Discover how the stories we've told ourselves since childhood have sculpted our adult identities, and how by rewriting these narratives, we can catalyze profound personal transformation. As we step into the brilliance of 2024, the Next Level Human Podcast unveils the intricate dance between belief, identity, and the success of our resolutions. Join me, Dr. Jade Tita, on a journey that ventures beyond the surface of habit formation, and deep into the essence of who we are. This episode is not merely a discussion; it's a revelation that the core of lasting change lies within our self-perception.
Have you ever experienced a moment so pivotal that it reshaped your entire being? That's the power of significant life events, and I will share stories from both my clinical experiences and my personal life to illustrate this phenomenon. Understanding that our brains are not so different from computers, I'll guide you through the process of dismantling old, limiting beliefs and constructing empowering new narratives. It's about more than just tweaking what we do; it's about transforming who we are at our very core. Together, we'll explore the transformative potential of examining our childhood stories, as they often set the stage for our adult lives.
As we unfold the pages of this transformative narrative, you'll learn about a simple yet powerful three-step method that can rewrite your life story. Inspired by the astonishing effects of visualization in sports, we'll discuss how to employ this method to reforge our identities and beliefs, paving the way for new habits to take root naturally. This episode is an invitation to not just listen, but to actively participate in your own metamorphosis throughout the coming year. I'll be here, hosting events aligned with each step of this process, ensuring you're supported at every turn as you embark on rewriting your own amazing story.
Welcome to the Next Level Human Podcast. Everyone, my name is Dr Jade Tita, I am your host for the show, and happy 2024, just a few days away for me, but by the time most of you are listening to this, we will just be crossing into 2024. It's December 28th as I record this podcast, and it really gives me and us an opportunity to have a discussion about resolutions and change. From my perspective, this time of year is one of those times of years that we are always thinking about and reevaluating how we have been, who we have been and who we could become, and what we wanna work on Now. I don't know about you, but for me, my birthday really serves that sort of thing that New Year's Eve serves for most people. My birthday, which was back in November, is usually the time that I'm evaluating who I've been and what I'm wanting to change. But because it comes so close to New Year's, I oftentimes am still thinking of it around New Year's. But for most of you, new Year's remains a tradition where we really evaluate who we've been and who we could become, and so I wanna talk a little bit about where we get this wrong and where I actually think the science is actually wrong on this, and let me be clear that much of what we're gonna talk about in this episode is not established science and for many of you who are hardcore evidence-based individuals, you may get triggered by this a little bit. What I would say is please suspend your judgment. Just hang out with me for a little while. Let's have a fireside chat about what I believe is wrong and hopefully, out of this, even if you don't agree with me by the end of it, you will have some useful information that you can use and apply to your own change in health and fitness, or finance or personal relationships or purpose and meaning. Now I'm gonna focus this attention more on health and fitness, because that's really what this time of year is all about, and I'll try not to be long-winded here. But let me give you the hook that may trigger most of you or raise your eyebrows a little bit, and the hook goes like this Most of you think that it is habits and behaviors that drive change. It's not. It's beliefs and identity. That's the hook. That's the thing that will raise your eyebrows and perhaps make you go huh and make you question what I'm saying. So let me repeat that hook one more time. You think that it's about behaviors and habits. It's really about beliefs and identity. In other words, most of us think, hey look, jade, give me a diet, give me an exercise program to do, give me some coaching and I will go and do those things. And after doing those things for a particular point in time, you know the popular three weeks, 21 days, and it will be a habit. And when I do it it sort of gets ingrained in my head and then I'm off to the races and I've got a new habit and all my old problems are behind me. This does not work. I don't believe that it's actually true and certainly we have the evidence to suggest that it isn't. Most people who try to attain weight loss and health and change their habits fail miserably. In fact, we have data on this that I've been saying for the past 10 years. The data has not changed. 