Secret revealed: that’s what you need to achieve your goals.

Progressing toward a certain goal isn’t just about the outcome at the end of the journey. It’s the total of all the changes we go through on a personal level to become the kind of person who achieves that specific outcome.

According to James Clear, the writer of “Atomic Habits,” there are three layers of change: Outcomes, Processes, and Identity.

Outcomes are the final result. It’s what we get. Example: losing weight

Processes are the actions and steps we take to get the outcome. Example: having an appointment with a dietitian.

Identity is the beliefs and judgments we associate with ourselves. It’s whatever comes after the word I am. Example: I am healthy and fit.

Many people link the change with the outcome they get, yet the real change happens on the level of identity.

Our self-image is the key ingredient to change.

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”– Henry Ford

Life is full of incidents from which we derive our beliefs, values, and thoughts.

Robert was a boy who loved to play with colors and enjoyed artistic activities.

Whenever he had a mathematics exam, Robert “failed.” His parents wanted him to be successful, and his continuous failed attempts caused his father to cruelly look into his son’s eyes one day and say: “You’re a failure! You’re a shame to our family. “

His father didn’t intend to hurt his son, but he saw the imperfections that he couldn’t accept in himself.

Robert internalized how his parents behaved toward his “failure” and slowly started associating his self-worth with his performance. If he succeeds at something, he’s a winner, and vice-versa. His identity became linked to how well or not he performed at something.

At so many times in life, we’re similar to Robert. The way we address ourselves and harshly criticize ourselves. We get obsessed with how good or not we’re as employees, parents, business owners, and students… we compare ourselves to others and forget that if we want life to be kind, we need to start by being kind to ourselves.

It’s time to stop treating ourselves as robots. 

We as human beings experience various emotions like sadness, anger, fear, worry, love, joy, calmness, etc. Life is never made of one color. Life is colorful; we may encounter bad days in which we experience incidents that are not very favorable and are beyond our control, like weather, natural disasters, a broken car, a country’s bad economic situation…

 Then there are the good days in which life seems very delightful when we get a call from a person we miss and engage in a heart-to-heart conversation with a precious one. When someone supports us and treats us kindly when coincidences follow and lead us to something we really want.

The sun still shines on rainy days

Robert grew up with a big burden in his life. He never forgot his father’s words and unattainable expectations; he felt like a victim and was convinced that life worked against him.

On a very cloudy and rainy day, as he was sitting on the floor attempting to hurt himself, the sun rays from the window near him touched his hands. It felt so warm. It was still raining, but the sun that rose in the middle of his darkness was so illuminating that life felt beautiful again. Nature looked as beautiful as a lovely spring day.

A soft voice from within told him: You are not the sadness you experience, you are not the failure, and you are not your happiness either. You’re much more than that. You didn’t come to life to survive and perform. You came to “play, enjoy, explore, and “love.”

That was a turning point in Robert’s life. He knew he had the choice to change his life and challenge his beliefs. His father’s words were not facts; he forgave him for what he said and decided to change.

He began to play again, discover life, and accept himself as he is with his imperfections. He also started to look at life with curiosity and write about the beautiful things he encountered during the day, such as:

– A positive experience he had…

– Something good he did for someone…

– his good feelings when…

– Something he is grateful for…

– Something he felt proud about…

Let’s conclude

If there’s a goal you would love to achieve, or you’re in the process of doing so, always think of the type of person who accomplishes these goals.

Ask yourself: Who is this type of person? What do they stand for? What are their principles and values? 

Imagine that you’re them and start to act accordingly.

Ninette Abi Atallah

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