It’s easy to map out who you are and who you want to be when you are aware of the wide range of emotion that you are allowed to feel. We have been changing identities since we were young. We innocently consume all these emotions surrounding us. When we grow up, we start to limit ourselves with a handful of emotions that we’re allowed to feel. A pattern of habits we develop over the years projects an image we have of ourselves. When you understand this pattern, you will learn how to carve out a new image of yourself without limits.
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Changing Identities For Limitless Possibilities
We’re glad that you’re with us on this very special episode where we get into some change work. All about shifting your identity and is especially useful if you’ve done the tasks from the previous episodes. If you haven’t heard the first ten or so episodes, those are the fundamentals. We’re going to make reference to a lot of these different moving parts, especially in this and the next couple of episodes. If you need a little bit of refresher, go ahead and check them out because we’re talking about shifting your identity.
The cornerstone of what we do is helping people to recognize, realize, and step into the greatest version of themselves that’s always been there, they just weren’t aware of it.
I’ve made so many shifts in my own identity. I’m going through a big one, which may be one of the biggest ones since I let go of my depression. It’s fun teaching something that I am doing. What we’re going to give you here is stuff that isn’t just we’re teaching for you. We’re using this actively to make changes in our lives. That’s one of the reasons that I’m so excited to have this opportunity to help you do the very same thing.
If you ever have questions or you’re wondering or you want to share with us, we love reading your stories and hearing about the transformations and just the realizations that you’re having. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and share that with us. As we start to dive into this, we want to start with understanding some science, which is one of our favorite topics and understanding what’s happening in your brain when you are creating who it is you think or believe that you are. One of the things that we want to cover is that who you tend to be, who you believe you are, is a pattern of habits. These habits that you consistently do, the way you walk, the way you talk, how you go through your day, what you think, what you feel, create this idea of who you think you are. Anything outside of those habits or routine tend to be not you. As we start to look at this, you can start to look at, “What are the habits or the personality of Sophie?” I’ll use myself as an example. Sophie is somebody who experiences a lot of joy, a lot of gratitude. She works out like crazy, spends a lot of time talking with clients, and can start to break down the pieces of this personality that are based on the habits and the evidence that I have for who I am. As I’m looking at that, here is where we get into the science. Those habits are something that you repeatedly do. The more that you do it, what’s happening in your brain is you are wiring in with your neurons, with these parts of your brain, and turning that on. Every single time that you do that with a certain behavior, habit, thought, or even a feeling, you are wiring it in.
As you’re building it one layer on top of the other layer, and when you’ve been doing this for 10, 20, 30 years, you’ll have a thick wire. Change can be hard sometimes, but when you’re hardwired in this identity of who you believe you are, you’ve got so much emotional attachment to it. You’re starting to develop one lonely wire for this new habit and you are wondering, “Why is it so hard to get myself out of this habitual way of thinking and being and try doing something new?” It’s understanding that scientifically, what’s happening in your brain is you have this extremely hard-wired network and then you have this tiny little new one. It is going to become this process of what we call pruning, of unwiring by no longer activating and no longer behaving, feeling, or thinking in the same habitual way, and starting to rewire this new way of thinking, feeling, being, and doing through these new habits based on the new identity that you want to create for yourself. Start to think about what are some of the habits and/or the personality traits that you believe you have or that you’ve been owning up until this point? What are the ones that you want to begin to create for yourself in order to create the life that you truly want to live?
Have you ever been driving to get groceries or are just going somewhere else and then lapsed in your attention and accidentally drove to a friend’s house or to work?
Totally. I do it when I go to the gym all the time.
I used to do it when I had a corporate job and I go the same route every time. If I started going down the same route, even though I told myself I wanted to go somewhere else, that pattern, that habit, that neural network, would sometimes be so strong that if I wasn’t paying attention, I would just follow the same habit. For example, even if I started working at a different office, I would have to pay close attention because I set it in the morning for the whole year, five days out of the week, I wake up, eat my breakfast, brush my teeth and drive the same way to work. With a different office, every once in a while, I’d end up in my old office because that was just ingrained. I had to start pruning that old network and paying attention to creating this new one.
