Have you ever tried to make a change in your life only to find yourself going back to your old ways? Maybe you tried to stop procrastinating as much as you do or tried to increase your productivity at work, and you may have even succeeded… for a couple of days. This has to be one of the most frustrating things you have to deal with when trying to make a change, and no matter how frustrated you consciously feel, you somehow keep failing over and over again. In this video, I want to share with you the very first thing you need to change to become a self-disciplined person
If you are anything like me, you may have tried every single tactic or technique recommended by a ton of people to beat procrastination with little to no success. I struggled with this for years, it started with me avoiding doing my schoolwork like it was a disease. I always took the path of least resistance, the thing that would give me any sort of instant gratification, it was like I conditioned myself to act like this over the course of literal years of school life. The real problem came when it was time for me to actually work, to do my job. I couldn’t never do it as good as I wanted, I kept wasting time and getting frustrated about it. “A productive person” and “Simran Singh” were as different as day and night. No matter how many apps I downloaded, how many motivational videos I watched or how many promises I made to myself, I always found myself right where I started, just procrastinating and taking the path of least resistance. It took me years to figure out I just needed to change one thing to change everything, but once I did it, it was like I had started a new life. And that thing was the way I perceived myself. My identity. Let me show you why it is so important and how to change it:
You don’t really know who you are. This is not a fun fact for all of us who consider ourselves strong individuals with clear identities, but this is true because our identities are constantly shifting. If you identify yourself as a productive person, it will be easy for you to act just like a productive person would. If you identify yourself as a procrastinator, it will be easy for you to act just like someone who procrastinates would. You judge other people based on their behaviors and then you create an identity for them. Well, guess what? This is how you judge yourself as well, so if you want to change your identity, you need to change…
Once you change your behavior, you change how you evaluate yourself. This does not happen overnight, it’s a slow, gradual change. For example, you don’t consider yourself a very productive person after 2 days of completing every task in your to-do list, it is only after you’ve done this multiple times for a considerable amount of time that you can look back at your progress and confidently say, “you know what, I AM a highly productive person”. If you are putting the effort and taking the right steps, you don’t have to question whether this will happen or not, it’s 100% going to happen, you just have to trust in the process.
Now, here’s where you might be thinking, “Yeah, I get it, the problem is that I’m not able to consistently stick to new behaviors long enough to actually start to change my identity”. If this is your problem, and I assume it is, you need to change your behaviors, and the best way to do that, is to change…
Your environment affects you way more than you think. This includes the people you surround yourself with, the things you listen, the way your house or office is organized, etc. You end up being a combination of all of those things. You can’t depend on willpower when trying to make a big change, your deep-rooted habits won’t allow that. It’s easier for you to waste time when you have all this distractions just one click away from you and it’s harder for you to quit drinking if all your friends regularly meet at bars. You should always be questioning your environment:
“Is this how a productive person would have their desk organized?”, “Is this how a productive person would be spending their time right now?”, “Is this guy someone a productive person would hang out with?”. And on and on and on. Question everything that you can. If the answer to your questions are “No”, you need to make some changes to your environment, optimize it so that it fits the identity of the type of person you want to become. Once your answers start being “yes”, you will notice how much your behaviors have changed, and how well you start to fit with the identity of the person you want to become.Changing your environments is essentially a shortcut for changing your behaviors.
So there you have it, you don’t need to rely on motivation or willpower to make changes, it all comes from your identity, and now you don’t only know how important is the way you perceive yourself, but you also know how to make changing that perception easy for you. This is extremely important, that’s why I mention this in almost every video I make. Realize that you can start this change right now, you don’t need to make more excuses, I believe you’ve made enough already. It is time for you to see yourself as an artist, athlete, musician, writer, productive person, entrepreneur and as a fulfilled person. Go do whatever you need to do, make the choice right now to feel proud of who you are, to feel proud of your identity.