I recently wrote a blog post about Shifting Your Confidence Identity, and in this video I wanted to share with you a personal story about how I’ve done exactly that, and how you can too.
Many of the things I’ve learned on my journey as a Confidence Crusader have come through my own personal experience, and later on through my constant reading and listening to personal development content, I discover that the lessons I’ve learned and experienced is an actual lesson that’s been documented by authors and academics which I’m then able to label.
One such example is the importance of self identity.
Neuro Linguistic Programming
In my blog post, I reference the teachings of NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming and the role that identity plays in determining whether a person can successfully change their habits and behaviors.
Essentially what they’re saying is – the reason that most people aren’t successful with their new year’s resolutions, or with quitting bad habits like smoking or over-eating, or even with instilling new good habits like exercise and meditation, is because of the identity they’ve created for themselves.
For example, if a room full of people were asked by show of hands whether they were smokers or non-smokers, there would most likely be a 100% show of hands – smokers vs non-smokers. The audience would self-identify whether in fact they were a smoker or a non-smoker. They either do or they don’t. There’s no grey area, there’s no confusion.
The role that identity plays in changing someone’s habits and behaviors is that once the individual makes the decision to adopt a new identity (the one they’d ideally like to have) that’s when they’re more likely to succeed in changing their actions. If a smoker wants to quit smoking – they first have to decide that they want to adopt the label of “Non-Smoker”.
My Newest Identity
Here’s an example of choosing a new identity that I’ve personally experienced.
My husband and I have been vegetarian for nearly 12 years. Early last year, we decided that we wanted to adopt a vegan diet because we feel bad about the treatment of the animals, so we began to cut dairy and eggs from our diet. When I told friends and family about our decision, I told them that we were “trying the vegan thing”. At the time, we also had an upcoming trip to Paris, which I was so looking forward to, and in my mind I had already given myself permission to have cheese and chocolate in Paris – because we would be in Paris dammit!
Before we’d even arrived in Paris, my hankering for cheese had become so strong, that I totally jumped off the vegan train! I lasted a whole 3 weeks!
Fast forward to June of this year, and the topic of veganism entered my consciousness again and the pull to give it another go was as fierce as ever.
This time though, once we made the decision to go for it – instead of saying ”I’m trying this vegan thing” I started saying “I am vegan”.
I decided to give myself that identity. Even while we were still using up the eggs and cheese that was still in our fridge, the fact that I had begun to identify myself as vegan, meant that the transition was much easier. My desire for the cheese and eggs didn’t just vanish, and I did have a moment of mourning the fact that I’d never have cheese again, but with my new identity firmly adopted, and knowing the reason why I was choosing this vegan identity, I was able to overcome those old desires and fully integrate this new lifestyle choice until it became my new norm. I began to be, do and feel the way that a vegan does.
How to Adopt Your New Desired Identity
Whatever habit or behavior you currently have that you’d like to change, try these two steps:
- Decide on and commit to your new desired identity & declare it to yourself and others.
- Affirm the reason WHY you desire this new identity.
- Bonus Step: Rinse & Repeat!
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. If so, go ahead and subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on any future videos. And remember – a caring sister is a sharing sister, so if you have a friend or family member who’s confidence could do with a boost, do her a favor and send her this post.
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