Lasting Change Step 4: Identity

“An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.”(James Baldwin)

Recap In Step One, you tuned into your gut brain and realistically assessed where you were in the Cycle of Readiness for Change. You worked through the Preparation Stage, figured out that you were in fact at the point of Readiness for Change, and you started to design that change.

In Step Two, you made that change EASY!

In Step Three, you learned how to use the body’s cravings for pattern to work in your favor.

You are a ROCKSTAR! Well done!

Now you’re ready for the donuts.

I Promised You “Donuts” I have a deeply nostalgic relationship, not with donuts, but with the

of donuts.

When I was growing up as the youngest of three kids being raised by an overworked, overtired, overstressed and under-monied single parent, we rarely had sugar treats. My Mom was doing the best she could to raise us to be as healthy as possible even though we were on a very tight budget. We didn’t eat sugar cereal, we didn’t drink soda, we only had dessert with dinner on very special occasions. BUT!

About once a month, my Mom would give us money on a Sunday morning and send us up the street to buy a dozen Dunkin Donuts. This was at a time when Dunkin Donuts were made fresh every morning in the store and you could watch the baker do it from the other side of the glass. The aroma of fresh baked donuts was almost enough to make me faint with bliss. That mess was MAGIC!

Church Donuts I mention that story, because I’m about to show you the power of using
to seal lasting change in our lives.

After my first year of undergrad, I got very involved with a church. This church had a huge table full of donuts after service every week. I was very weight conscious and very depressed in this chapter of my life. Eating donuts in front of other people made me feel like there were huge arrows hanging in the air, pointing at me, screaming, “LOOK AT THE FAT GIRL EATING A L L OF THE DONUTS!!!” Donuts were the enemy. Donuts would “out” me publicly as someone who struggled with a binge disorder. Stigma stigma stigma! We can’t have that!

I trained myself to pretend the donut table existed for other people. I completely ignored the table, turned my back to it, pretended that the things in people’s hands while they talked to me something nasty. I became “a (supposedly) disciplined person who does not eat donuts at church.”

Other donuts, in private, were fair game.

But not church donuts.

My self-script became so deeply engrained that when I later started working for that same church and it became my job to order the Sunday donuts, I had no clue what we regularly ordered. The donut table had become so invisible to me that I literally had no idea what was on it.
Identity While that identity did initially emerge from a very unhealthy place of self-shame, I’m really glad it emerged! By the time I was in my latter 20’s and found out that I am allergic to wheat, I had already figured out that I was really in love with the idea of donuts and the nostalgia of donuts. I have yet to meet a donut – even a just-baked one – that can measure up to the magic of those childhood Dunkin Donuts. I started down a path to much healthier eating and used that experience to birth other, healthier ones. I started shopping only on the perimeter of the grocery store, telling myself “I’m a person who doesn’t really eat processed foods.” I started going to the gym early early in the morning, telling myself, “I’m a person who likes to work out before her family wakes up.” That eventually became simply. “I am a person who works out regularly.”

I started seeing a counselor and told myself, “I’m a person who is determined to heal the past and live a better future.”

The “I’m a person who” statements accumulated into a radically different lifestyle than the one I started off with. These experiences taught me the power of Identity in sealing a changed mindset. It’s even more powerful than potent, multisensory childhood nostalgia.
I’m a person who… What we tell ourselves about who we are has powerful influence on what we choose. Imagine you are our famous “Person A” from the last three blogs. You’re laying in bed. You want to get up and walk the board and watch your trashy show.

You tell yourself, “I’m a person whostruggles to get out of bed.”

Guess what? You’re going to struggle to get out of bed.

Consider these statements: I’m a person who…

Hates exercise. (You are significantly much less likely to exercise.) I’m a person who… Loves being healthy. (You are much more likely to make choices that lead to better health.) I’m a person who Gets really annoyed in traffic. (You, friend, are headed for Beltway-induced hypertension.) I’m a person who Meditates at night before bed. (You’re probably going to end your text conversation a little early stating that you need to go meditate now.) I’m a person who… Never finishes anything. (You’re going to be tempted to quit a project prematurely. You’re going to quit.) I’m a person who… Is like a dog on a bone, determined to get things done! (You’re going to be tempted to quit a project prematurely. You won’t quit.)
More Than Manifestation Words are alchemy. Literally – they change our body chemistry, even when we don’t say them out loud. (Read more here.) This isn’t woo woo or manifestation, the Law of Attraction or any of that. It is a chemical reality. When we say or think words, they have instant association in our body states. Our chemistry changes to bend toward whatever we associate with those words. We approximate a specific biochemical state when we say or think the words.

So take that change you wanted to make and cement it into your life with “I’m a person who”

statements. Each time it’s time to act on that change, remind your whole being that this isn’t some new thing: This is who you are. And you will be.

If you’d like help forming and creating lasting change in your life, contact Tiffany here. Let’s shape your life your way!