Earlier this week I invited readers to participate in The Change Agent Challenge, to take the opportunity to make a change in yourself to better understand how people change. This post is a continuation of my own observations as I take part in the Challenge.
After all this thinking about flossing, it occurred to me (while flossing) that an important factor in change is identity.
When the change is truly accomplished, a necessary caveat is that the person who has gone through the change has in some way incorporated it into their identity. That is, they see the new attitude, behavior, etc. as who they are and what they do.
In the context of my Challenge to start flossing, I thought, why can’t I just start thinking, “I’m a flosser. I floss.” If someone asks, “Do you floss?” the answer would be “Yes.”
Instead of thinking of all the ways to remember to floss, or motivate myself to floss, I could just think of myself as someone who flosses.
If I continue to think of myself as someone who doesn’t floss, or doesn’t like to floss, or can’t maintain this healthy habit, then this exercise is an uphill battle. But, if I can change my perspective and just give myself the new title, I can eliminate a lot of struggle and resistance.
“If you want to be somebody else, change your mind.” – Sister Hazel
A comment from yesterday’s post made me think that to truly incorporate flossing into my identity that it needs to go further. Martin said “floss for your family,” which reminded me that if I’m a flosser then my kids should be flossers as well. My next step will be to see if 4-year-olds can floss.
Enough about flossing!
I hope you enjoy and learn from taking on your own Change Agent Challenge.
My Change Agent Challenge: