Your Growth Guide: How To Tackle Identity With A Broken Soundtrack With Jon Acuff

By Mo Bunnell

How To Tackle Identity With A Broken Soundtrack With Jon Acuff

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Jon Acuff, New York Times best-selling author, as well as INC’s Top 100 Leadership Speaker.

Mo prompted Jon with a question about how to tackle identity if you have a broken soundtrack.

Jon responded:

"Here’s the exercise I always think about because people will go, “Well how do I know if I have a broken soundtrack?” Let’s start there, how do I even know? I’ll give you a 30-second exercise that everyone can do.

All you do if you want to identify a broken soundtrack is write down a goal. It can be any goal. It can be, “I want to expand my book of business by 10%. It can be, “There is this amazing client that I’m desperate to work with.” It can be, “I want to get better at leading people…” It can be that you want to lose ten pounds, want to start a podcast, read more, or network more. Whatever that may be.

Write down a goal and then listen to your first thoughts. Listen to the thoughts that come next and listen to your reaction. Every reaction is an indication. Is your reaction, “I should do that. It’s time to expand the business. You’re so ready for that… You’ve got the network. You’ve got the skills…” or is it the reverse, “Who are you to think you can do that? You can’t do that. You’ve tried 10 times before, and the client isn’t going to answer the 11th call…”

What’s interesting about fear Mo is that it argues both sides of the coin. When you’re in your 20s and 30s trying to build a book of business, it says, “You’re too young. You don’t have enough experience. You don’t have enough wisdom.” When you hit your 40s and 50s, they say, “It’s too late. You don’t have enough time. You’ve missed your window.” You want to ask fear when was the perfect age to do this? As if it’ll say, “There were ten minutes when you were 34. It was a Tuesday in October. It would have been fantastic.”

So first you identify whether you have a broken soundtrack, and then the next step is to ask it three really simple questions… They are Trojan horse questions. They’re not fancy, and no one is going to be impressed by these questions. They’re Trojan horses because if you ask them, they’ll actually teach you something.

Number one is, “Is it true?” Is the thing I’m telling myself about myself right now true? One of the greatest mistakes you can make is assuming all your thoughts are true. We believe them because our thoughts are delivered in the voice we’ve heard the most of our life, our own…

We’ve all had a situation where we thought a client was so frustrated, so upset, so mad at us, but then we finally interacted with them, and they weren’t thinking those things at all. It turns out they have their own busy life. We never go back to that thought that told us they were mad and think, “You got me! You got me this time, but next time I’m not going to trust you with the next client.” We just carry that broken behavior on.”

Dive deeper into the conversation with Jon Acuff as he tells us the next 2 steps in dealing with a broken soundtrack here.

"Is it true?"—serves as a valuable self-assessment tool for navigating the often deceptive landscape of our own thoughts, especially in client interactions, where assumptions can lead to missed opportunities.

Reflect on how identifying a broken soundtrack reminds us that our first thoughts can reveal our inner self-doubts or confidence, and understanding this initial reaction is the first step to overcoming fear in business development.

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Thanks for reading!