Chapter 2 How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa) - Deepstash
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Chapter 2 How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa)

WHY IS IT so easy to repeat bad habits and so hard to form good ones?

It often feels difficult to keep good habits going for more than a few days, even with sincere effort and the occasional burst of motivation.

Habits like exercise, meditation, journaling, and cooking are reasonable for a day or two and then become a hassle.

Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons:

  1. we try to change the wrong thing
  2. we try to change our habits in the wrong way.

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MORE IDEAS ON THIS

THREE LAYERS OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE

THREE LAYERS OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE

Our first mistake is that we try to change the wrong thing.

To understand what I mean, consider that there are three levels at which change can occur.

THREE LAYERS OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE 

  1. The first layer is changing your outcomes.
  2. The second layer is changing ...

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Outcome-Based Habits & Identity-Based Habits

Outcome-Based Habits & Identity-Based Habits

Imagining two people resisting cigarette. When offered a smoke, the first person says, “No thanks. I’m trying to quit.” The second person declines by saying, “No thanks. I’m not a smoker.”

 It’s a small difference, but this statement signals a shift in identity. Smoking was part of their fo...

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New identities require new evidence. If you keep casting the same votes you’ve always cast, you’re going to get the same results you’ve always had. If nothing changes, nothing is going to change. 

It is a simple two-step process:

  1. Decide the type...

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THE TWO-STEP PROCESS TO CHANGING YOUR IDENTITY

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.

More precisely, your habits are how you embody your identity. When you make your bed each day, you embody the identity...

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1. Changing Your Outcomes

It is concerned with changing your results: losing weight, publishing a book etc . 

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This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change.

Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it actually is big. That’s the paradox of making small improvements.

The mos...

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For example, “Who is the type of person who could write a book?” It’s probably someone who is consistent and reliable. Now your focus shifts from writing a book (outcome-based) to being the type of person who is consistent and reliable (identity-based).

Your habits shape your id...

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The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it. 

If you’re proud of how your hair looks, you’ll develop all sorts of habits to care for and maintain it.

Improvements...

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3. Changing Your Identity

This level is concerned with changing your beliefs: your worldview, your self-image, your judgement about yourself and others. 

Outcomes are about what you get. Processes are about what you do. Identity is about what you believe.

Many people begin the process...

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Conclusion

  • Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
  • Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.

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2. Changing Your Progress

It is concerned with changing your habits and systems: implementing a new routine at the gym, decluttering your desk for better workflow etc . 

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Your behaviors are usually a reflection of your identity.

When your behavior and your identity are fully aligned, you are no longer pursuing behavior change. You are simply acting like the type of person you already believe yourself to be.

Identity change can be a powerful force for self-improvement.

The biggest barrier to p...

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You may want better health, but if you continue to prioritize comfort over accomplishment, you’ll be drawn to relaxing rather than training.

You have a new goal and a new plan, but you haven’t changed who you are.

The ultimate form of intrinsic motiva...

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Habits Shape Your Identity

Habits Shape Your Identity

Your actions define who you are. Our habits are a reflection of our identity. The more we repeat a behavior, the more we reinforce the identity associated with that behavior.

For example: if you make your bed every day, you are reinforcing the identity of someone who is...

Changing Your Identity

Changing Your Identity

We mistakenly attempt to change our habits while keeping our core identity. As we play our different roles, we have to switch to different identities, like a father, teacher, reader, speaker and entrepreneur.

One can derive many benefits from making this powerful subtle change o...

How To Stop Bad Habits?

The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. You need to be aware of your habits before you can change them.

Pointing-and-Calling raises your level of awareness from a nonconscious habit to a more conscious level by verbalizing your actions.

  • Make a list of daily h...

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