Habits are evidence of your beliefs

An interesting tidbit from James Clear, author of the new book, Atomic Habits:

Fake it ‘til you make it is asking to believe something about yourself without evidence. But that doesn’t work well for the brain, because beliefs without evidence are called delusional.

But if you can build small habits, then that creates the evidence for your brain to form an identity/belief in who you are.

And I love this for multiple reasons.

One, Clear breaks down the exponential power of small habits done consistently over time. It’s a lot more sustaining than trying to achieve monumental goals.

Two, we are asked by so many “wise” people to just believe things at face value (ex. college is the best path for a career, girls like nice guys, etc.). These are beliefs without evidence, and so in reality, they really are just temporary delusions that we trick ourselves into believing.

Three, we have the power to shape our identities and reinforce our beliefs about ourselves by incorporating the habits of who we want to be. For example, if you want to be fit, you have to adopt the mindset that going to the gym is just something you do and that it’s not antithetical to who you are. Every time you go to the gym, you reinforce that it’s a normal thing a fit person like yourself does.