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Creating a new version of yourself leads to incredible results
Does it sometimes feel like it’s impossible to reach certain goals because of who you are? You want to do something you’ve never really done before, but you feel like it’s too “out of character” for you so you never try. For example, you want to try leading a team, but you’re “not a leader” so you stop yourself from taking the first step to pursue a role that leads others.
This is a very common challenge for people who want to do something that isn’t consistent with their current personality. But it’s a challenge that you can overcome if you’re willing to recreate yourself and embrace a new vision of who you are as a person.
Last week I read an article about how fitness coach Ashley Poladian discovered that when she embraced a new identity for herself, it changed her life and her body. She embraced identity-based habits, a concept she learned about in best-selling book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Many of Poladian’s clients want to lose weight, which requires significant lifestyle changes. However, changing lifestyles and habits is a challenge for most people.
In Atomic Habits, Clear explains that in order to reach life-changing goals, we need to focus on who we want to become (a new identity) and then build the lasting habits that fuel that identity.
To do this, start by building an archetype of the person you want to become. What are the values, qualities and habits of this person? Then you start with small wins, or new habits, that will build into becoming the ideal image you want to achieve. It requires dedication and experiencing discomfort of the unfamiliar as you transform.
Dr. Joe Dispenza has researched and taught this identity-based method of change for decades. He explains that in order to do something different, we have to literally become a different person and change our personality. It’s not easy, but by committing to change every day, you can literally rewire your brain and become the ideal image you desire. Dr. Dispenza explains the scientistic research behind this process:
“A common principle in neuroscience says that “nerve cells that fire together, wire together.” Therefore, if you repeatedly think and act in identical ways on a daily basis, your brain will become molded into a specific hardwired pattern that will support the same level of mind. It’s ironic. Most people routinely think the same thoughts, perform the same actions, and secretly expect something different to show up in their lives.”
A tool I frequently use with clients is the Ideal Image assessment. It helps clients think through what they want to become and who they need to become in order to be the new version of themselves. It also includes a process for setting development goals and how you’ll measure progress.
Once you have the vision of what you want to grow into, it’s important to focus on creating this new version of yourself. Here’s Dr. Dispenza’s advice about where to start:
“A good first step on this path is to do something that breaks your routine. I have found over the years that when you retreat from the world and eliminate the typical environmental stimuli that cause you to think in routine ways, you can begin the process of true change. In order to change, you have to think greater than your present reality, you have to dream beyond the familiar feelings you’ve memorized that contribute to your identity-self, and you must create a life that exists in a future time.”
If you want to be a more conscious leader for your team or community, start by envisioning yourself as a conscious leader. What are your qualities, patterns, beliefs, and everyday behaviors? Break your routine and current patterns by stepping away and building this new archetype for yourself. Then everyday do something that breaks with your old way of being and draws you closer to aligning with the ideal image you’ve created for yourself.
It is possible to recreate yourself. At first you may feel a bit like an imposter. But as you continue to focus on becoming this new version of yourself, it will start to feel more natural. And then it will truly be You 2.0 (or 3.0 or 4.0…).
You can start today and recreate yourself. Working with a coach is a powerful way to assess where you’re at, and then start creating the vision you have for yourself, your life, and your career.
Work happy. Live happy. BE happy.
The way we work and build teams is rapidly changing. Leaders often feel unprepared to navigate the transition. As a conscious leadership coach, consultant, and communicator, Meredith helps leaders and their teams create new ways of working and relating so they can prepare for the future by consciously co-creating it.
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