Who You Are vs Who You Believe You Are

Garrett Entitlement, Inner Game, Psychology/Philosophy, Self-Help, State, Winner Game

Hey, guys.

Last month’s article was heavily focused on outer game and dialing down on procedures. The aim was to really master the right techniques and internalize them effortlessly. For this month’s article, I wanted to balance it out by focusing on inner game:

Your ego, your rationalizations/cognitive biases, and being honest with yourself.

Rationalization 

  1. The action of attempting to explain or justify behavior or an attitude with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate. Most people are prone to self-deceptive rationalization.
  2. The action of reorganizing a process or system to make it more logical and consistent.

Cognitive Bias

A mistake in reasoning, evaluating, remembering, or other cognitive process, often occurring as a result of holding on to one’s preferences and beliefs regardless of contrary information. 

Ego

The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.

Before you discovered game, there were rationalizations that you had in your mind for why you weren’t with girls. And these rationalizations and cognitive biases served a purpose. They preserved your self-esteem and they preserved it well. They were a protective bubble around who you believed you were and the concept of yourself.

When something enters your reality and conflicts with your reality of who you are, your mind will automatically try to rationalize why it is so in order to better fit your idea of reality . . . and that’s if your cognitive biases allow you to notice it in the first place. They aim to keep your current reality in as pristine a condition as possible.

The fact that your mind will consistently filter external stimulus in a way that most benefits your ego, regardless of the accuracy of the interpretation, is pretty insane . . . but it’s a well-documented, widely known psychological occurrence. So what does this mean? Where do you go from here? Knowing this newfound information has many implications . . . but for the sake of the focus of this article, we’re going to focus on one:

Who you believe you are and who you really are are two completely different people. 

I’ll say it again so you can really understand this.

Who you believe you are and who you really are are two completely different people.

You may THINK that you are doing A, B, and C, but in reality you may be doing X, Y, and Z. And ESPECIALLY when you are attempting to develop a skill set that is completely ego shattering, you better believe that your mind will go through whirlwinds of rationalizations to maintain its structure.

When someone asks you if you work out and you tell them you work out four times a week, is that the answer that reflects your true life? Or is that the answer you want to reflect who you are? How about when someone asks how often you meditate? Do you say twenty minutes a day? Is that an accurate estimation of your consistency? Or is that the answer that you want others to believe about you?

When someone asks you if you eat healthy, do you fail to mention that you just had a pizza and beer binge last weekend? Even in your game, when you left the set with a phone number, could you have pulled? Is the excuse you used for not pulling truly legitimate?

Ask yourself: How often are you gaming? Is it less than what you would like? Why don’t you go out more? Is it because you are too “busy” with work and school? Could be true . . . sure. But why can’t you chat with three girls a day you see randomly while going about your “busy” day? Is that absolutelyimpossible? There are always rationalizations that give you the perfect excuses for why you aren’t doing what you know you should be doing . . . and there are always cognitive biases that sometimes don’t even allow you to truly see where the chinks in your armor are.

You may consciously want to grow . . . but your mind will do everything in its power to protect its reality. And this may directly conflict with your passions and goals in life. When developing yourself and becoming advanced in game, honesty is king . . . at least if you truly want to grow.

Really see what you are doing and how you are doing it, and where that trajectory is taking you. What sort of actions you are taking infield, how you have been progressing over the past few months, and where you will be in the future if you are taking the actions you are currently taking.

There’s a difference between actually being the person you want to be and thinking you are that person, and the only thing separating the two is honesty. Your ego will flare and your biases will whip your mind into believing all kinds of untrue things. It’s important to know what you are dealing with. You are not an exception to the human experience. You are human, therefore you have an ego. You have an ego, therefore you have ego protection. You have ego protection, therefore you have biases to ensure that your ego stays unharmed, and rationalizations to ensure your actions are justified.

**Tip**

Something that helped me in my journey in game was consciously shifting my value system. Valuing true growth, regardless of how messy and painful it is, over being this “flawless person” was the start. 

If I valued being this flawless person (albeit delusional but still feels real enough to invest in and perpetuate), it would be almost impossible to see the chinks in my armor and my own bullshit thoughts and behaviors. And even if I did have a glimpse into what I was doing wrong, it would be immediately rationalized so as to not cause too much cognitive dissonance so I could maintain my reality. 

Shifting my value system, for me, was key. Because shifting this value system allowed me to actually be ABLE to see my fallacies and blind spots, as they would inevitably adversely affect my confidence, self-esteem, and comfort with the world.

And the funny trick with the mind is, you may be reading this and thinking, Oh, I’m not rationalizing anything. . . . For some reason, we think that the rationalizations would be so outlandish and verbose that we would SURELY recognize them for what they are . . . right? Wrong. Rationalizations and biases are so subtle and conspicuous . . . so slick and cunning, we believe them as factual and may not even give them a second thought. We believe it through and through and gloss over any possible criticisms of them.

Understand that when you’re a beginner in game, you may have rationalized why you took the hot girl’s number instead of trying to pull. Or you may not have seen an opportunity to pull due to your biases. But it didn’t matter. You got the number.

And.

It.

Felt.

Incredible.

You were on top of the world. The euphoria was unreal. And this actually contributes to your momentum and emergence into a NEW identity.

The rationalizations and biases you had up to this point in your game had a good reason for their existence. They allowed you to enjoy the small wins and gave you euphoric highs. But eventually these same rationalizations and biases will hinder your growth. It takes brutal honesty with yourself to truly grow. You have to see your own bullshit. You have to look inward and see where you are making excuses. You must examine yourself and reexamine yourself so you can continue to raise the level of your game. You must let go of your current reality to make room for a new, better one.