90 plus percent of people who try to lose weight and keep it off Fail to do that within the first year. That means 90% of people either don't lose the weight and or can't keep it off after a year, and in the research this is defined as a loss of 10% of body weight sustained over a year. Now, at two years, that number becomes 95%, at three years, 99%. In other words, after three years, virtually everyone who tried either was not able to achieve the weight loss they wanted that 10% reduction in body weight and or wasn't able to maintain it. This shows you, tells us, that there is something very wrong with the models that we are using, and this is my contention that it is not habits. Most people doing habits it's like they're banging their head against the wall over and over and over again, thinking by sheer will of force that one day this will just pop into their head and they'll not have to do the work again. This is not how it works. Now, what I said is that beliefs and identity are where we need to focus our time, and that's because beliefs and identity, the stories that we tell ourselves about the world and, more importantly, the stories we tell about who we are in the world are the stories that determine who we think we are and what we believe we actually can achieve. In other words, habits and behaviors flow out of identity and beliefs, not the other way around. So very few people are going to be able to change their habits and behaviors and have it influence their identity and beliefs. However, if you change your identity and beliefs, your habits and behavior will automatically change. They will automatically change. Now here's the part that we don't necessarily know about. That, I'll say, is not established science. Now, certainly I have plenty of clinical experience perhaps so do you on being able to make change, and let me walk you through this a little bit. Most people who make profound changes in their lives suffer in some way. Now, I know I oftentimes get on this kick about trials and tribulations and trauma and suffering, and really that can shut a lot of people's minds off because they go well, I haven't had trials and tribulations. I have a great life. What I mean is struggles. You certainly had your heart broken at some point. You probably had, if you're my age 50 had someone pass away. You've gone through grief. Maybe you've lost your job. These are the things that make the biggest difference for people. Think about it. We oftentimes joke about it. Right, the breakup diet. Someone breaks your heart. You go through a tough breakup. Everything changes, and this is where people are oftentimes able to make profound changes. That last why? Because their identity is completely upended and changed. When you're in a romantic relationship, that person becomes part of your identity. They then break up with you, or you break up with them, or it ends for some reason and you are struggling because your identity has been fractured and what ends up happening is, yes, it can be very painful, but it also holds a lot of promise, because, for the first time, and perhaps a very long time, you now have an identity change forced on you, and this oftentimes forces you to look at who you've been, who you want to be. You start paying more attention to your behaviors and this leads to change. And the same thing happens if you lose a loved one. They pass away. Grief changes your identity. A loss of a job or loss of money or career these things change people's identity and they end up becoming different people. This is why you oftentimes hear about people going through incredibly difficult times and saying that was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it changed me in X, y or Z ways that I never could have imagined or would have been able to achieve without said difficult thing. Now, the problem with that is that none of us are going to voluntarily put our hands on a psychological hot stove. In other words, we do not want to go through pain voluntarily. Psychological suffering is very difficult and when you go through these difficult times and identity change, it can be completely upending. So how do we do this without having a situation where we have identity change forced on us? What is the technology, and does any exist that we can use to change our underlying beliefs and identity? Now, you've probably heard in the personal development world, you've been exposed to people like, let's say, tony Robbins, perhaps Brendan Vershard, maybe Joe D'Espenza. You certainly, at some point in time, been exposed to the idea of things like the secret and the law of attraction. And if you have and I imagine you have, if you're listening to this podcast, which is a self development and health and fitness podcast if you've heard of these things and you probably know that there are certain people who have certain technologies that they have used and have made a living off helping people change their identities. Now, from my perspective, there are some strengths about these individuals and these trainings and some weaknesses. And another one we can throw in with some of these quote gurus, and I don't mean that in a negative way. I'm a big fan of Joe D'Espenza, I'm a big fan of Tony Robbins, I'm a huge fan of Brendan Vershard. I'm a huge fan of anybody actually who's out there spending their lives work trying to help people make positive change, and I would throw all of these people and others in that bucket. Another thing that is very popular, now that you've heard me talking off a lot about, is psychedelics, ayahuasca, psilocybin, all of these things. But again, even people who use these things don't achieve the change they want and instead it seems like they just keep going back, and we all know what this is like. We know our personal development junkies are seminar junkies, are coaching junkies, are psychedelic junkies that go back again and again. They get the insights, but they never can make the change. So, from my perspective, habits and insights and behaviors these things are temporary at best. They do not push true change, but they can be important and some people certainly do, by sheer will of force, make the change. Most do not. We know this is true and if you're honest with yourself, check in. We see these people who do ayahuasca retreats constantly, right, and they're the same old people. They speak a slightly different language, but they seem to have the same repeated pattern stuck emotions, recurrent obstacles showing up in their lives. Same thing with people who go to a lot of these seminars. Why, though, I'm gonna break down a three step process? That, I believe, is the reason, and, in my mind, you need all three of these things to make significant change. Now, the first thing you need is you need to understand that your brain is much like