When someone is encouraged to do something they don’t normally do, you might hear them say “This isn’t me”. Some people just aren’t that into ice skating, painting, running a business or whatever. I’m sure you can think of many things that just “aren’t you”.
However, when you try to make a positive change in your life, this same force works against you too. You may not verbalise it as “This isn’t me”, but your mind and body respond that way. It is clear that you are not performing some behaviour that is a part of you.
This force that I mentioned is your self-concept – your own set of beliefs about who you are, what you can do, and similar.
Think about the first word that pops into your mind after you say “I am…”
… and more. Everyone is different. And everyone also has a tonne of other beliefs surrounding who they are. So when you try to make a positive change in your life, the novelty eventually wears off and your mind starts to reject what’s going on because it isn’t you.
Start lying to yourself. Use powerful tools for the mind (like this one) to reprogram it. In fact, you may want to use “I am” type statements to tackle the self-concept part of your mind. It takes a lot of repetition and discipline, but the effects can be very powerful.
Here’s a personal example of how I used this very idea…
After not having been to the dentist for eight years and requiring a reasonable amount of work (which cost me time and money, and caused pain), I decided to look after my teeth for the rest of my life. Part of my challenge was flossing my teeth … every day.
The problem was that I hated flossing my teeth. With a passion. Ever since I was a child, I was not someone who liked flossing their teeth at all.
But I had to do it.
Apart from setting a goal about my new habit, I also knew that flossing had to be a part of my self concept. And so while I flossed, I would keep thinking to myself “This is who I am. This is just what I do now. It is neither good nor bad – I just do it.”
It took me about three months of flossing every night to overcome it. But by the end of those three months, flossing was just a regular, everyday thing that I did.
Nowadays, if I don’t floss, I start to think “This isn’t me…”