6 weeks ago I started on the Couch to 5k app, my goal to run a race for life this year. Yesterday after running for 25 minutes non stop my “coach” Michael Johnson declared ‘you can call yourself a runner now’! What a powerful statement to say to 55 year old me. In the past I have made comments like “we don’t run in our family” or “there is bound to be another bus after that one” but today I AM A RUNNER!

This is what is called identity level change and its incredibly powerful. I don’t just go for runs any more, I am a runner and I love it ! Work done by NLP genii like Robert Dilts have long talked about the different types of change we can make in our life and the impact it will have. According to Dilts there are 6 neurological levels, Environment, Behaviour, Capability, Values/Beliefs, Identity and Mission. Lasting change involves the latter levels, working with our values/beliefs and identity, creating a positive and powerful frame of reference for motivation and achievement.

So Michael Johnson knows what he is doing, but how often do we undergo identity level change unaware of the life changing impact it could have and ill equipped to handle it? In a typical life we progress from student to working woman/man, single to married, parent, divorced, carer, widow and in my case cancer survivor. Each of these changes can reinforce or undermine our confidence so it is key that we understand these changes and develop the mindset to make the most of our new found identities.

This is where training and coaching can play an important role, helping us discover not only the identity changes themselves but also to recognise the new found skills and abilities we have as a result of this powerful identity level change. Encouraging resilience and that great phrase “bouncebackability” to make the most of life at any stage. When we know who we are and what we are capable we are Limitless. Take it from me, I am a runner!

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