a computer and the memories it stores determine the reality that it serves up. Let me rephrase that, or actually, let me just say it the same way your brain is much like a computer, and the memories that it stores from your past development serve up your reality and impact your reality. In other words, who you have been and the things that have happened to you and, more importantly, the stories you wrote about those things determine how you will be moving forward, and these do not have to be traumatic events. Let me give you an example from my life. In my childhood development, I had a beautiful childhood Two loving parents who are still together, three siblings who were a support system and loving support system for me. I felt loved. I was often cuddled never coddled but I went through my own struggles. Struggle number one my mother was a very young mom by 26, she had four kids. She had a traumatic childhood, growing up with an emotionally abusive mother. By the time I was growing up and my mom was in her late 20s, early 30s, she was very emotionally volatile, struggling with her childhood dysfunction, struggling with her childhood pain, and I would often find her crying alone in the bedroom. There was at least one moment that I remember where she said she didn't wanna be here. As a little kid I took that to me. She wanted to kill herself, scared the hell out of me. There were multiple times where she said she was leaving and not coming back. She was overwhelmed. Now, at the same time, she loved me. She was constantly I love you. You can do anything, jade. But she was also emotionally volatile. Now, that's what happened to me in my development. What story did I write about that? And this is the part where you have to get very reflective and aware and really look and pay attention. Well, I wrote that women are not to be trusted emotionally, that they're volatile, that they don't necessarily always mean what they say. I also learned I had to be a good boy and not mess up, because I didn't wanna trigger my mom. So this led to me in my adult life not being fully aware until much later. It led to me being a people pleaser, prioritizing being nice and good and kind, overtelling the truth. It also made me distrust women in general and this had ramifications in my romantic life. In fact, I would say this story that I wrote unconsciously when I was a child, before I can fully form memories and before I fully could understand what I was doing, impacted me later on. It led me to not trust my wife's emotions, to be a people pleasing liar. I ended up having an affair, I ended up getting a divorce, all of this kind of stuff. And that event, very difficult time in my life, forced me to look at the old stories. It was an identity change and in order for me to completely change my identity, I had to go and rewrite the stories, find the stories and rewrite the stories and analyze the stories of my youth. I'll give you another example my brother, my older brother Keowney, who I love, who's one of my best friends on the planet, teased me mercilessly when I was a kid. Now we can laugh about that me and him now, but when I was a child I didn't take it as teasing. It was more kind of bullying, and so it had an impact on me. How did that impact me? It impacted me with anger. It made me be a tough guy. In fact, the fact that I am still a very muscular, strong individual and still go to the gym has roots in me wanting to protect myself from my older brother, and I essentially was like I need to be a tough guy, I need to defend myself, and even my physical appearance, even to this day, is related to that. Now, not all of these things are good and bad, but the point is rest assured If you are a human, you have gone through stuff when you were young, and whether you see it as trauma or a culture sees it as trauma, those struggles, those things that happen to you when you were young, are stories that you wrote in your psyche. The best way to explain this that I like is that when I was a kid, in elementary school, I would oftentimes find a string yarn, a string of yarn, on the ground, and I was bored in class. So I picked that string up and what do you do? Tie a knot in it, right, Because I'm bored. And then I tied a knot on top of a knot, and then another knot, and then I had this big knotted ball of yarn. Well, those stories that we write from our developmental conditions when we are young are kind of like that initial knot that we tie in that yarn and then it becomes a pattern. It's basically a story that we wrote that the world is like this, and then we tie another knot, another knot, another knot. Before we know it, our behaviors have been influenced by that initial unconscious view of what the world is like and who we are and who we have to be, and then it has ramifications for us in our adult life. It follows us around. In fact, carl Jung has an amazing saying that speaks to this directly. It says if you do not make the unconscious conscious, it will follow you around and you will call it faith. And this is why I oftentimes talk about the idea that our repeated patterns, our recurrent struggles, our stuck emotions, obstacles that recur again and again, all of these point to those initial knots that we wrote in our psyche. So step one of change is not habits and behaviors. It's not habit change. In fact, that's just keeping you from the thing that's got you stuck, which is that initial story. So step one is going back and spotting these stories, unwinding that knotted ball of yarn. That is step one. Now we have technologies that allow us to do this Written exposure therapy, journaling techniques, self-authoring journaling, meditative techniques. These things actually help us spot much of these dysfunctional stories, and we spot them by looking at the recurrent patterns, repeated struggles, obstacles that recur again and again, stuck emotions. These things point us to the old stories that are keeping