State and identity are often confused for one another and the awareness of the differences can be hugely empowering and healing.
It’s far too common and detrimental to our health and quality of life to confuse the two, but we have taken our state on as identity so often that doctors commonly hand out prescriptions for them with a long-term dosage plan, and many times an accompanying speech about our ‘new normal’ or way of life until our demise.
Your identity is who you are and involves many parts and layers. Some of the ingredients in my identity are: husband, father, friend, mentor, and leader. I also hold a set of values very near to my heart that makes up a lot of my identity. Things like integrity, authenticity, love, strength, and kindness are some of the seasonings I use in my identity recipe as well.
My identity used to include things like, depression, mean, angry, hateful, hurtful…
Many people have these in their identity casserole as well but these things are not and should never be taken on as part of our identity.
These things are actually states, and states are temporary while identity is a little more of a long-term commitment.
Many spiritual leaders, psychologists, neuroscientists, and doctors all agree that the most powerful statement in human language is “I am.”
“I am” is a command creating a program for our mind to run, and our body and life to be the manifestation of that program.
Heed this advice, be extremely deliberate and intentional with your “I am” statements.
Saying something like, “I am depressed” or even “I have depression”, gives your mind a command of ownership and it will begin the process of creating the behavior patterns that demonstrate what that ownership would look like.
Try this… say the following statements, out loud or in your head, and notice the difference in how they feel when you “try them on.”
I am depressed.
I am feeling depressed.
I am experiencing depression.
How big of a difference did you notice between them?
Studies have been done over and over to discover the power of our language and the impact it has on our life and health. When I was a consultant in catastrophe management, the industry brought a lot of challenges and stress. My friend Trice and I would set challenges with each other of zero negativity for 24 hours, and that included not saying things like “I’m tired,” ”I’m stressed,” or “this sucks.” Even if someone asked for a deadline earlier than what could be met, we weren’t allowed to say, “we can’t have it done by then.” Instead, we would say things like, “we’ll be happy to deliver the finalized service to quality standards on …..(date).”
Now, I think it goes without saying that we felt silly and rarely made it more than an hour or two, and some days not even 30 seconds, without a slip of negativity or even a curse word, but throughout the day and at the end of the day, we could recognize a huge difference in our energy levels. Not only that, but we consistently were the highest producers every single day without exception once we started this “challenge.”
Our state is temporary and, believe it or not, can be changed as rapidly as we wish it; we only have to choose to change it.
I know that sounds ridiculous, it did to me too when I first learned all of this, but give it a shot.
Sit like you would if you were feeling depressed. — Let me guess, your shoulders are slumped forward, and your head is tilted downward looking at the floor. Check within yourself and take a reading of how it feels.
Now, stand up and take on a pose like you just won the lottery or scored the winning goal for a championship. Chest out, arms and chin are up. Now how do you feel? Take the same reading.
No matter what, you had an internal shift.
Even if you half-assed this exercise, you experienced a shift at the cellular level and you were able to notice it consciously, if you paid attention. It’s really that easy to change your state, and the more you give into and trust the process the greater the outcome you’re going to witness.
Our identity is not our state, and if we aren’t careful, our state can become our identity.
Breaking habits is not always the easiest thing to do, but if you have the tools, like the ones we teach in our mentorship program, it’s much easier than most think and it really couldn’t be much simpler.
Try the above exercise for yourself, even if just for a morning, and notice how different you feel by lunch time. Remember to watch your words, thoughts, and behaviors.
Watch the full episode on The Difference Between State and Identity from our Root Cause for Success Podcast below:
State and identity are often confused for one another and the awareness of the differences can be hugely empowering and healing. Your State is how you feel, what you think, how you behave, and how you hold your body. Your Identity is who you are, your character and your personality. In this episode we discuss the difference between State and Identity and how it can either prevent you from having success or set you up for it!