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Create a Powerful New Identity

Success is about more than what you do; it's about who you are. Get-it-Done Guy has expert tips on how to create a New You.

By
Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #282

You Can Add Identities

The best part is that identities are free! I just refined my own professional identity. For years, I thought of myself as “Someone who wants to change the world.” That identity implies I’m not doing it. So I updated to: “I am a world-changer. My contribution is catalyzing and helping other world-changers expand their game.” The difference is huge! It changes what I think about, who I reach out to, about what, and of course, my fee structure. Choose an identity you’d like to adopt.

Adopting a New Identity

Adopt your new identity by creating a mental role model so vivid that your mind wants to be that. Watch and listen in detail. Imagine where and how New You behaves differently from Current You. Does Professional Stever act differently than Social Stever when lecturing zombie recruits on teamwork and trust-building? Of course! Rehearse and refine the New You daily. Every time I revisit Professional Stever, he’s more powerful, has a more commanding presence, and much better abs.

Identities Are Contextual

You don't have to give up one identity to take on another. Identities can just be aspects of yourself. Social Stever is kind. My pal Bernice asks, “How does my new outfit look?” Social Stever says, “I love it! I didn’t realize spandex was still au couture. You go, girl!”

Professional Stever operates around effectiveness. He is kind, but he's paid to help make people's dreams come true. For real. He says, “Spandex might not flatter the body parts you most want flattered. Let’s grab a style consultant and see if we can improve.” 

You want flexibility in your identities. I have a professional identity for work, a social identity for friends, and a romantic identity for schmoopie. 

Design for Learning

Visualizing the New You doesn’t magically convey the beliefs and behaviors needed to become New You. Make sure New You is someone who commits to learning the necessary skills. My visualization makes it clear that General Stever is a learner. He is the kind of guy who reads The Art of War to hone strategy, plays World of Warcraft to hone tactics, and listens to Get-Fit Guy to hone his abs. The more time I spend with him mentally, the more I become him on the outside.

So keep being you and be someone better. I recommend taking Chandler’s advice and start by crafting a Professional You. Visualize Professional You daily. Contrast Professional You with Social You. How does Professional You interact with colleagues? Run meetings? Keep their word? Deal with difficult people? Visit the new Professional You on a regular basis in your mind, and you just may find you can become Professional You whenever you need to.

Check out more tips on how to work less and do more at quickanddirtytips.com/get-it-done-guy and connect with Stever on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

New you image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.