What Happens When We Assume a New Identity
Today I spoke with one of my education entrepreneurship students from University of Pennsylvania about the startup he’s working on. He shared something very insightful about identity.
He said that in his conversations with clients and other people, lately, he’s tuned into the things they say that sound like the problem he can solve for them. When people say something related to the problem he can solve for them, he immediately asks more questions and suggests his service where applicable. I asked him what he thought about that and he said, “it’s like I’m becoming an entrepreneur and now I think that way. Maybe it’s because I’ve pitched it so many times that now I’m ready to pitch any time it’s relevant.”
Right there we talked about what actually happened. He has assumed the identity of an entrepreneur or a founder. This is the first time he feels this way and just a month ago this wasn’t the case.
After this conversation, I started thinking about the power of unlocking and achieving a new identity. When we become that new identity, we can think and behave in new ways. We can learn at that identity’s level.
Earlier today, I saw an Instagram post by Ali Abdaal about his own journey into assuming the identity of a YouTuber. When that happened for him, he said his learning accelerated.
Assuming the Identity of a Writer
As I continue my writing streak on this blog (33 weekdays of posting in a row), I am assuming the identity of a writer. I resisted it during the first 15-20 posts, but after 20, I started to feel different. And after 30, I felt it was safe to call myself a writer. As I moved closer to this new identity, I started to seek ways to improve as a writer. I bought and read (listened) to Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art, because it’s written for writers and creators. Steven is a prolific and accomplished writer (author of The Legend of Bagger Vance and many others). I felt it was time to read the advice of a fellow, significantly more accomplished writer.
Before reaching 30 posts, I would not have read his book. I didn’t feel I was the intended audience for the book. But I’m a writer now and I need to level up as a writer. Once I hit 75 posts, I am going to reward myself with David Perell’s Write of Passage course.