Why I did not have a cigarette this morning
When I woke up this morning, I did not have a cigarette. When I go to parties I don’t smoke or even crave a cigarette. Why? Because I am a non-smoker.
I do not see myself as a smoker and never have. My identity is a lot of things. I identify as a Mom, a step-mom, a dog lover, a fun person, a divorce lawyer, a very slow snowboarder, and a good cook. My identity is not as a smoker.
I compare this to my friend Christina. Christina has quit smoking more times than I can count. She has struggled with her smoking addiction for years. Even though she goes sometimes months and even years without having a cigarette, she ends up slipping and then becoming a full-blown smoker all over again. It is because she identifies as a smoker.
When Christina goes to a party, part of her struggle is to avoid having a cigarette. It is because even if the “addicted” part of her smoking habit is gone, Christina still identifies as a smoker.
I think of one of my coaching clients. She is bright, funny, and very dedicated to her work. She just got offered her dream job. Her dream job is in an area of work that she loves doing, that rejuvenates her, and that inspires her. This dream job will also pay her a helluva and I mean a helluva lot more than she has ever earned! She was going to turn it down. She was going to turn it down because she didn’t believe she was someone who could have that kind of job, work for that kind of firm, or make that kind of money. This new job is not her identity.
Our identities comprise the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. So much of who we are, that is our identity, is entirely subconscious.
Look around you right now. The room you are in, the clothes you are wearing, the income you make, the shape of your body, and the relationships you have, are all a result of your identity.
Many people who focus on personal growth and excellence try to create habits and do things that will help them succeed. They think that once they accomplish this goal, or that goal, or the next one, that they will then be successful.
The problem is, that doing a habit for a period of time, most often fails in the end. Although they can grind their way through a habit for a period of time, if their identity is not aligned with the habit they are attempting to create, they ultimately slip. Think of the packed gyms after New Year’s Day and then the gym a few weeks later. You get the idea.
One of my mentors, Jim Fortin, a well-respected, high-performance business coach says that people try to create lasting change in their lives utilizing a backward and sure-to-fail strategy.
People try to willpower their way through change. Just like my friend Christina.
And it doesn’t work.
What does work then?
Changing your identity at a subconscious level. That is, working with the subconscious mind.
Fortin says that it is from our subconscious mind that our habits and actions originate.
If we want to make real, lasting, and profound changes in our lives and want to up our game, then it is with the subconscious mind that we must work.
We must embrace the identity of someone who has the qualities, habits, and actions of the kind of person who creates the kind of life we want.
When you are leveling up your life, it is so hard to work towards a goal, thinking you will be “successful” and accomplished once you get there.
It is more powerful, more fun, and way easier to work FROM your identity. An identity you create.
And guess what, you can cultivate the identity you need in order to accomplish your goals.
There are a number of ways to do this, such as hypnosis, either with a hypnotherapist, or using self-hypnosis. Or you can change the story you tell yourself about who you are at a subconscious level. I have done all three of these things and with great success.
So, ask yourself this question:
What identity would I need to have to create ______ in my life?
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