When you act, when you indulge in any habit, you are reinforcing it. You’re asking for even more of it. You have many choices every day. “Do I want even more of this or do I want something else?” When we’re talking about shifting your identity, identities are based quite a bit on what we do habitually. You can start changing that by bringing awareness. “Do I want even more of this or do I want something else?” You can start carving a new path and building another neural network that would allow you to take your identity into a different set of habits. I am the person that does this different thing. Instead of sleeping in, I’m the person who works out. It starts off as waking up at the alarm. Am I the person who’s going to hit snooze and not go to the gym or am I the person who takes care of myself and goes to the gym? Even though everything is telling me, “Stay in bed. It’s okay, don’t worry about it, work out tomorrow,” I want even more of me going to the gym, so I’m going to get up and do that instead.
Diving back into your conscious and your unconscious, it’s not just what you do but it’s also what you think and how you feel. Paying attention to what are the main emotions that you, up until this point, have been living with or been experiencing that create who you believe you are. A common thing with a lot of high achievers is, “I’m stressed out. I’m a worrier. That’s part of who I am.” This is so painful to hear because when you are owning that emotion, you’re saying that’s just part of who you are, you are limiting yourself to being able to change that. Number one, it’s recognizing that you have the ability to experience such a wide range of emotions. You can experience any emotion. All have the same mechanical configuration in our brains and in our bodies to feel and experience anything. When we limit ourselves to only being able to experience fear, stress, anger, frustration, guilt, shame, sadness, we’re not using the capacity of what this machine was made to do. It’s giving yourself permission to recognize this whole process of self-awareness, this habitual way of feeling, “What have been the emotions that I’ve been attaching to my personality to who I believe I am?” Whether that’s conscious or unconscious, and then starting to look at, “For somebody of this caliber of where I want to be, what would they be feeling and experiencing on a daily basis?”
[Tweet “All have the same mechanical configuration in our brains and in our bodies to feel and experience anything.”]
It’s useful to map that out for yourself. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Look at other role models. Look at other people who are already where you want to be. If you’re looking at “I want to be a successful business owner,” I would encourage you to look at the best in the world. I love looking at people like Arnold Schwarzenegger who is an incredible role model for mindset. He’s got some incredible interviews. One of my favorite ones is on the Tim Ferriss podcast. It shows how he thinks about life, about himself, people, challenges, and opportunities and what it means to overcome. I remember listening to that and thinking, “If I can just model that, if I can take out one habit from what he said and choose that for myself and make a conscious effort to do a little bit of that every single day, then just by that habit, I would get a little bit of his success and a little bit of his world.”
You can do that no matter what field you’re in, even if you’re looking for relationships or health and wellness or if you’re trying to deepen your spirituality. There will always be role models. Find out what emotions are they habitually in. What do they believe in everyday? What do they do every day? Model that and then choose to embody that every day, a little bit each day at first and build those neural pathways. Eventually, you’re going to start getting those same results.
Mirror neurons, it’s not theory we’re talking about here. You have these beautiful things in your brain called mirror neurons. Have you ever seen somebody that was upset and they’re crying emotionally and they’re bawling their eyes out? You look at them and you just start to feel so bad? What’s happening there is your mirror neurons are seeing this and they’re starting to reflect what it is they’re seeing. You can use this analogy in so many areas of your life. What you surround yourself with, you start to embrace and embody. It starts to become a part of you because you’re reflecting it. When I used to go to the gym, I used to put on all this angry music and I would be so pissed off and angry during the whole workout, which sometimes was nice. What I changed is, instead of listening to hip-hop and rap every time I go to the gym, I have all these motivational speeches by Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, by all these big names. I’ve got these people talking in my ear. The whole time I’m listening to it, I’m hearing it and I’m starting to reflect it. I find myself thinking and speaking in the same way of what I was hearing in those episodes and in those playlists. We’re talking about looking for people to model. It’s paying attention to how are they walking, how are they talking, listening to what they say, and how they’re thinking. The more that you’re doing that, the more that you can surround yourself with, not just for a minute a day, but start to make that a part of every aspect of your life and start to look at the parts of your life and how those are reflecting your current personality and starting to create the new personality. What do you need to surround yourself with that’s going to help reflect this new identity?
