We constantly question ourselves when attempting anything new for the first time, which is daunting. And what’s worse, it prevents us from doing anything new, so we can’t change who we are.
If you’ve always been terrible at sports and want to start working out, the natural reaction after a few attempts is to stop and return to your old habits. At the end of the day, you’re not an athlete.
If you’ve always drawn poorly and always had low marks in arts, and want to start drawing, after a few attempts, you might wonder, what am I even doing? I’m not an artist. And so on and so forth. But there’s a solution to this challenge: calling ourselves with the new title very early in the process.
We become a runner when we start running a few days a week. An amateur one, a beginner in the world of runners, but a runner nonetheless. And runners run.
If you start going to the gym to improve your fitness (and not just record yourself to post it on TikTok), you’re an athlete. Yes, you’re not a CrossFit world champion; you’re a beginner, but an athlete at the end of the day.
And here’s where the magic happens. If you’re now an athlete, you’ll go to the gym often and pay attention to your nutrition because that’s what athletes do. When presented with a decision around your lifestyle, you’ll choose correctly because of your new identity.
If we start calling ourselves our new titles, what we think of ourselves changes as well, and it’ll be easier to overcome that impostor syndrome and stick to new habits, feeling that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
The earlier you use that new term: “athlete,” “writer,” or “artist,” the easier it will be to accept your new identity and act accordingly.
If you start playing the piano, you’re a pianist, and pianists play the piano. Some do it better than others, but they practice and keep improving, and now you belong to that group.
You don’t need to do something for years, or even professionally, to call yourself by your new title. By using that new identity early and accepting it naturally, you’ll have a head start in your new hobby or habit you want to incorporate. Give it a try.