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The Power of Identity 🧠
What you do daily creates who you become! (10min read)
What you think about, you become
What you do every day creates “you” and your identity
The power of your identity
To change, you have to become someone else
The power of imagination & pretending
Multiple Self Theory
State, Story, Strategy
Be, Do, Have
Welcome back! The way we think is an interesting topic, and it’s what we will be focusing on today.
95% of the thoughts you have daily are the same as the ones you had yesterday…
As we’ve talked about in other blogs your Mind, Brain & Body are in constant communication with one another.
This means, that as your Mind & Brain are thinking, it causes your Body to feel a certain way.
We also covered how your Body feeling a certain way causes your Mind & Brain to think in certain ways.
Here’s the rub, if 95% of your thoughts are the same every day, that also means 95% of your feelings are the same.
This also means that 95% of the things you do, or the actions you take every day are the same as well.
Finally, if you’re thinking, feeling, and acting in the same way, day after day, your neurons are firing and wiring together the same way every day.
These patterns that we fire & wire together constantly eventually become our identity.
35 Years Old
By the time we’re 35, this identity has become like walking, you don’t have to consciously even think about it anymore.
By this time, your Mind & Brain can very accurately predict what “you” would do because you’ve wired the same feelings, thoughts, and actions into your subconscious.
This is because your New Brain is a prediction engine. It takes all that it’s learned over time and then predicts what to do next with that information.
When people say that your subconscious controls 95% of your daily behavior, this is what they are talking about.
This can be a powerful mechanism when used the correct way, but it can also turn against us.
One of the easiest ways to see this is by examining our language. Your language creates our reality.
Saying, “I am burnt out.” vs. “I feel burnt out.” are two very different sets of neurons firing and wiring together.
I feel is labeling something in your Body with your Mind.
I am is telling your Mind this is “you” which it remembers, and then predicts later.
This can create a vicious cycle, and it shows up in more areas than just burnout.
Any of the core emotions, Anger, Sadness, Fear, Surprise, Disgust, or Happy can start to become who our Mind predicts we are.
The longer we identify with these types of things, the harder it becomes to escape them.
Dopamine’s Role In Our Identity
Why is that? It’s because of the way we learn, Dopamine is released when we get something right or when we make the right prediction.
If you identify with anger when you feel anger in your Body by saying I am angry, your Mind gets rewarded for being correct about the identity it’s predicting, and dopamine makes that path more pleasurable to travel down in the future as well.
In this way, we literally get addicted to the emotions that we’ve wired into our bodies over time, which create the same thoughts, which create the same feelings, which create the same… You get the point.
This becomes the basis for future predictions of our behavior and identity.
This is what makes change so hard. We are fighting against our own subconscious identity.
This means the 5% of your thoughts that are conscious have to fight against the 95% of your thoughts that are subconscious.
This subconscious identity acts very similarly to a thermostat.
Identity & Thermostats
How many times in your life have you decided you were going to change something to only fall back into the same old pattern of behavior eventually?
Why is that? It’s because your subconscious identity is at 68 degrees.
When your conscious mind comes up with a strategy to change, and you may get the temp up to 70, 80, maybe even 90 degrees through sheer willpower and determination, but what happens eventually?
A vacation kills your workout routine and you don’t pick it back up when you’re back.
A pandemic causes you to drink again but you don’t stop when it’s over.
Your 68-degree subconscious identity brought you back down to 68 degrees because it chips away at your conscious strategy daily.
This fall back to 68 degrees creates an emotional state in your Body that your Mind is familiar with, and you get that addictive dose of dopamine for predicting your identity correctly again.
This cycle happens over and over again, which reinforces the story in your subconscious that you’re a 68’er, and nothing can change that, it’s your identity.
This is the power of your identity. It can be brutal, but it can also be liberating.
Understanding how this works is the first step in changing the way you try to achieve change in your life.
Becoming Someone Else
To change, you must change your identity. You must become someone else.
By becoming someone else, you can trick your Mind & Brain into predicting something different than it always does.
This sounds nice, but don’t people get institutionalized for that kind of thing?
No, in fact, you do this all the time, you just don’t pay attention to it. Your Mind & Brain are always predicting what you would do, but they’re aware of where you are, or the context that you’re in as well.
For example, I bet you act differently around your family than your friends?
Or what about the difference between how you act at a party, vs how you act at a church?
We all have multiple selves that we use all of the time, we just aren’t aware of it.
Multiple Self Theory
This is called Multiple Self Theory, and it is at the core of our Hero Creation Process that we use with our clients at Rewrite & Rise.
This works, because our Minds don’t know the difference between the real world, and our imagination.
Try it right now. I want you to take a moment, sit back and say out loud, “Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a genius!”
Pretend you’re introducing yourself to someone. Imagine shaking their hand!
What happened? I bet you’re sitting up a little straighter, and what do you feel?
Zoom into your body, as you said you were a genius, what did you feel?
Maybe a little funny or silly sure, but also more… Prestigious in a way too, after all, your brain has been asking itself, “what would a genius do?” For the last few seconds.
By changing your identity in this way, you can take on the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions of anyone or anything that would help you achieve what you’re trying to achieve.
State, Story, Strategy
How is this possible? Well, think back to earlier. When your conscious mind tried to change its process for this was Strategy, Story, State.
It tried to start waking up early (Strategy), but your “I’m not a morning person” identity pulled you away from getting up early eventually, which reinforces the Story in your Brian/Mind that “I’m not a morning person.”
This then creates a shitty State in your Body, which rewards your Mind for predicting your identity correctly and we’re right back in the cycle again!
However, by changing your Identity, you can reverse this process. Just like when you said you were a genius, and you “felt” differently, these new feelings create new thoughts, which can then create new actions & results!
Now instead of going Strategy, Story, State, you can go State, Story, Strategy.
Let’s Pretend You Became Rocky
For example, say you want to get up earlier, so you become “Rocky”. Now when your alarm goes off you say, “I am Rocky.”
This changes your State right away and creates the Story that you’re unstoppable, and with that kind of Story, any Strategy works.
Since Strategies are actions, that means you were firing and wiring new neurons together as you got up early.
This highlights new pathways in your brain for reward, which reinforces the Story that you’re unstoppable, which causes your Body to feel unstoppable, which means you think “I’m unstoppable”... Again, you get the point, it’s a cycle.
BE, DO, HAVE
You’ve now put this process on your team, you aren’t helpless in the pursuit of change any longer!
Before you were trying to DO, so you could HAVE what you wanted to BE.
Meaning you were forcing yourself to get up early, go to the gym, etc so that you could have the state of being you wanted.
However, by changing your identity, you can go from Doing, Having, Being to Being, Doing, Having!
Because by becoming a hero, you already have what you wanted before, which makes it easier to do the things you want, and by Being and Doing first, everything you wanted to Have flows to you naturally.
This is how powerful your identity can be. This self-concept is at the core of everything we teach at Rewrite & Rise, and where our tagline “Be More” comes from!
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Until next time, live Heroically 🧠