“Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.”-Epictetus
I march to the beat of my own drum. I’d rather defiantly walk alone than to go along with someone else’s program because everyone else is.
My choice to fully commit to being my authentic self isn’t a move to stir the masses, nor is it an action to solidify my memory as a rebel. It’s actually way more meaningful than that.
When you think about someone who is successful, an ambitious, wealthy, intelligent, popular overachiever may come to mind. Goals, plans, commitment, and sacrifice may also buzz in your brain. But how many of you have actually considered the role of being yourself when it comes to “making it?” Let me explain.
According to Atomic Habits Author, James Clear, every goal is achieved with a plan. When you consider who you want to be, you have a milestone to reach. Defining who you wish to be also influences you to behave in a way that keeps you on track to becoming who you want.
Say you want to be known as a well-respected scholar. Sure, you can go to school everyday, but if you envision yourself as an expert in your field, you will naturally behave and act in a way that will lead to a more lasting commitment.
Clear’s example involves fitness. Say your goal is to lose weight. So you commit to going to the gym at least three days a week, but some days you may be too tired or busy to go. So you don’t and the next thing you know, you’re no longer going to the gym. Clear contends that instead of relying on habits to meet your goals, focus on the type of identity you’d like be associated with…in this case a fitter, healthier you.
Think of yourself as an athlete. Athletes are obligated to workout and be healthy indefinitely. It is literally part of their daily routine. Their existence and identity depends on it. Think of it as a mind trick.
Becoming who you are makes the process of achieving your goals a bit easier. Me embracing my identity is personal. Yours should be, too. Happy evolving.