Blueprint >> Identity-Level Change

Disclaimer: This document is in raw form as I process and distill 4 years-worth of my personal development notes. Expect some typos and cryptic language for now. I will be updating frequently and polishing up.

Prescription: Change identity, not behavior.
Related Concepts: Self-Image, Mind Power, Be Principle-Centered, Strategic Thinking

What is Identity-Level Change?


Why is it Important?

Most people try to make changes at the behavioral level, but real change — transformation — happens on the identity level. You will struggle and exhaust yourself by only making changes to your behavior.

Identity-Level Change Videos

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Coach Leo Gura
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Identity-Level Change: Key Points

Most people try to change behaviors, which tend to revert if the underlying causes aren't addressed. Instead, create change at the identity level — who you see yourself as — and your behaviors will auto-correct. An identity-level change means that you now think of yourself differently. Your self-image has shifted. This is a much more permanent, sustainable change.

Behavior-level changes require the use of willpower, while identity-level changes follow naturally. If you see yourself as a healthy, athletic person, it will be incongruent for you to sit at home on your couch watching TV, you will have an urge to go to the gym instead.

When you've decided what you want, step into that role as if it was real. 1 You are now 30 pounds lighter. You are now a successful entrepreneur. You are now a writer. You are now a public speaker. You are now good in relationships. Yes, you're faking it a bit, but change has to start somewhere, so don't feel bad about that. You are changing yourself from the inside out. Don't look for external circumstances to support your self-image at first. Change your self-image, then be patient. It will take time for external circumstances to catch up. 2

If you want to make a big, sustainable change in your life, start thinking about this change on a deeper level, the level of your self-image. For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds, stop thinking about diets, and start thinking about what kind of beliefs you would have to hold to stay at your ideal weight. How would you have to think? Why would you think that way versus the way you currently think. Of course going to the gym and eating healthy will still be necessary, but you want to make the shifts in your motivation first so going to the gym and dieting becomes more natural.

  • Key question: How would my self-image have to change so that I automatically have the behavior I want?

Do not wait for anyone or anything to give you permission. If you want to be a writer, start writing and anoint yourself as a writer, even if you haven't published anything yet. You have to start somewhere. The most real things that exist today — the Pyramids, the space shuttle, the Golden Gate Bridge — had to start as an idea in someone's head. You are creating your future so there must necessarily be a point where what you want is real yet. That's okay. You need to believe in yourself, otherwise you are guaranteed to fail.


  1. Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins
  2. Mind Power, John Kehoe
Coach Leo Gura
Hire me as your coach. Super-charge your life. Email me now!
  • Redesign your life to align with your purpose
  • Mindsets and tools for exceptional success