Chapter 2: Habits shape identity
Video Link: https://vimeo.com/454075996/b3afd9ad52
Changing habits is hard for 2 reasons: 1- we are trying to change the wrong thing and 2- we’re trying to change our habits in the wrong ways.
There are 3 parts/layers to behavior change.
1- Your identity- what you believe. World-view, self image, judgements about yourself and others. Assumptions and biases.
2- Processes- what you do. How you change your habits and systems.
3- Outcomes- what you get. Results. Most of the goals we set are associated with THIS LEVEL of change.
-Most of us try to change our habits by focusing on what we want to achieve- OUTCOME based habits. What we need to focus on are IDENTITY BASED HABITS_ who we are or wish to become. (THE PERSON GOD HAS CREATED AND CALLED US TO BE)
Ex from page 32 of smoker.
Most of us never shift the way we look at ourselves and aren’t realizing that our old identities can sabotage our new plans for change.
BEHIND EVERY SYSTEM OF ACTIONS ARE A SYSTEM OF BELIEFS.
*What do YOU believe about yourself in the area you’ve been called to? What do you TRULY Believe? Is it in line with Scripture?
-Behavior incongruent with self will not last.
Ex: You want better health but you continue to prioritize comfort over accomplishment. This leads to relaxing instead of training. You can have a new goal and a new plan but at your core, you haven’t changed what you believe to be true about yourself.
-True behavior change is IDENTITY CHANGE.
Motivation can start a new habit, but it won’t stick until it becomes part of your identity. We must shift the belief behind the behaviors. Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who we are (p. 34). Our behaviors- what we do- are an indication of the type of person we believe that we are- consciously or unconsciously (p. 34)
-WHEN YOUR BEHAVIOR AND YOUR IDENTITY ARE FULLY ALIGNED YOU ARE NO LONGER PURSUING BEHAVIOR CHANGE. YOU’RE SIMPLY ACTING LIKE THE PERSON YOU ALREADY BELIEVE YOURSELF TO BE (P. 35) .
Ex on p. 35:
-Biggest barrier to positive change at any level is identity conflict. Good habits can make good sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action.
-PROGRESS REQUIRES UNLEARNING. BECOMING THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF REQUIRES YOU TO CONTINUOUSLY EDIT YOUR BELIEFS AND TO UPGRADE AND EXPAND YOUR IDENTITY.
-IDENTITY EMERGES FROM YOUR HABITS (P36). EVERY BELIEF, INCLUDING THOSE ABOUT YOURSELF IS LEARNED AND CONDITIONED THROUGH EXPERIENCE. YOUR HABITS ARE HOW YOU EMBODY YOUR IDENTITY. THE MORE YOU REPEAT A BEHAVIOR, THE MORE YOU REINFORCE THE IDENTITY.
Identity came from the latin word essentitas which means BEING and identidem which means REPEATEDLY. Your identity is literally your ‘repeated beingness’.
What does this mean to us that are followers of Christ given a new identity? A new creation? What are we allowing this to change/do in our lives? Our thoughts? Our habits?
Whatever your identity is right now, you only believe it bc you have proof of it (p37). Ex: “I didn’t start out as a writer. I became one through my habits”.
-We don’t change instantly- we change bit by bit, day by day, habit by habit. Continually undergoing microevolutions of the self.
-Every action we take is a vote for the type of person we wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of our new identity. MEANINGFUL CHANGE DOES NOT REQUIRE RADICAL CHANGE. Small habits make a big difference by providing evidence of a new identity.
-Habits are the path to changing your identity- the most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do. (SCRIPTURE: from the heart the mouth speaks,,,)
-Each habit not only produces a result but also teaches you to trust yourself. You start to believe you can actually accomplish something and when the evidence becings to change, the story you tell yourself begins to change, too. (p38)
-New identities require new evidence. If nothing changes, nothing is going to change.
-Decide the type person you want to be (Believers: The type you’ve been created to be)
-Prove it to yourself with small wins (Walk in it)
-Feedback loop: Habits shape identity and identity shapes habits.
-Are you becoming the person you want to become? The first step is not WHAT or HOW but WHO. You need to know who you want to be (who God has called you to be. God can help you change the beliefs you have about yourself. Your identity is not set in stone forever. You have a choice in every moment. You can choose the identity you want to reinforce today with the habits you choose today.
-Habits can help you achieve all sorts of things but at their core- they aren’t about HAVING something, they’re about BECOMING someone (original design).
-Your habits matter because they help you become the person you want to be. Quite literally, you become your habits.