Building Better Habits Shapes Our New Identity
The root of behavior change and building better habits is your identity. Each action you perform is driven by the fundamental belief that it is possible. So if you change your identity (the type of person that you believe that you are), then it’s easier to change your actions.
Getting clear on outcome based goals and our deeper desires helps us to imagine new possibilities for our life, but it is in our small daily actions, behaviors and habits that form the new pathway that leads us towards or away from the change we seek. The gap between where we are now and person we aspire to be lies in how we see ourself and show up each day.
The visioning meditation in Week One is a powerful way to start seeing this new embodied version of yourself playing out this new role. Then we can support this vision by upgrading our small daily actions we do everyday to support it.
Changing Your Beliefs, Changes the Way You See Yourself and the World
Your identity emerges out of your habits. You are not born with preset beliefs. Every belief, including those about yourself, is learned and conditioned through experience. If this is true, then we can CHOOSE to program new beliefs that empower us and enforce these beliefs through small daily repetitive actions (habits).
Your habits are how you embody your identity. When you make your bed each day, you embody the identity of an organized person. When you write each day, you embody the identity of a creative person. When you train each day, you embody the identity of an athletic person.
The more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior. In fact, the word identity was originally derived from the Latin words essentitas, which means being, and, identidem, which means repeatedly. Your identity is literally your “repeated beingness.”
Whatever your identity is right now, you only believe it because you have proof of it. The more evidence you have for a belief, the more strongly you will believe it.
For example, if you want to be a writer, but don't currently consider yourself a writer, you may find that you lack confidence to show up full as one. in your life. But with the knowingness that being a writer is part of your greater vision for your life, you would want to ask yourself what new habit will help you move into embodying your new identity as a writer and believing it? This could be to commit to publishing a new article every Monday and Thursday for 1 year. As you repeat these actions, the evidence will accumulate and your self-image will begin to change. With each new published article, You will slowly change the way you see yourself, and slowly begin to embody identity/archetype of a writer through this new repeated habit.
In this way, the process of building habits is actually the process of building supportive evidence in becoming yourself. This is a gradual evolution. We do not change by snapping our fingers and deciding to be someone entirely new.
We change bit by bit, day by day, habit by habit. This week and for the remainder of this course, I invite you to be more mindful of the actions that you take...as if each action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
Reflect back on your vision and values in week one. What is the version of yourself you are looking to step more fully into? What is the new identity you are looking to embody?
Once you are aware of this, choose one habit you would like to upgrade to support you in stepping into this new archetype.