Surrounding yourself means so many different things. I love listening to audio books about transformation when I’m at the gym or in the car and imbibe those thought patterns and that way of looking at life and also listening to speeches, listening to presentations and performances and anything that I might learn from so that it can go right in. That’s a great way to build it into your body because we process information through motion. That’s one of the reasons why you see kids when they’re learning, they get fidgety. It’s not because they have ADHD, so stop giving your kids drugs for that. They process information by movement. That’s why a lot of other learning formats like Montessori have a lot of motion in it. They have a lot of movement. That’s why running, if you’re trying to solve a problem, helps, and going to work out. If you’re trying to learn something, trying to take something in and make it a part of you, listen to it while you’re moving, while you’re going out for a run or a swim or you’re working out. Make sure that whatever you’re taking in is conducive to your transformation. As Sophie said, maybe listening to angry music is not what you want when you’re thinking about embedding these messages into your body while you’re moving. Give yourself all of those good things that you want to be a part of you at that time and then out of it, consider what else are you taking in, whether consciously or unconsciously. It’s like a lot of people used to say about commercials, “I don’t pay attention.” Study after study would show that the people who “don’t pay attention” to commercials are the ones that are most affected by them. That’s legit.
I don’t care if you say, “I hang out with mostly negative people, but I don’t let them get to me.”You do. You don’t have a choice. It’s not a you-thing, it’s a human thing. You’re unconsciously doing it, which means it’s going into the place that is changing your identity the most. Start being even more conscious and deliberate about the messages that you’re taking in. What are you reading? What are you watching? Who are you listening to? Who are you conversing with? It’s things like social media. Study after study, especially about the Xennials, are showing that the more social media you partake in, the more depressed you tend to be. It’s the same thing with watching the news. I’m not saying don’t be informed and I’m not saying you have to quit social media, just be a little bit more conscious about how much time you’re spending on it, how are you using it, and how it make you feel. How does it make you feel when you spend three hours on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat and you’re looking at everybody else’s highlight reels of their lives? They’re only going to show you the best stuff. You’re looking at their picture and people who seem to have better lives than you, and you’re comparing that to your day-to-day life and then making judgments about yourself and about your identity based on that. What information are you taking in? Change that because if you want to change your identity, you’re going to have to change your environment. Your environment includes every part of your day, whether it’s the online social environment or what you’re taking in through information or what you’re absorbing through people who are around you.
Your outer environment and your inner environment, not just the external world but the internal world, and the emotions that you’re living in as well, those chemicals are creating a different effect on your body. It is understanding how powerful your identity is. You’ll see a lot of times where people will be coming from this negative place, where they are stressed out, tired, frustrated, angry, and they just want to get shit out. They go and try to do this and they try to create change in their outer world, in their environment, from this negative state of being, from this identity that “I’m just not that person. This is just the way that life is.” The amount of change that they’re able to create, although there may be some, I’ll give them credit on this, will not be nearly as great as the change that they could create in their external world if they were to shift first their internal world. When you can start to shift where you are coming from, the part of your brain you are using, whether you’re activating your mammal brain or your frontal lobe, will literally change the way that you perceive and the action that you are able to take.
One of Joe Dispenza‘s books was talking about 95% of who you are is unconscious. Only 5% of you is conscious. Everything else is hardwired habitual ways of being based off of the X amount of years. So many people are living every single day running the same thoughts, the same patterns, the same feelings, the same beliefs, trying to experience something different. There’s a word for that. It’s called insanity. Making external changes are important. More important is you need to start making the internal shifts and understanding what’s going on in your internal world.
That’s where it comes to people trying all sorts of things that give you mixed results. I’ve heard a lot of people say, “I’m going to change my identity. I’m going to change how I feel. I’ve got these affirmations and so I’m just going to say these affirmations. I’m going to look at myself in the mirror and say these affirmations every single day.” Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I hear a lot of confusion on why this stuff may or may not shift your world. The source here is inside your unconscious. Whenever you say anything, your unconscious has a response to it, whether it agrees with it or doesn’t agree with it. If you’re trying to change the way that you feel, let’s say if you’re upset and you try to say, “I’m happy,” your unconscious mind may make you even more upset because it will think, “No, we’re pissed off,” and it will just reinforce that. That is 95% of you that’s so strong. In order to change it, it can be a little challenging. If 5% of you wants one thing but 95% of you says a different thing, good luck. You need to create shift in that 95%.
