21 Oct Investment Phase Deep Dive, Part Four: A New Behaviour, Mindset, Identity
When a snake sheds its skin, it does so to allow for further growth and remove parasites attached to their old skin. In this process, it’s critical it happens all at once, else an incomplete moult will create discomfort, health issues and in many cases, death.
Whilst the potential downsides aren’t perhaps equal, the analogy is perfect for what happens in the investment phase, no matter where on the continuum you lie. On the surface, this phase is about learning how to be in shape for life. Yet intangibly, the real work is in rewiring your behaviour, mindset and identity, and shedding the skin of your old self.
It’s about becoming a new person. Or rather, revealing the authenticity of your true self. When you’re in the process phase, you begin to understand yourself, what’s important, and who you really are. The investment phase is an opportunity to bring this to life and make it a reality. That’s why this phase goes beyond simply staying in shape or building muscle.
It’s the opportunity to truly realise our mantra: the physical is the vehicle. As you step into a new skin, you begin to live your purpose, act in your flow, and begin to accomplish extraordinary things in your life. It’s why our long-term investors, who you can hear from in the client podcasts linked at the bottom of this, step into new territory in their careers, businesses, personal development and relationships.
The first moment of essentialism you attain in the process phase is a glimpse on the future you can act upon after consolidation. Those first glimpses are great, but they’re not crystallised. They’re fleeting. Which is why a rewiring of behaviour, mindset and identity is so critical throughout this.
At the start of the journey during CTP (Cleaning the Palate), you begin to see how much of your behaviour is engrained and subconscious. When you’re applying non-negotiables, you have to consciously override old behaviours that may not have been serving you well.
Nutrition is the most obvious here, with simple behaviours now given a level of control, such as: eating when bored, snacking in front of the TV when tired, having an extra couple of beers when out with your friends, or quite simply, no attention to portion control.
With a looming checkpoint, these changes are more straightforward to grasp and gain control of – it’s only ‘temporary’. When you’re deep into investing with no checkpoint on the horizon, those behaviours need to transform to facilitate a lifestyle solution. It now needs to become the new norm. Behaviour extends into all areas of life – such as living an active lifestyle where you go for walks in the day, training hard regularly and sleeping on time. When you have a deadline on the horizon, there’s an incentive, whereas now it’s about rewiring these behaviours to become the norm.
Associations are everywhere, and how we attach meaning to them is up to us. For example, when you’re angry, tired, lonely, bored or creating a feeling of anything similar, the default human mindset is to find crutches to fill the void or solve the problem.
The journey up till the checkpoint will have shown you a better way to deal with negative scenarios. There’s nothing like having stringent accountability to a physical process to show you alternative methods of outlet, and dealing with life.
The trick in the investment phase is to start shedding the skin of any potentially negative mindsets you’ve been carrying. We all have them, and it’s a constant work in progress. What’s critical now is that you step into the skin of a growth mindset, and you keep an open objective eye to identify where you can be better, while getting out of the ‘monkey brain’ mode that’s so easy to slip into when faced with triggers.
Old triggers from your past will always rear their ugly head. Part of this phase is firstly acknowledging this, and secondly, finding wins in each time you change your mindset around squashing it.
Arguably the hardest part of this journey is the identity shift. Let’s say you’ve physically lost anywhere from 10 to 30+kg. The reason why people rebound, or slowly revert to square one is due to a lack of an identity shift, which ties together with your behavioural and mindset work.
For example, if you go from an out of shape 90kg to a lean 70kg, you will still have the identity of a 90kg being that has specific (destructive) behaviours with a certain (potentially negative) mindset. Despite physically losing 20kg, your identity is still tied as your former self. That’s why a shedding of the skin needs to happen, else just like a snake you’ll ‘kill’ any progress you’ve made so far.
This takes a lot of work, and is terribly difficult. It’s why objective accountability to help you navigate this new identity, behaviour system and mindset is needed. There’s a lot of hard questions you’ll need to ask of yourself here, and it can be difficult to remain objective when you need to reflect on years of engrained behaviour and a way of thinking that so far, have only changed temporarily.
An identity shift isn’t something you can see, track or put a timeframe on. It happens through positive affirmations in your actions. James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, calls it “casting a vote”. He says:
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”
There’s no better application than in this phase of the journey, where every time you say no to a negative behaviour, mindset, reaction, action, you’re saying yes to a new identity. These wins rack up, and over time, you begin to feel yourself stepping into the identity of someone who lives healthy, productive, growth-oriented lifestyle.
Some of these wins include:
- Going for a walk or to the gym instead of bingeing when you’re stressed.
- Having one main meal instead of three courses when you’re out.
- Saying no to the extra beer with your friends.
- Going to bed early instead of watching another episode on Netflix.
- Phoning a friend when you’re bored instead of reaching for the kitchen cupboard.
These are all small actions, but big wins when you’re going through an identity shift.
It’s Okay To Find It Hard
This instalment of our Investment Phase series is totally intangible. There’s no hard and fast rule, or any specific framework here. It’s going to be hard, and that’s okay. You will go through ups and downs for a while as you battle the old vs new identity. That’s the only difference to the snake. Snakes do it all at once, yet for us humans, whilst logically we’d love for that to happen, it never plays out like that.
That means you’ll have good weeks with a 100 wins and bad weeks where you’ll struggle to get 10. The only thing you can do is keep going, and acknowledge those 10. Aiming for 100% adherence to any lifestyle rules or non-negotiables in place isn’t the aim, because anything above 0% is a win.
It’s okay to find it hard. You’re human. Shedding the skin for us is painful, and requires space, patience, education, accountability and trust in the journey – you’re on the right path.
To facilitate the process of rewiring your behaviour, mindset and identity, understanding and connecting to your life’s greater purpose is an important part of it.
At the start of this phase, you will have asked yourself questions around your why behind your why, your future Reward and how you want the physical to be the vehicle for you. These questions are critical. There’s one more to explore now: How do you want to impact the world?
Spend time on this question, it won’t come overnight. If you can truly get the root of this question, you’ll unlock a strength in purpose that will allow for an intentional practice of staying in shape for life, because you know it’s mission critical.
When you discover your purpose, you can anchor the physical to be the vehicle to drive high performance in pursuit of it. You understand the non-negotiability of having a strong foundation of self-care, and for the ‘vehicle’ to be functioning at its best.
With purpose comes high performance, and a continuous pursuit of upgrading your vehicle to deliver in the best possible way. With purpose, you’ll be able to allow for the parasites of the past to be removed, and the old moult to be extracted. With purpose, you’ll be able to live in your flow with a new behaviour, mindset and identity.
Recommended Client Podcasts
Here are some brilliant podcasts to listen to that show the rewiring that takes place during the investment phase:
For More In This Series
Transform Your Body Transform Your Life
Transform Your Body Transform Your Life is now available on Amazon and Kindle. Click here to find the best place to get your copy.
Take The Test
To score yourself against our 3 Transformation Keys, and discover whether you’re ready to begin your journey, take the test today! It’s 100% free of charge, asks 30 yes/no questions, and you’ll find out your score with a personalised report on how to improve within 10 minutes.
For any questions, topic requests or if you just want to get in touch, please feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. To make sure you never miss an article, video or podcast, subscribe to our weekly RNT Round-Up newsletter here. As a bonus, you’ll also receive a copy of our RNT 25 Day Journey Primer! For day-to-day updates and tips, follow us on: IG @rnt_fitness @akashvaghela or FB RNT Fitness