Almost everyone at one point or another thinks about changing his or her life. There are many things a person can do to up life, but without question, the most significant thing one can do is constantly evaluate his or her identity. Nothing will affect you more than the thoughts, ideas, concepts, and beliefs you hold to be true of yourself! Your identity is like a thermostat setting that is responsible for the temperature of your entire life. Once you understand how to adjust this thermostat, you can adjust any area of your life you desire.
Ed Mylett says that people often think that external factors determine the direction of their lives, but that’s not the case. “Your internal identity shapes your external circumstances. Your identity will determine your direction in life, and it’s only up to you, your faith, and your God to control your life’s trajectory. Your identity is made up of your thoughts, ideas, concepts, and beliefs that you hold to be true about yourself, and the most crucial step you need to take to max out your life is to be consistent with your identity. Your identity is your internal thermostat that determines your life’s direction.” Mylett gives us strategies for managing that thermostat, and I want to share them with you.
Who you are going to become is determined by your ability to shape your identity. Think about the function of a thermostat in a room. External temperatures may temporarily enter the room when you open a window, but the thermostat will always bring the temperature back down to where you set it. Our internal thermostat works the same way. Good and bad external things will happen, but you’ll always return to the default temperature on your thermostat.
The problem with most people is that they always expend huge effort on external results, but they fail to work on their identity. Have you ever known someone who acquired a lot of money but then lost it? How about someone who was in amazing shape but now they’re out of shape? If your external results exceed your internal thermostat, you will regulate your external results to return to where you were. You may have a period of results, but you will revert to your default internal temperature. You will fall back to what you believe you are worth, and you’ll more than likely attribute it to circumstance rather than identity. You’ll say, “Oh, I just haven’t had time to exercise,” or attribute it to another external factor, but in reality, you’re returning to the temperature that you feel comfortable with.
Your internal thermostat also applies when bad external things happen. Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m never going to get over this tragic thing,” or “I’ll never be happy again?” Your internal temperature rose to its default state, and you were able to move on with your life. You prove this time and time again with the good and bad external things that happen to you. You ALWAYS return to where you set your internal thermostat.
We have different thermostats for every area of our lives. The key to changing the external things in your life is to work on your internal thermostat. When you work on your identity, you WILL see results. You need to work on your thoughts and beliefs about yourself to make long-term changes to your life.
ASSOCIATE WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE A HIGHER TEMPERATURE.
The easiest way to raise your internal thermostat is by associating with people who have a higher temperature. Have you ever found yourself acting a new way because you were associating with new people? The people around you affect your internal thermostat, so if you want to increase your temperature in a particular area, associate with people who have a higher thermostat in that area.
Think about the primary way children develop. Out of the many different people influencing a child, their friends shape them the most, and this is because children are around their friends for the most amount of time. An essential part of bringing up your internal thermostat with your associations is making a conscious effort to study and observe the people around you. Ask them questions and learn more about their high-temperature areas. If you’re trying to increase your business thermostat, ask them questions regarding their business practices and their success strategies. This also takes a great deal of trust. You’re surrendering yourself to them because you’re consciously allowing them to impact you. You need to open yourself up to their influence to increase your internal thermostat.
SHOCK YOUR SYSTEM BY CHANGING YOUR BEHAVIOR.
The second thing you can do to increase your internal thermostat is to BEHAVE completely differently over a short period of time. Be extremely productive in the area you’re trying to improve so you can shock your system and trick your brain into believing that you are no different. Your brain wants to remain consistent with what it believes you’re worth. If you completely change your behavior, your brain will believe that you deserve something better.
Beliefs are absolutely crucial for your SUCCESS and raising your internal thermostat. When you believe something, your brain goes to work to prove your beliefs correct. When you work toward a goal, you’re going to put in the effort that matches your beliefs about yourself. For example, if you have a goal that is consistent with the beliefs you have about yourself, you’re going to be able to put in the effort to reach that goal. You always make an effort that is consistent with your internal thermostat. After you make an effort toward your goal, the outcome then reinforces your belief about yourself. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
GET RID OF WHAT NO LONGER SERVES YOU.
Get rid of whatever you no longer need in your life. These can be many different things: a behavior, a thought, a belief, an emotion, or even a person. You have different things that have brought you to this point in your life that now only hinder your growth. Maybe you’re practicing a habit or behavior that helped you under different circumstances that you now no longer need. You might have certain beliefs about yourself that you needed, to protect yourself in a difficult moment, but now it’s only contributing negativity to your life. Maybe there are people who got you through a difficult circumstance that now keep you from growing in your identity. Many different things can contribute to keeping your internal thermostat stuck. If something keeps you from raising your internal thermostat, it’s detrimental to your growth and external results. If something is no longer serving you and contributing to your growth, you need to drop it RIGHT NOW.
EVALUATE THE STORY YOU’RE TELLING YOURSELF.
You need to honestly evaluate the story you’re telling yourself and recognize if it’s prohibiting your growth. If your story no longer serves you, it’s time to get rid of it. There are many different kinds of stories that you tell yourself that may no longer be serving you. Maybe it’s a story involving your upbringing, a past relationship, or success that you no longer have. Those old stories do NOT serve the person that you’re going to become. Every second you spend focused on your old stories is taking time away from writing your new story.
You are the lead character in the story of your life, and at any moment of your life you can decide to be a new character. You can decide for yourself that you’re strong, handsome, or successful. You and God are the only ones controlling the script of your life, but you can’t bring your old story with you if you’re becoming a new character. Don’t focus on past successes or failures because the truth is no one cares about your old accomplishments and setbacks.
All the energy you focus on your old character is just wasted time. Write a new story—become a new, better version of yourself rather than waste time propping up your old story.
Working on your identity is the key to success. Merely being aware of this concept of working on your identity to bring external change will put you WAY ahead of most people in this world. If you implement these strategies, your life will completely change. You’ll change your life’s external circumstances, and you will move forward toward success and satisfaction.
(Summarized from Ed Mylett @MAXOUT)