Shifting Identity... Intentionally
In November of last year, I hired a health and fitness coach. She’s great and I learned a lot from working with her, but one thing, in particular, stood out and it had nothing to do with counting calories or how many squats I did. She talked about shifting your identity.
Now I’ve seen people’s identities shift from outward circumstances. I had a friend growing up and her mom was like a second mom to me. She was one of the happiest people I know. Then one of her sisters and her mom both passed away in the span of a short time. She became one of the most negative, sad, and pessimistic people I knew. She was sad and hurting and it had completely changed her demeanor and her whole personality. Someone could be telling the most uplifting story and she could bring it to something dark and depressing. It was shocking to witness. I had never seen someone change so drastically so quickly.
Having witnessed this transformation in my friend’s mom, I knew identity shifts occurred from outward changes in a person’s life. I also knew that when someone sets out on a weight-loss journey, there is a lot of inner work required. In this case, if you identify with having a certain body type (say, overweight) and relate to the world in a certain way based on that, when you’re body changes and you’re no longer overweight, your identity may shift as well. The label of overweight no longer fits. An identity shift occurs with weight loss even if it’s just taking on the new identity of, “I’m a healthy eater”.
I say all of this with no judgment, simply to highlight a point. I have a lot of admiration for anyone determined to make a major change.
What was new to me was the idea of intentionally shifting your identity. Now, I’m not talking delusional or criminal, as in Inventing Anna. But I’m someone who for years has struggled to see myself the way others have. I’ve battled low self-esteem, massive self-doubt, and even depression. Inwardly, I saw myself as mean, a failure, less than, unsuccessful in all the ways people measure success in life.
At the same time, I would have people tell me, you’re so kind and smart and talented. It didn’t fit with how I saw myself, which actually made me beat myself up even more. If they see me that way, why can’t I? Why don’t I feel that way about myself?
Enter the idea of intentionally shifting your identity.
I looked at these different ways that I knew people shifted their identity and wondered, “What if you can just choose to shift your identity?” Around the same time, I was on a healing call as part of a Coaching Mastermind that I’m a member of. During that call, the facilitator said to me, (something like), “You overidentify with other people.” Meaning, I think what I see and hear and feel because I understand it or can relate or empathize with the other person means I am like them. I was making everything part of my identity, even what didn’t serve me. Unfortunately this left me with no sense of myself.
After these aha moments, I set out to intentionally shift my identity, to find a way to see myself the way others see me, but more importantly, to choose who I desire to be and who I get to be, who I feel I truly am and live into that identity. We get to create who we are and how we’re seen in the world. For me, it was less about how the world saw me and more about how I saw myself.
I find this is the case for many women. That’s why the term imposter syndrome, (which I’m not a big fan of), is so popular right now. Without the right support and encouragement, without massive tangible results, without someone there to help us see and live into our own highest and best self, it’s easy to lose sight, succumb to self-doubt and even want to give up all together.
That’s why I sometimes say, my job is just to love on the amazing women I work with and help them see how amazing they are! I’ll let you in on a secret, it’s the best part of my job! It’s also why I loved being a preschool teacher back in the day! It’s part of who I am. And it is one of the greatest honors I am given. 🥰💕
Just recently, I was flying from Chicago to New York. For this trip, I upgraded my tickets to first class for the first time. This created a shift, but not in the way I thought. I used to feel people in first class were better than me, like they had something I didn’t. Choosing to upgrade to first class, I realized it’s just a matter of how they choose to spend their money. It’s just money.
Another shift occurred too, as I was going through the security check. The man who checked my id went to hand it back to me and then pulled his arm back and did a double take. He looked at me and then the id and said, “You look very happy in your picture.” And I responded, “Yeah, I’m a pretty happy person.” Me the girl who spent years in therapy and healing workshops, dealing with depression and wondering how to stop being sad. And then I thought to myself, ‘Is that true? Am I a happy person?… Yeah, I am. There’s so much to be happy about!’ Followed by wow, that is an identity shift!
I got to see the results of my choice to intentionally shift my identity.
And there’s way more to come!
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Author, Adelle King
Adelle King is a business coach working with female entrepreneurs to help them shine their light and turn their brilliance into a thriving, profitable business they love!
She has 10 years of experience working on the backend of online businesses. You name it, she’s probably done it! And 10 years of facilitating deep, transformational healing work, leading workshops in Access Consciousness®, personal growth, spiritual and intuitive development, and deep healing. She now integrates it all into her coaching. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and has been Certified as a Rapid Results Coach, Instant Miracle Master, Access Bars & Body Process Facilitator, CFMW, and more.
She loves guiding women to develop their vision of their dream life and then inspiring and empowering them to go make it their reality! Her guiding principle is, “Whatever you desire for your business and your life, whatever that looks like for you… you can have that!”
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