dwinell explains to Baxter what he means by “blueprint identities,” describing them as “our chassis, if you will, they’re part of our Constitution, our character. They’re always there and everything points to these.”
Using Baxter as an example, Dwinell goes on to say, “Brent, you’re always a Christian, you’re always a family man, and you’re a songwriter, a creative. So everything you do in your life is focused on serving your god, your wife, your children, and scratching that creative itch.”
In this way, what Dwinell is trying to demonstrate is the ways in which our identities are constantly shifting, but it’s our blueprint identities, the non-shifting roles we take on or are chosen for, that should be the basis of our life.
As Baxter says, “if your identity doesn’t attach and isn’t congruent with your ultimate blueprint identity, it causes a lot of friction.”
He goes on to give an example in his own life explaining how being a worker at Cracker Barrel was once his identity which worked to serve his greater identity, that of a songwriter.
“Although I didn’t love that job at Cracker Barrel, it was helping me get to feed that creative part of me, that said, ‘Hey, I want to be a songwriter’ or ‘I am a songwriter, I want to break in and be an external pro, I want to have the cuts and the stuff to go with it.’ So, it was in service of this bigger identity of ‘I’m a songwriter, I’m a creative.’ I will take on the smaller identity to help serve this bigger one, which is one of my blueprint identities. And it was so annoying, but it was congruent. It’s getting me to where I want to go.”
Sharing more real life examples about the importance of aligning identities, Dwinell sums up his idea like this: “When you have a fear of failure, just the fear of failure, you are first of all married to the result, and you’re afraid that failing at the results will erode, will significantly damage, or in some cases maybe completely erase one or more of our blueprint identities. Or in some cases, our working identities. Like, if I’m identifying as a songwriter, and I have an identity gap, and I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing to actually be a songwriter, but I consider myself a songwriter, we’ve got some friction there. And then the fear, if I am married to the result, is that if I fail, I won’t be a songwriter.”
For more on their personal take with identity congruence, imposter syndrome, and to find out the ultimate blueprint identity to take on in order to drive success, listen to the rest of the episode on the C.L.I.M.B.