In James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, he provides this learning scenario for the reader to think about. Say you’re a smoker but desperately want to break the habit. You’re standing in the smoking area, and someone offers you a cigarette. How do you respond?

Do you say, “No, thanks, I’m trying to quit.” Or do you respond, “No, thanks, I’m not a smoker.”

The author concludes that the first response comes from a person who believes they’re still a smoker trying to become someone else, while the second response comes from someone with a core belief that smoking is something they did in the past.

Which of these two people is more likely to quit smoking successfully?

The point is that our identity, who we really believe we are, directly affects our thoughts and actions.

If you are serving as a mentor, one of the best things you can help your mentees do is identify the negative things they think repeatedly about themselves and others. Help them unpack their thought lives and take steps to renew their minds. Point them to positive thoughts and encourage them to replace their negative thoughts with healthier ones.

In my life, I had two important mentors: Dr. Charles Solomon and Dr. Neil Anderson. Both men helped me discover who I was in God’s eyes, and my spiritual identity became the bedrock on which I built my life. I had to review these truths daily, so my thinking was renewed, and the truth empowered me to step into the ever-changing world with confidence and resolve.

Do you understand who you are and how this affects your life and leadership? The speed at which we operate today doesn’t encourage us to slow down, reflect, understand, unpack, correct, and renew. We keep going, “Man-up,” and often crash and burn. Maybe it’s time to find a mentor or a coach. Think about it.

Doing Good at Work educates, equips, and empowers individuals, businesses, organizations, and non-profit leaders to live healthier lives. Healthy leaders make good leaders and unhealthy leaders make a mess. We help people discover who they are and how they can design a Roadmap to Better. You can learn more by scheduling a simple conversation. Click HERE to get started. How you see yourself is the first step in becoming a good leader.

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Dr. Boomer Brown, Ph.D., is the CEO of Doing Good at Work. Doing Good at Work is a 501(c) 3 organization that functions like a business. We desire to “Make People Better” because we know better people make better businesses, and better businesses make a better world. Learn more:

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