June 13, 2022

Are You Stuck In An Identity Conflict?

The biggest barrier to reaching your decluttering goals is an identity conflict, let go of your old identity or you stay stuck.

Here we are already in the middle of June 2022, how are you doing with your intentions and goals for 2022, are you still working on them or are you part of the 95% who abandoned them before the end of January?

I am definitely still working on them, I am on track that way but I am not on track with progress, meaning, I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped and planned.

When I was taking an honest look at why that might be, I realized I keep myself stuck by holding on to my old identity.

The concept of identity conflict 

I asked a client once in a coaching session why she thinks she's not taking the actions that she had planned and in turn is not reaching her goals. She said that she realized she's scared that she will not recognize herself anymore of who she is when she reaches her goal and that seems scary.

In other words, she knows herself very well as the person who's living in a cluttered space, is unorganized and is spending the money as it comes in without any plan and intention behind it.

That's who she's identifying herself with, that's her identity and she doesn't want to let go of that identity because it's familiar and she can't see herself being any different. 

That's exactly why she's not making progress or taking the actions that we had discussed together for her to take to reach her goal.

It's not always that obvious like with this client who said it out loud, often it's more unconscious and we sabotage ourselves without really understanding why.

What Are Your Beliefs About Yourself?  

That's where it's important that we examine our beliefs about ourselves, our limiting beliefs, to find thoughts and beliefs like the one my client found. 

Without changing how you see yourself you sabotage yourself. If my client is not willing to let go of her identity, the one she has now, it's hard to impossible to reach her goals of being organized and in charge of her money.

She can't really reach that goal with this old identity and step by step move towards a new identity. Until she does that, she will sabotage herself again and again and not make any progress or make one step forward and then two steps back.

The same applies to me and my goals that I want to achieve of course. 

The biggest barrier to positive change

Therefore, the biggest barrier to positive change is this identity conflict. It's the reason why we fail to form and stick to new habits that serve us - and I am talking about habits here because most of the time we need new better habits to reach our goals.

We fail to stick to new habits, like staying clutter-free or keeping our papers filed and our finances in order because our identity, our self-image gets in the way.

Yet, most people don’t consider that they need an identity change when they try to change a bad habit to a better one or they want to achieve a goal. They just think, “I want to be more organized and if I stick to the new habit, then I’ll be organized.”

They forget or don't realize that they need to become the person who sticks to the new "good" habit which is a different person than the one that is so used to the old habit or no habit. 

From Motivation To Feeling Doomed

They start by setting a goal of what they want to achieve and figure out the new habit they need to implement into their routine and then they start full of hope and motivation.

The first few days might go really well, but then because they haven't considered their identity, the limiting or sabotaging beliefs they have about themselves, and they don't address the negative self-talk that goes on in their head, they soon fall back into their old habits and nothing changes.

Then they think oh well I am doomed, I am just the person who can't be organized and be intentional with my money. Which is a lie that reinforces the old identity and the limiting belief they have about themselves. 

Our beliefs are what drive our actions my friend!

If we don't consider our beliefs about yourself, and how we see ourselves, and declutter what doesn't serve us, let go of what sabotages us, we are not going to reach our goals. 

So if you tell yourself over and over that you can't keep your environment clutter-free, that you are just a chaotic person, and that you have never been good with your money, then no amount of reading and learning about how to clear clutter and take charge of finances will get you to do anything. And even if you manage with willpower for a while you will not be able to sustain it but fall back to your old habits, your old behaviours, your old identity. 

Your identity, your self-image, will keep you stuck right where you are. 

What Type Of Person Are You?

When your behavior and your identity are aligned on the other hand, what you are doing is you are identifying and acting like the type of person who is organized and is in charge of their finances. 

You will say: "I’m the type of person who IS organized and IS in charge of my finances." 

So I invite you to review your goals and see if you took into consideration and are actively working on changing your identity and self-image too. If not start doing it.

Ask yourself, if I am the type of person who IS organized and IS in charge of my finances, how does that feel? What would she think? What would she do? How would she do it?

Get to know your new identity, start moving towards identifying yourself with your new identity and taking actions from the new beliefs. 

As always, I will never tell you to get rid of anything, not even your old identity, what I do help you see is the effect all this clutter has on you and your life. 

If you struggle with clutter in your home, office, and finances, opportunities to work with me 1-1 are available. Send me an email at conny 'at' connygraf dot com or schedule a  

Clutter to Clarity Chat and we'll see if working together is a great fit. 


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