[Tweet “If you want to change your identity, you’re going to have to change your environment.”]
You’ve got a lot of people who are down on themselves, they’re feeling a little insecure, and so they say, “I’m confident, amazing, and I get better every day.” They try to say that into the mirror every day. The problem is that their unconscious minds are set on the exact opposite, so every time they say, “I’m confident, amazing, and get better every day,” their unconscious minds say, “No, we’re lousy. We suck, and we get worse every day.” Every time they say it, the unconscious mind says it back. They may be reinforcing their 5%, but the 95% that’s saying the exact opposite is getting reinforced, too. That’s why sometimes these affirmations can even backfire because they’re working on the wrong part of the brain.
There is another process that I’d like to introduce to you and I call it the affirmation process. It solves that issue. We’re going to take everything that we’ve learned in this episode. We’re going to put it together and we’re going to put into a process that you can do as soon as you’re done with this episode to create a shift in your identity. First of all, you’re going to think of your goal. What goal do you have for this transformation that you’re working on? What are you trying to achieve or change in your life? You’re going to write that down for yourself. Pick one for now, and then think of who or what kind of person would naturally, just by existing, achieve that goal, achieving something or changing something. You’re going to think about what personality traits or what qualities does this person have and you’re going to pick three of them. What are the three important qualities that this person has that you would like to strengthen or create within yourself? Make sure that these qualities are also attached to powerful positive emotions, so that when you have them, you have that internal environment that will give you external success. You’re going to write these three qualities down. Then you’re going to get out another piece of paper and pick one quality. You’re going write it big and bold and proud on top of that piece of paper. You’re going to go through your life and you’re going to find an event in which you exhibited even a little bit of that quality. You’re going to give that event initials and you’re going to write those initials down on your piece of paper.
Let’s say you pick confidence. “I am confident.” You look back and you think, “There was one time back when I was sixteen that I forgot to bring my directions with me when I was driving to a new friend’s house. At sixteen, I had to go online and use MapQuest.” I don’t think that Google Maps was a thing back then and we didn’t have GPS on our phones. This is a tiny little thing, almost inconsequential, but who cares? This is an event in which I exhibited a little bit of confidence. I said, “Forget it, I remember.” I drove myself there, I believed in myself and I got there. I exhibited a little bit of confidence. I could think, “Forget directions, it doesn’t matter.”Put it down on the piece of paper, and then you’re going to think of another event in which you exhibited that quality even if it’s super small, especially if it’s super small, because it’s easy for us to overlook these things. When you’re thinking about “Am I confident or not?” it’s very easy to look for the big things. “When did I display supreme confidence?” Maybe it’s hard for you to think of that, but maybe you have thousands of these tiny little examples. You want to list them down on this piece of paper and fill the piece of paper with your little initials for these events over and over and over again. After a little while, your unconscious mind will say, “Maybe we’re a little bit more confident than we had thought,” and you’re going to keep going. Then your unconscious mind may say, “I get it, we’re confident,” and then you keep going. You’re going to go until you exhaust yourself that you can’t think of even a little shred of a time, even two more seconds, that you exhibit a little bit more confidence, and then you’re done. You move on to that second quality and you put it down, and then your third and you do the same thing.
I call this the affirmation process because when you look at yourself in the mirror and you tell yourself that you’re confident, your unconscious mind is going to say, “Yes, we are. We’re confident and we know it.” That’ll be a true affirmation because you’ll use that affirmation to reinforce those three qualities, whatever you pick, “I’m confident, I’m intelligent and I’m a badass business person.” You can use that affirmation and it’ll have the full power of what an affirmation should be for you and then you’ll be able to start shifting your identity.
That is where the transformation starts. We do hope that you take the time to implement this exercise. If you need to go through those steps, we’ll be posting a link down below with each of them laid out for you and the examples as well. On that note, have an absolutely fantastic day starting to create who it is you want to be and who you want to step into. On the next episode, we will we dive into world views and empowering life beliefs.
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