Why Is It So Hard To Change Yourself?

TSquared Lab, 20 Jan 2022
Transformation Stories

The belief you hold about yourself is the most influential factor in
shaping your long-term behavior. You cannot go to the gym once or twice,
eat clean once in a while and expect to see results.

Without shifting your underlying focus and determination, it is hard to
stick with long-term changes. That’s why you need the right motivation to
keep at it and commit to fitness for once and all.

Motivation: What & Where To Find It?

You must have seen some people with hectic schedules and a busy life are
ripped and in shape. It might seem completely achievable and elite to you
but it’s not. The only difference is that these people have motivation
unlike the majority.

Wondering where to find motivation? Well, the answer is literally you and
with the right environment. External motivation is fleeting but if you
learn to motivate yourself, there’s no stopping you.

One day you decide to turn things around and in a while you become that
person who has their life together and is totally in shape. Easier said
than done? Not with the right beliefs and motivation.

What’s The Role Of Beliefs In Your Identity?

Your self-identity emerges from habits and your habits embody who you are.
Including the belief in yourself, every belief we hold is molded and
conditioned by previous experiences.

Whenever you repeat a behaviour, the more you reinforce the identity. For
example, every time you make your bed, you embody the identity of an
organized person. When you write every day, you embody the identity of a
creative person.

Similarly, deciding to hit the gym every single day for a week consistently
can become a life-long habit. The initial days of anything new are
intimidating but if you believe in pursuing it, you can overcome all
hindrances in no time.

Even though habits are not the only actions that influence your identity,
their frequency tends to make them the most significant as each experience
in life alters your perception of yourself.

Good Habits Can Change Your Life

In general, you don’t realize the worth of habits because you’re usually
too busy thinking on autopilot. The more deeply ingrained your bad habits
are, the more difficult it is to make any significant progress.

Therefore, even though you know that what you’re doing is detrimental to
your health, you do it anyway because you are too used to it.

For example, a smoker repeatedly tries to quit but in vain. That’s why a
smoker is more likely to engage in other bad habits like excessive
drinking. A step towards changing these bad habits, like joining a
rehabilitation centre, would contribute towards a better lifestyle.

The chances of someone who works out for at least 30 minutes a day, whether
they are running or hitting the gym weights, and does not smoke, are
significantly lower at adapting bad habits.

It is because they take the time out to nurture their bodies, so they avoid
habits that might undo their good habits.

Keystone habits hold the key to true long-lasting change by helping develop
other good habits and eliminating bad ones at the same time.

One such keystone habit is the exercise routine. A simple 30 mins of
exercise every day holds the power to transform your life. For total body transformation, the fitness of body and mind are equally important.

How Does Change Occur?

Change doesn’t happen overnight but takes a considerate amount of time.
It’s not always about giant leaps but little steps along the way.

They focus on actions and not on wanting an outcome. With the virtue of
daily action, the frequency can create an identity shift.

If you exercise every day, you will identify yourself as a healthy person.
But if you write once, dance once, it is unlikely you will think you are a
writer or a dancer, right? No.

While it may seem impossible, modifying your beliefs is relatively simple.
Let’s see how.

The Three Layers Of Change

Habits reflect our current identity, and creating a new identity is the key
to creating lasting habits. The actions you take today reflect who you
believe you are, whether conscious or subconscious.

You need to build identity-based habits in order to change your behaviour
for the better. Change occurs in three layers, and you can think of the
layers as being like the layers of an onion.

  1. Outcome

The outcome is the very first step in changing your results. The changes
are result-oriented, and there may be a goal such as losing weight or
winning a championship. Your outcome is determined by what you will
accomplish.

  1. Process

The second layer is changing your process. These are lifestyle-oriented
changes, and they are concerned with changing habits and systems. Whether
starting a gym routine, cleaning the refrigerator, waking up early, what
you do determines your outcome.

  1. Identity

There is no superiority or inferiority among different identities. Each has
its own pros and cons. However, change can become problematic when it is
driven by wants rather than with goals in mind.

How To Take The First Step Towards Change?

The truth is they are not superior or inferior to each other. All three
levels of change are useful in their own way. The problem is the direction
of change.

People tend to start off with I want to lose 10 kg (outcome). But if their
identity is someone who would not be active and would not give up their
unhealthy eating habits.

Their identity will self sabotage the outcome they want to achieve. Instead
of focusing on the outcome, such as losing 10 kg in 10 days, the focus
should be on what you want to become.

For example, if you believe that you are healthy and positive, it would be
a stronger change, and we can use 10kg as a benchmark. Building habits
based on identity should be the priority rather than building habits based
on outcomes.

A Three-Step Guide To Achieving Change

Change is variable and takes different approaches for achieving in
different situations. However, the following three steps are universal.

  1. Decide Who You Want To Be (Identity)

The first step is to understand your goals, what you want, who you want to
become. For example, your goal is to lose weight or gain muscles. It is
important that you set yourself a goal and strive to move more, and be
active every day.

Opt for healthy recipes and health supplements that will benefit your
overall health. Choose healthier food options over processed ones to
consciously make an effort towards your fitness goals.

  1. Prove It To Yourself With Small Wins (Process)

Small wins can boost your confidence. While trying to adapt to a new habit
and create a new identity, even a little success can develop a sense of
pride and enthusiasm.

For example, you can get a pedometer, and with every step you take,
there’ll be a new success every day. Or join a gym, where a trainer
will guide you better towards muscle gain & transformation, whether it’s through strength or
volume.

  1. Measure And Track Yourself For Clarity (Outcome)

Maintaining a record of your small victories can provide the desired
outcome. If, for example, you walk 500 steps a day one day, with time and
continuous process, you’ll be walking ten thousand steps a day.

The same applies to muscle hypertrophy, gaining muscles requires time and
persistent efforts. The process reinforces identity, identity sustains the
process. Outcome grows your motivation until you don’t need it anymore.

“You do not rise to the level of your goal. You fall to the level of your
system.” – James Clear

Conclusion

We hope this article sheds some light on why people do what they do and
become what they are and how habits influence your identity. It is
well-known that habits contribute to developing an individual’s unique
qualities, and exercising is a good keystone habit.

The details in forming habits and then building upon them have a lot more
to do with what should be done in detail.

Thus, on their first session, all of our clients are given one-on-one personal training
and thorough consultation to determine how we can help them change.

Change is not instant; it is a gradual evolution, bit by bit, day by day,
habit by habit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q. Which is the important factor in shaping your long-term behavior?

A. The belief you hold about yourself is the most influential factor in shaping your long-term behavior. Without shifting your underlying focus and determination, it is hard to stick with long-term changes. That’s why you need the right motivation to keep at it and commit to fitness for once and all.

Q. How to stay motivated everytime?

A. Wondering where to find motivation? Well, the answer is literally you and with the right environment. External motivation is fleeting but if you learn to motivate yourself, there’s no stopping you..

Q. How are good habits beneficial for you?

A. You don’t realize the worth of habits because you’re usually too busy thinking on autopilot. The chances of someone who works out for at least 30 minutes a day, whether they are running or hitting the gym weights, and does not smoke, are significantly lower at adapting bad habits.

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