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Identity Shifting: How to Become the Person You Want

Dr Joe Dispenza - Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

“Psychologists tell us that by the time we’re in our mid-30s, our identity or personality will be completely formed. This means that for those of us over 35, we have memorized a select set of behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, emotional reactions, habits, skills, associative memories, conditioned responses, and perceptions that are now subconsciously programmed within us. Those programs are running us, because the body has become the mind. This means that we will think the same thoughts, feel the same feelings, react in identical ways, behave in the same manner, believe the same dogmas, and perceive reality the same ways. About 95 percent of who we are by midlife is a series of subconscious programs that have become automatic—driving a car, brushing our teeth, overeating when we’re stressed, worrying about our future, judging our friends, complaining about our lives, blaming our parents, not believing in ourselves, and insisting on being chronically unhappy, just to name a few.”

This is an extract from Dr Joe Dispenza's book – Breaking the habit of being yourself.

And breaking the habit of being yourself, is really about identity shifting, which is the topic for today. Identity shifting is the most important piece when it comes to becoming the person you want to be.

Watch video version:

(Watch on YouTube)

Understanding Identity

Personal identity is dynamic and it influences your behavior, choices, and interactions.

It's normal to have multiple identities throughout your life, especially when you're growing up.

You try new things to discover our interests and begin to find our place in society.

Some of them are phases from different interests at different stages of life, while others are less fleeting.

Identity Shifting Changed My Life

I went through the rock/metal days playing in a band, the love of football, the university student lifestyle, the fitness fanatic, and the entrepreneur, to name a few.

What was true for each of them is that, I identified as all of them.

For example, I clearly remember being in a band several years ago, easily sitting in my room for 8 hours playing my guitar nonstop. I absolutely loved it. It never felt like work.

It felt like my life, my passion, and where I wanted to spend a lot of time.

In fact, I remember the tag that went with it, "oh, you're in a band. That's cool."

It becomes part of who you are when most of your actions and habits evolve around it.

James Clear talks about identity in his book, Atomic Habits. He discusses how you can make lasting change through identity based habits. (We'll get onto habits shortly).

But the challenge for many people is they are so stuck in their ways that it's not easy to change. Being able to break free from the old habits literally means we need to become a new person. (Shifting your identity).

The Inside Job

Here's what usually happens...

Something happens in your life that causes pain – a health challenge, the loss of a loved one, difficulties in your career, for example. There can be many other challenges all perceived at different levels of severity.

You may then attempt to resolve this pain with physical action (outside).

Internally, if you haven't taken the time to reflect, identify your limitations, and see the opportunity for growth, you'll often fail to make the change last.

For example, a person might get told by the doctor that they are pre-diabetic and need to make some positive lifestyle changes.

This can send an alarm signal off and cause the person to take some action.

If the fear is strong, sometimes this will be enough for that person to never go back to their old self.

Other times, and for most people... the old habits are just around the corner waiting for that slip up.

You know...

What happens on the day when you wake up late, spill coffee down your shirt, get stuck in the red light, and have an argument with your coworker?

Does that derail you back into the old patterns on familiarity and comfort?

So, where do we begin?

First up, seek clarity.

You can make progress by taking the time to answer some questions.

  • What is the biggest thing holding me back?
  • What life do I want to live?
  • Who do I want to be in order to make this a reality?
  • What would I need to believe in order to make some real momentum with this?

Once you've taken the time to know where you're at, what you want, who you need to be, and all the rest of it, then it's time for the integration phases.

Integrating a new identity through affirmations

The truth is, if you're to apply brute force and willpower alone, change will be extremely difficult.

That's why affirmations can be the missing piece in your journey.

What you want to do is reverse engineer your limiting beliefs, create an affirmation, and then lock it in with some clarity questions and action.

I'm using my Belief Shifter Tool  to show you these, but I'll list the questions below if you want to do it alone. (You can purchase The Belief Shifter for the price of cup of coffee)

(Or, you can get it for free if you want to join The Affirmation Breakthrough.)

I really want you to discover the power in using affirmations. Honestly, when done right, they're kinda like a cheat code.

Try to think of it like this...

You have a conscious and a subconscious mind as well as a body. You may even choose to view the subconscious mind as the body, because that's where the habits lie.

The point is, we want to integrate them harmoniously to serve us.

So when you say something like - "I want to lose 30lbs of body fat" - (Conscious Mind)

You want the Action/Habit to align with that - (Subconscious Mind & Body)

You don't want to be saying one thing, and then your actions involve another - eating a big bag of chips, pounding the Pepsi, crushing a pizza, and feeling like a sack of (you know what).

In other words, the mind wants to do something consciously, but the body has been conditioned to do something else. That's the current identity that we're trying to change.

This is why change is so damn hard.

WILLPOWER never lasts.

Writing a new program for the subconscious mind

Creating a new program is the key to shifting your identity and creating the results that you want in your life.

Sure, it's easy to say just copy someone else who's successful and do their exact actions. But it's not that simple, and they have a different program to you.

A new program can be created through the repetition of a new concept of who you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to have.

It helps to have tremendous clarity on this.

I then suggest creating a meaningful affirmation track using your own voice that you can listen to every day to replace the old program.

I teach all of this from start to finish in my Affirmation Breakthrough Course.

You can also watch this video here to learn the basics for free.


Once you have the foundations in place to shift your identity, you can now begin to get into the practical pieces – habits.

We want to create intentional habits that we repeat time and time again to cement in a new blueprint.

You can follow the 4 stages to changing a habit which I got from James Clears' book.

  1. Cue (Make it obvious)
  2. Craving (Make it attractive)
  3. Response (Make it easy)
  4. Reward (Make it satisfying)

Let’s use an example.

It's 7pm, you've just finished your dinner and you just want to relax for the evening.

You know that in the morning, you feel much better when the kitchen is clean and you feel ready to start the day.

Building a habit of cleaning right after eating may look like this.

  1. Cue – Leave your headphones on the table while you eat.
  2. Craving – It reminds you that you want to listen to your favourite podcast.
  3. Response – You put the headphones on and begin to clean the dishes as you listen.
  4. Reward – You learned a new idea that feels inspiring and you have a clean kitchen

Bringing it all together


Self-Awareness is ALWAYS first (Identify the truth)

Who you need to BE?

What things you need to DO?

What do you want to HAVE?

Create a new program to influence the subconscious.

Take consistent action.

Show up daily from a place of be, do, have.


In conclusion, the journey of identity shifting through affirmations is a powerful and transformative endeavor. Embrace the process, stay persistent, and witness the profound changes that affirmations can bring to your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone benefit from identity shifting through affirmations?

Absolutely! Anyone committed to personal growth and positive change can harness the power of affirmations.

How long does it take to see results from identity shifting?

Results vary, but consistency is key. Some individuals experience noticeable changes within weeks, while others may take longer.

Are there specific affirmations for professional success?

Yes, crafting affirmations tailored to your professional goals can significantly impact your career trajectory.

Can affirmations help with overcoming self-doubt?

Yes, affirmations are powerful tools to address and overcome self-doubt by fostering a positive mindset.

Is it necessary to seek professional guidance for identity shifting?

While not mandatory, some individuals find value in seeking guidance from coaches or mentors for a more structured approach.

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About the author

Paul Wadsworth

Paul Wadsworth is a transformational mind, body, and lifestyle coach in Vancouver BC. He helps people worldwide to reinvent themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, so they can live with more energy, confidence, and clarity.

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