This article draws on the works of two authors: James Clear and Todd Herman.
Simply put, the environment around you can be leveraged for your success. It can positively alter your mindset, beliefs, and behaviours.
But, you need to be intentional about it.
I want to pick a “game" that I can get better at. What about you? Is it writing? Public speaking? A musical instrument? A relationship? Making people laugh?
Once you are clear on what you want to improve, it is worth designing your environment to support the practice of improvement.
Some tips I've used:
When your environment is set up to encourage the behaviours that you want to have happen in your life, it is time to take on a new identity. The actions themselves, once they become habits, will help to reinforce your new identity.
Another powerful trick: find a physical object, a totem, that can cement that identity.
Pick something that you can carry around with you, that signals to you that you are transforming into the type of person that you desire to be. You can associate the totem with the behaviour you are working on.
For me, it is a worn, brown Buddhist prayer bracelet I bought in Taipei. When I put it on, the sound of the wooden beads clacking against one another, and the weight of it on my wrist trigger a notable change in mental state.
The courageous, decisive, determined, and all around bad-ass writer in me comes out. I become someone new, someone who puts every ounce of his being into his writing.
We have so much power and potential that we don't access because of our self-limiting beliefs. Our stories about who we are get in the way of our transformation into the person we could be.
Every time you use your totem, you can consciously and unconsciously override those old, outdated negative beliefs tied to your identity.
Here are some questions for you to ponder:
What will your totem be?
When will you access it?
Who do you become when you wear or use it?
Here's a non-exhaustive list of potential totems:
The more you can touch, see, or hear the totem, the better it will work.
Once you have a totem, begin associating it with your desired identity, values, and beliefs. The more you do this, the better it will work.
If it helps, pick a hero or a character that you want to emulate.
That's it! Nothing to it :)
I will leave you with two quotes from Todd Herman, the author of The Alter Ego Effect:
1) “The greatest enemy to achievement is always the self.”
2) “Everything you need already exists within you.”