Interview Episodes

Dr. Ben Walker – Performance based identity & how our results, successes and failures affect us (#3)

Paperback Guerrillas podcast episode #3 – Dr. Ben Walker from Ngati Raukawa talks about performance-based identity and its effect on self-esteem, self-worth in business, parenting and sport.

We’re seeing more performance based identities where people start to define themselves based on that rather than the old stuff, culture, religion or family.” — Dr. Ben Walker

Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to another episode of Paperback Guerrillas – mana enhancing kōrero (life-improving conversations) with people from all walks of life, sharing insights, inspiration and tools so we can take positive action for change.

In this episode, I sit down with Dr. Ben Walker from Ngāti Raukawa about performance-based identity, its effect on self-esteem, self-worth, professional sporting and parenting in the western world.  Dr. Walker is a professor at Victoria University and wrote his PhD thesis on performance-based identity.
We talk about how those new associations with identity affect us, it’s an interesting conversation and one in which I learned a lot. I hope you do too. Mauri ora!

Hit subscribe in your podcast app if you want to hear more.

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify Listen on Stitcher Listen on Google Podcasts

Show notes:

  • What performance-based-identity is and isn’t.
  • We need to feel free, we need to feel part of something bigger than ourselves, and we need to feel like we’re good at something.
  • One thing you can feel as young Māori especially is this pressure to give back to the collective.
  • Different people have different measures of success and the difference that makes to our self-perceived identity. Some professional rugby players view themselves as successful because of their on-field wins, others because of how hard they work. 

Enjoyed the episode? Help us record more: If you want to help us share these conversations for positive change, please help by donating here:

Reviews make our little podcast more visible to others who might benefit from the kōrero, so please leave a review. There are instructions on how to do so below.

Question: what was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Comment below and let us know!

As always, he mihi nui, a big thank you, to Patrick Ryan for the audio magic, and Trek One for the choice intro music (you can hear more of his music on Spotify here.)

How to leave a review so others know it’s worth a listen:


Step One: Open Paperback Guerrillas in iTunes. If you’re not already there, tap the Search icon (on the bottom) and search for “Paperback Guerrillas” Tap the album art. Then click “View in iTunes” or “Listen on Apple Podcasts.”

Step Two: Once iTunes is open and you’re on the Paperback Guerrillas page, click the “Ratings and Reviews” tab.

Step Three: Click the “Write a Review” button, give a star rating, and write a sentence or two about what you like about the podcast. Click ‘Submit’ and you’re done.


Step One: Open the Paperback Guerrillas page on Stitcher.

Step Two: Click on “Reviews”.

Step Three: Give a star rating, click the ‘Write a Review’ button, share a sentence or two about what you like about the podcast, click ‘Submit,’ and you’re done.

He mihi nui, a huge thank for your review.

For 100 aroha points, tell a friend about the show!