“I’m me”, I’d proclaim to those I worked with.

I was kind of right. As one of my best friends used to say: “well, you can’t be anybody else.”

That made me laugh. There’s definitely some truth to it. But the fact that we can’t be someone else doesn’t mean we’re always being ourselves.

And, no matter how much I said “I’m me,” no matter how much I was trying to convince myself… I wasn’t being me.

I got asked this question last week as part of my weekly Q and A:

“How do I know if I’m being who I am?”

It’s a good question. And he was brave to ask it.

This is what I replied:

“Are you happy?”

Because why wouldn’t you be happy if you were being you? Of course, being you doesn’t mean you’re immune to bad things. Or failure. Or feeling like sh*t. But aren’t you happy when you’re you?

And that was the anomaly in my life at the time when I’d proclaim “I’m me” to the people I worked with.

I’d proclaim I was me. And yet I was unhappy.

I was in a job I didn’t like, and I was complaining about it, and I was doing nothing to change my situation. Well, I was doing little things, here and there. But when does that ever work?

If I really was being me, I still would’ve been in that job I didn’t like… but I would’ve been working every day to change that.

I would’ve spent my energy on working to change things instead of complaining that I couldn’t.

It’s like when I self-published my first book and barely even marketed it.

Or when I was adamant I wanted to write for more publications but found myself making excuses for not pitching them “yet”.

Or when I said I wanted to get back into shape and yet didn’t exercise or eat well consistently.

These are all anomalies. These are all me saying I want something and then doing nothing to make that thing happen.

These anomalies are why you aren’t progressing. They’re why you aren’t getting further away from where you don’t want to be and why you aren’t getting closer to where you desperately do want to be. They’re why you don’t have what you want.

They’re why you aren’t successful. Happy. You.

They’re important.


How do you identify them? There’s no point writing about “how to” solve these anomalies if you don’t even know how to find them.

Identifying them is simple. This is what you do:

  1. Write down all the things you say you want, but don’t currently have.
  2. Write down what you need to do to get these things.
  3. Ask yourself if you’re doing what you need to do. And be binary about it. Yes or No. You’re either doing them, or you aren’t.

That’s it. You’ve just identified the anomalies in your life. Well, you have if you’ve been honest. Have you been honest? Because this won’t work if you haven’t been honest.

The next step is to ask yourself how to start doing the things you know you need to do.


That won’t work.

Because it’s not about how to start. It’s about what’s stopping you.@Matt_Hearnden (Click to Tweet!)

For example, I said I barely marketed my first book.

That was nothing to do with how to do it. I knew exactly how to do it. I could’ve googled “how to market my book” and found 100 different ways to market it.

It was nothing to do with how to do it because it was everything to do with what was stopping me from doing it.

And what was stopping me from doing it was that I didn’t believe it would sell. Well, I didn’t believe it would sell as much as I wanted it to. All I kept thinking was “but what if it doesn’t sell? What if people don’t like it? What if it fails?”

The irony, of course, is that because I let those thoughts make my choices for me, I ended up barely marketing it at all, and those thoughts came true. The book didn’t sell as well as I wanted to. It “failed”.

I was scared it wouldn’t sell, and so I didn’t market it, and so it didn’t sell.

What an enormous surprise that was.

I knew exactly how I should’ve done things.

I just stopped myself from doing them.


That anomaly in your life. The main one. The most impactful one.

You know exactly how to solve it.

What’s stopping you from doing just that?

Matt Hearnden is a writer from the UK. He mostly tells stories only he can tell. He blogs twice a week at www.matthearnden.com just self-published his first book:42. Matt writes every day because he loves it and because it stops him watching Netflix. And, probably more importantly, he plays basketball and has lots of tattoos. You can find him on Twitter, IG & Quora.

Image courtesy of Azrul Aziz.