If there’s one universal truth about all of us humans, it’s that we just loooovvve to prove ourselves right. So when we label ourselves as couch potatoes, you better believe our subconscious mind will fight even our best intentions of starting a consistent exercise routine.
If our current lifestyle is nothing more than a combination of habits we’ve been programmed with, then viewing ourselves as constant works-in-progress gives us permission to tweak ourselves any which way.
The problem is that the older our habits, the stronger our identities are wrapped into them.
“… I’m not the type of person who leads meetings…”
“… I’m not the type of person to speak on stage…”
“… I’m not the type of person who exercises daily…”
We start searching for the latest tech gadgets that will solve our problems instead of leveraging the ultimate ‘tech gadget’—our minds.
Let’s say you want to start waking up earlier. You’re “not a morning person”, but looking for a solution to “force yourself to wake up earlier”. I hate to say it, but there’s just no hack that will help you wake up early and actually enjoy it until you stop labelling yourself as “not a morning person” and stop negatively associating it with “forcing yourself” to get up.
Instead, start acknowledging that no one is cursed with not being a morning person; delete that faulty belief and any negative associations with getting up early; create excitement for the opportunity of an early morning; and lastly, become almost obsessive with your morning routine so that the new identity can be solidified.
It’s exactly this mindset that helps entrepreneurs evolve at the same pace as their startups. Success doesn’t wait for you to ‘feel ready’. One day you’re smooth sailing, and the next you’re faced with a problem that you’ve never encountered before. The choice every day is: do I let this challenge break me or do I evolve into a higher version of myself and tackle it?
In the real world, we thankfully don’t have this daily pressure—but it doesn’t mean we should miss out on this kind of personal growth. My belief is that we shouldn’t wait for life or death pressures in order to continue striving for growth in our identities. We should embrace reinvention even when life is smooth sailing… creating internal momentum to crush any goal we set, whether that’s waking up earlier, launching a side hustle, or exercising daily.
It’s never about having it all “figured out”, it’s about adopting a mindset that lets you live a life that unfolds effortlessly. I believe that it truly comes from the continuous loop of finding opportunities—in ourselves, our relationships, our careers, our hobbies—and evolving into the type of people who will conquer them. Whenever I feel stagnation or boredom creeping in, I know it’s time to get uncomfortable and introduce a few new labels for myself.