us stuck. We can't do manifestation work and we can't do behavior change without getting down to the beliefs and the identity that were created in our developmental years, when we were kids, when we were teens, when we were in our early adulthoods. Any of these wounds, difficulties, struggles that we wrote stories about come back to haunt us in our current reality and make it incredibly difficult for us to change. So imagine we just got through with Christmas, the story of Scrooge. I remember growing up watching a Christmas carol and the character Scrooge gets haunted by his old buddy who was his old business partner, and this ghost is carrying this, all these heavy lengths of chain that are weighing him down, these old stories that we wrote when we were kids, in our development, these are these chains. They are weighing us down and pulling us backwards. Now, the sad thing about this is that most people defend their identities, they defend their beliefs. They will not give these things up. And then they wonder why they're not able to make change in other areas. Because your inability to change your beliefs about certain things in life Directly are related to the identity that also is struggling to make change in other areas of their life. For example, if you're one of these people let's talk politics for a minute who is extreme in your political views and has not changed those political views and are constantly, you know, on the left or on the right and constantly, constantly Defending your political view and you have not ever changed that view and you only read books that correspond with that view and you only watch media and news that reinforce that view. This is analogous to you defending an identity You're not open to change, and then that identity also will struggle when it tries to change its eating Behavior or it tries to change its behaviors around diet and exercise, etc. Because those two identities are linked together. The idea is to begin to become flexible in your identity and begin to restructure your identity, and Bruce Lee, the philosopher, martial artist and actor, has a great saying here that I oftentimes quote. It goes Absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add what is uniquely your own. This is what we need to do when we're restructuring our identity. We need to take the things that are our values, our core value hierarchies, and we need to hold on to those, especially if they're working for us. We need to jettison all the behaviors that aren't Working for us and we need to absorb new behaviors that we need. So we need to keep the things that make us us, that really are not getting in the way. We need to get rid of the things that are causing these repeated patterns, recurrent obstacle, stuck emotions, and we need to absorb new information and new ways of being, to become who we are. In other words, rather than being authentic To a past self or a current self, the real person we need to be authentic to is our future, better selves, and in order to be authentic to our future better selves, we need to jettison a lot of our old identity. We need to stop defending old beliefs and instead begin to dismantle old beliefs, because when we do that, we also begin to dismantle those old Stories that we told ourselves about the world, that are keeping us stuck in the areas of health and fitness, etc. So that is step one. By the way, this is the work that I do at my journey events. We literally get into Looking deeply into the old stories you have written and begin to reprogram in something I call identity restructuring, through writing exercises and through meditation exercises and Through task-based cognitive behavioral therapy exercises. That's step one. Now step two is the fact that we need to Begin to teach our physiology what it feels like to have the thing. In other words, we have self soothing behaviors that we cling to Because our physiology acts a particular way. Let me give you an example from my world. I wake up in the morning. I don't typically like to eat breakfast, and then I may even skip lunch, and then I end up getting Hungry. And when I get hungry, physiologically it triggers myself soothing eating behavior, which causes me to then go for carbohydrates, mostly sweets, very, you know all sweets a lot like you know having tons of sweets, eating a lot of breads, pastas, starches, things like that. That's what I go to. And then that sabotages my Health and fitness goal sets. My physiology does not know what it feels like to be energetic and to go hey, I want steak and broccoli and something, or chicken and green beans or some, or a salad and salmon or something like that. Instead it goes you know, give me some Oreo cookies and give me some pasta and wine, because that's how I self-sued when I was a kid and that's what I remember. And so the next part is a meditation technique that begins to help you drop into visualization practice and more feeling practices around feeling good and practicing in almost like a dress rehearsal type thing in your mind, this new behavior. Let me give you an example from some research studies Back in the 70s I believe. This study was done where they essentially took individuals and they had. They took them into an auditorium to a basketball stadium and had them shoot free throws to test their initial free throw percentages. Then they split the groups up and had one group come in every week and practice actually shooting basketball free throws. The other group sat in the stands of the basketball stadium and imagined meditating on shooting basketballs and making them. Then they retested the free throw percentages after a couple weeks. Now, the people who were actually shooting the free throws scored better, but surprisingly perhaps for many, the people imagining shooting free throws and making the baskets also improved. This study was repeated with three groups, where one group did the actual shooting of the