Develop Your Identity And Intention


  • “Improve the situation. Build the relationship.”
  • Ever feel like difficult conversations always devolve into an argument or undesired outcome? In this episode, learn how to shift your mindset and perspective on how to approach conflict situations in a more positive way.
  • “Let me give you one singular intention statement that will change every conflict you ever have for the rest of your life. I am a person who builds positive relationships.”
  • As a high performer, chances are you want to show up in the world as a great person, but what are the exact values and rules that you live by to measure the quality of your actions? In this episode, discover how to craft your identity, so you can be the person you envision yourself as.
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Tips For Developing Close Relationships



[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in the Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

If you want to change the conflicts in your life, you must be more conscious of your identity and your intention.

I recently spoke about this in one of our GrowthDay Daily Fires. How, when we define what our identity is and how and who we are in the world, and that’s real for us and we act from a place of integrity from that, there are just things we don’t do. Right? If you say it’s an identity I don’t steal from grocery stores. I’m not a person who steals from grocery stores. If that is who you are and you believe that you don’t enter grocery stores and steal stuff. You’ve decided and determined you’re not a person who [blank] Right? I’m just not a person who… does this. Some of you have decided points in your life, I’m not a person who screams at others in a fight. I’m not a person who swears at others. I’m not a person who strikes others. I’m not a person who throws things at others. I’m not a person who does this. And that decision shapes how you react in relationships. So choose your identity. And this again, I’ll encourage you to open up your journal and just capture…ok. Capture. Who do I want to be in conflict situations? That was all a warm-up. I’ll show you mine. I’m like, I’m not a person who gets angry, violent, condescending, or hurtful in conversations with others. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I’m sure my wife would say, Hang on, there have been these times. And she would be right. But if you take the bulk of your behavior over a period of time, it really does reveal your character. And I’m happy to say I don’t get hooked in those things that often. And when I do, we’ll talk about how to repair it later on.

1. Try to Be a Role Model

I also have the identity of trying to be a role model. You’ve all heard me talk about the role model mindset. I just always, when I go into a situation or someone brings something like, I always ask, what would a role model do? And that’s why I ask you to think of who is the person who encouraged you? What would, the person you wrote, what would they do in a difficult conflict situation? How would they treat you? How would they treat others? When we can step into, like, how would a role model handle this? It does change the perspective. You know, if you’re about to scream at your child about their homework and you ask, what would Jesus do? You’re probably going to change your perspective. And whether you would ask, what would Jesus do or what would your mom do or what would my highest self do, or what my boss, who I admire would do. Whatever it is, it’s changing perspective just for a second. And again, that’s identity. That’s identity work. Who am I going to be in the situation? 

2. Build Positive Relationships

Related, is our intention in the situation. Let me give you one singular intention statement that will change every conflict you ever have for the rest of your life. I am a person who builds positive relationships.

I’m a person who builds positive relationships.

Imagine you’ve got to go have that difficult conversation at work with that underperforming employee. There they are in the glass conference room cube. And you know, you have to go in there and deliver some truthful feedback that they’re underperforming. If your mindset is, this person sucks. I hate them. How are you going to treat them? If your intention is, I need to get this person to change or I’m going to fire them. How are you going to treat them? But if the intention is, I’m a person who builds positive relationships. Ok, stepping into this conversation from that truth, I want to be a role model. I want to build positive, lasting conversations and relationships with other people. Let me start with that. It is entering a conversation with the intention to build a relationship. Let me say that again. It’s entering the conversation with the clear intention to build the relationship.p At home that sounds like, honey, I love you. I’m always trying to figure out ways that we can make the relationship better. I have some ideas and I’d love it if we could have a conversation. At work, it’s as simple as, you know what, your relationships with your coworkers here really matter and we’re trying to build something really special together, and I know you’re part of that. So we need to have a conversation. It’s just baselining everybody and reminding everybody that we’re here to build a relationship. See, when you’re angry, what is your usual intention? I’m here to end this relationship. F this person. They’re out. And now, from that frame, from that intention, how do you treat people? My intention is to fire this underperforming jerk. OK, you’re going to have a very different conversation. The intention is the very thing that will change you for the rest of your life.

3. Build Intention with Groups

I know many of you heard me talk about my experiences with Oprah Winfrey and the blessing of doing some courses with her and her network and really learning a lot from her. And one thing,  I was always amazed by, when she starts any meeting, she always asks, what’s our intention for this meeting? And getting clear about the intention, And trust me, they always frame it positive; will now help us move through that conversation with a higher value ethic. Right? If there’s no intention, what will happen is you will devolve into your defenses. Right? That’s what happens in conflict. You get defensive versus intentional. That is the difference in immaturity or unconsciousness, and maturity and consciousness. One action is I got to defend myself. They’re awful. I hate them. And we’re in conflict and war. 

Another is it’s my intention to build, repair, improve, and inspire this relationship. Changes everything. People ask, how do you not get knocked off the path? Like, how is it that you have all these employees? You deal with millions of people every day on social media. You have these teams, these companies who invest in you. Many of you see me on stages when there can be a heckler, there can be somebody rude, somebody sneaks backstage. You never see me treat somebody with disrespect because my intention is, OK, I’ve got to improve this relationship or I’ve got to improve the situation. How would a role model handle the situation even when it sucks, even when it’s awful? I can be very firm without being disrespectful. I can be very firm, very clear.

4. Improve the Situation

But the intention is — to improve the situation. Could you write that down and underline it 20 times for me? Improve the situation. Build the relationship. I literally mean this. Don’t watch this passively. Write it out on a piece of paper right now. Paper, pen. Remember those? Improve the situation. Underline, underline line. Build the relationship. Underline, underline, underline. Underline. If you could do me that favor. We just changed your life forever. If you can look at that piece of paper before you have that next difficult conversation, we just change your life forever.

Improve the situation. Build the relationship.

Someone make me a quote card and post it on social media. Tag me up. Want to see it? All right. Improve the situation. Build the relationship. From that perspective, everything is changed. Now, trust me. I know. I know. I know. I know. Already in your mind, you’ve been thinking. But you don’t understand this guy tweeted me. You don’t understand. This person said this on social media. You don’t understand. I got this email. You ain’t met my husband yet. I know. You’re like, oh, you don’t know my boss. You don’t know this. I do know. I’ve worked with them for 15 years every single week through conflict relationships. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it all. 

And I know those with the higher intention win over the long term. Now we’re going to talk about how to deal with jerks later, but what are we starting with? We’re starting with you. We’re starting with your frame of the world. Shared future. Respect for process, empathy, and encouragement. We’re talking about you, your identity. Who are you going to be and what are your intentions? We got to start with you. If you start with even the thought of conflict, and you’re immediately blaming and pointing to other people man, you’re behind the times. We can’t do that anymore. It didn’t work. We tried that in societies. You’ve tried that in other relationships. You got to be personally responsible for yourself, your identity, and your intentions first. Isn’t that one of the hallmarks of all personal development work? Personal responsibility. Starts with you. Change starts with you guys.