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Jan 25, 2019 14:31:22

How changing your identity builds better habits

by @juliasaxena PATRON | 212 words | 🐣 | 273💌

Julia Saxena

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The bestselling author James Clear (his book is called Atomic Habits) introduced the concept of identity-based habits. I think it's pretty powerful. So, what does it mean to build a habit based on identity?

We all tell ourselves stories about who we are and what we are good or not good at all the time. Those stories might be true or not. We say "I'm a smoker.", "I'm just not good at listening.", or "I'm not a sporty person." If repeated often enough, we start believing them. 

What does this mean for us when we actually try to change our habits? Suppose you want to stop smoking. You might say "I'm a smoker, but I can't smoke anymore because I'm trying to stop." You are trying to change your habit of smoking, but your identity of being a smoker hasn't changed yet. It's going to be hard to succeed. 

To change your habits, you got to change your identity. You say "I'm not a smoker. It's not something that I do." Repeat it, believe it, and everybody around you will believe it too. And will hold you accountable, should you act against your new identity. 

What habit have you been trying to change that's linked to your identity? 

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