basketball. The second group did the imagining shooting the basketball, and then a third group that did both the visualization and the shooting, and the group that did the visualization and the shooting scored better. What this essentially is saying is that there is a way for us to practice feeling into certain behaviors and identities and ways of being prior to actually doing the thing, and this is step two through meditative practices. Now, if you go to nextlevelhumancom and scroll down to the bottom of that page, you'll find free meditations, two of them that begin to teach you a little bit about how to do this style of meditation. So that's step two. Step one happens to do with rewriting and restructuring the identity that is attached to old stories. Step two is getting this new identity to feel what it feels like to be different through meditation practices and really practicing this feeling, basically practicing shooting free throws. And then step three is the be it until you see it stage, which is essentially to go out into the real world and do the things and let your brain see yourself being the person, and when you don't have these old stories tethering you and holding you back and when you know what it feels like to do the things internally because you've been practicing it in your visualizations. Now, when you take these actions, you don't have things pulling you backward and your new identity can shine forward. This is the three-step process that is about belief and identity change and in my mind, this is required, and anytime you have done anything where you've made a complete change in your life, it has followed this three-step process. It wasn't about you doing behaviors and habits. You just believe that that's the case because all you've heard about is behaviors and habits. You didn't realize that when you made this complete change, you on some level left old beliefs behind, begin to see into a new reality for yourself and visualize that in your mind, whether you were doing it intentionally or not, and all of your actions then begin to point in a particular direction and you took the steps and each time you took the step, your new reality manifested. The way to think about this is a tuning fork. If you take a tuning fork that's tuned at 475 Hertz and you take another tuning fork that's tuned at 200 Hertz, you won't be able to get these two things resonating because they're different belief systems. This is what it is If you have a belief system that is tuned to 475 Hertz and you're trying to make change, that requires you to have a belief system that is tuned at 200 Hertz. These two things are incompatible. You first need to change your old belief into something that will resonate with your new belief. You need to let the old stuff go and create a new reality. In other words, you have to live into or decide on that new reality and visualize that new reality even before it becomes reality in real life. That's the idea of tuning yourself like a tuning fork, to the 200 Hertz frequency. Now what can happen is when the world presents to you what it does, which it does, you're going to be more likely to make the right choice. For example, for me, my old belief a 400 Hertz, 475 Hertz old belief for me was when I got hungry I would go to get chips or pasta or something like that. And if you gave me a choice between look, jade, here's a salad with chicken on it and pasta and both were prepared I would still choose the pasta because my old identity is tuned to that 475 Hertz belief system. My tuning fork, my identity tuning fork, is operating on that frequency. It's not until I actually get my tuning fork, operating on the chicken and salad frequency the 200 Hertz frequency that when I'm presented with that choice, I'm more likely to choose the salad and the chicken breast. Now, if you have ever been in a situation where you're like I know what to do, I just simply never do it. I always make the wrong choice. That's because your identity still is no different, and no amount of habit change, no amount of banging your head against the wall of habit change is going to make this switch. You need to change your belief systems, those underlying identity structure of who it is you think you are, and that is what is going to drive the choices in the real world. This is how this works, and so I want you to consider that it is not behaviors and habits, it is beliefs and identity, and I also want you to understand that there is a technology and a way of changing your beliefs and restructuring your identity. That is the major way that everyone who's ever made a complete change in their life uses, whether they are aware of it or not. And now we have the ability to begin to use this technology to our advantage, and this is much of what I will be teaching in 2024. And if you're interested in any of this and you're just like, oh my gosh, yes, jade, this is what I need, then you're probably going to be interested in getting involved with some of my events that I'm doing this year the Journey event, which really deals with step one, the Awakening event, which really deals with step two, and the coming events after that that deal with step three. But this is always the process. Now some of you can listen to this podcast and go oh my gosh, thank you so much. I get it Now, I know what I need to do and you're off and running. That's the whole point of discussions like this. Good, do it, and if you need help, I've got resources for you. All right, everyone. Thank you so much for hanging out on the podcast today. Happy 2024. I'm excited about 2024. I don't know about you, but 2023 was a rough year for me, but, again, lots of identity change. Because it was rough and because I understand a lot of what we just discussed, I hope this will be a very helpful insight for you and begin the process of real change for you in 2024. All right, take care everybody, and I will see you on the next show.