The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both usually right – Henry Ford.
What's my identity? Who am I? What am I worth? Most people put a very low price tag on themselves. Well, no one will value and believe in us unless we believe in ourselves. We’re the first ones who need to do it. Whatever you think your worth, if you are not sure of your own beliefs, your own goals, what do you want, the world will never give you of what you want, your dreams or your goals. How about your time? What is the price of your time? What’s the price tag for your time? Is it for sales? If you don’t respect your time nobody else will. There is something special about people who own their own time. Wouldn’t you like to be that person?
In order for that to happen you need to shift your identity. I’m not saying about changing your identity, getting a new name and passport, this is not Bourne Identity movie. I talking about shifting your beliefs about yourself. To get that identity shift you first need to know what is your current identity and what it needs to be in order to succeed long term. Who do you want to become? It’s like when you were a smoker and someone offers you a cigarette. You say either: Oh no I’ve quit or I don’t smoke. With the first one you’re obviously still a smoker who just stop smoking. For now. You are subconsciously suggesting this might not be permanent change. You are not sure if you persevere. You are not sure if you should and you haven’t made that decision just yet. Second one is a certain and bold claim that this is not your identity anymore. It’s short. It’s decisive. It’s exactly what you need. Claim your identity. Be sure. Your identity shift is the only way for a long term, sustainable effect.
Being a rebel
To shift your identity, you will need to be a rebel at least at the beginning of the process. It’s because people don’t like changes. They expect it will mean a change in their life and it will take an effort to reassess you in their mind. They will have to move you from one box in their head to another and that is never convenient, right? That’s exactly what happened to me at the beginning of being a vegetarian. So many times people asked me about it and I have always answered: I don’t eat meat. But Why? What’s your deal? What are your reasons? When I felt that someone is being judgmental I have always to reply with a short and decisive answer: That’s what I have decided. Especially on family meeting I was constantly facing questions like: Maybe you will eat this meat once; I have prepared this specially for you; You will disappoint me if you don’t; This is healthy for you; You lost weight and so on and on.
If you will let the smallest shadow of doubt to flourish in your mind you will be just waiting the for moment of your failure. This will be nothing more then a time bomb. My identity was changed long ago so all those questions and statements are not a big challenge to me. It’s actually the other way around, they are only fueling my engine and cementing my identity. I have been a rebel soul all my life and now I’m just using that to my advantage.
Three levels of awareness
Along with our identity go our behaviors. Identity shift will not exist without changing our behaviors. It’s just not possible. There are three general levels of awareness essential in understanding the change in our behaviors.
1. Cognitive understanding
It is the first level of awareness. Knowing doesn’t mean understanding. Most of you know what you should do and what the concept is about. However, many just don’t do what they know. Why is that? Every smoker knows they shouldn’t smoke. They know it’s bad. They know it’s killing them. So what? It doesn’t mean anything. Information by itself has no causative value. Information without hardcore execution is just wasted opportunity. They can read the warnings on the pack of cigarettes, they even might know someone who suffered from lung cancer but it still doesn’t matter. Intellectual level of understanding doesn’t change anything. In order to make a change, to change behavior it has to go to the next level.
2. Emotional understanding
You suddenly didn’t become more intelligent, it’s the same information but you have emotional understanding of your actions or inactions. It happens when you’ve done or heard something so many times that it has created enough emotions, enough pain or pleasure links, enough wants or fears, that you understand it in your gut. That information either touch your soft spots or maybe you have hit reach the bottom. Now you are aware of your pains, that are associated with the certain situations. You imagine what you might lose. It will get you to change your behavior but it won’t produce a consistent change or a massive shift behaviour. Talent and good intensions are never enough in this world. To get your consistency you need a third level.
3. Cellar change/identity shift
The strongest force in the human personality is the need to remain consistent with how you define yourself. In other words, your identity. We all have different identities. Why do runners feel anxious if they don’t run for a week? Because it’s a part of their identity, that’s who they are. Unless you don’t make a shift of your identity at that level, you’re not going to change your behavior long term. It’s not going to last. Because your actions are always in line with your identity. If you don’t change your identity you are challenging your will power. As you might know the problem with will power is that it is a limited resource with a time limit. If you rely only on your willpower you set yourself up for a major failure and disappointment. Don’t let it happen.
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