Brianna,

If I may, I would like to add. Before I do please kindly do NOT interpret this as a criticism, for it is not, nor is it a beat down, for it is not, nor is it a refutation. This is my personal opinion only and kindly take it as such. As all of us can, I can only speak directly to my own experiences, as well as work that I’ve done now for four decades in this space.

Years ago- and since I’ve done this quite a few times, I’m just going to call out one piece- I fundamentally changed a habit set. That choice of changing habits led to an 85-lb weight drop, which I’ve maintained for 33 years. Redefining myself didn’t come until much, much later, long after being much slimmer and more active were also now habits. I don’t dispute your points. For my part I would gently argue that each of us as individuals finds ways to make fundamental changes. How we go about that- whether we change a habit first, or we change an identity first, is quite possibly as much a function of a personality style as anything else. Some of us are very good at internalizing, others better at externalizing. Any one method — and I work in the human potential sphere a lot — is not necessarily going to work for everyone. I think , as one of your commenters states below, that there is immense value in presenting other ways of seeing personal growth work (which is what you’re doing here) in that those who think, see and perceive differently aren’t made to feel as though they just don’t get it, when some methods work for others but not for them. What I would avoid is using absolutes, and again I can only speak for myself here. Some folks don’t respond well to titles that say things like: Changing habits never works. Changing identity does. The use of the word never, is to my mind, a bit all-inclusive, for the implication is that this approach works for the entire world’s population. While I rather doubt that was your meaning, it is the impact. And that statement isn’t true for me, nor is it true for a great many other folks, certainly in my own sphere. Again, I think you make a very compelling argument, Brianna, I just am noting that using absolute language is less than accurate. In the same way that I can’t possibly speak for you, you also can’t speak for me. I did change habits. Big ones, too. A forty year eating disorder. A five pack a day smoking habit. Donuts instead of yogurt. The re-identification process for me didn’t come until long after those habits had been shifted. Over the course of my long life I’ve perfected the ability to redirect habit energy- which is the real point. That’s another discussion. Again, this is not a criticism, this is an observation about choice of words. Please take it in the respectful manner in which it’s being offered. I don’t disagree with your points, not at all. Just the absolute language, which doesn’t allow for the extraordinary diversity of our experiences as it comes to personal growth. This is not about right or wrong. Just, different. That’s all.

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store