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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

The 6 Stages of Changing Your Identity ft. Nick Ross | DFIO Ep.246

About Today’s Episode:

Today we welcome back my friend, Nick Ross, to the show. Nick is a killer when it comes to the mindset, headspace, and the idea of remaking yourself.

Nick was recently on the show and it was one of my most talked-about episodes to date. I love that you guys are into the deeper aspects of dieting and transformation because we get to talk about more than just calories and workouts—which is important—but outer work (nutrition, training) without inner work (identity, inner child, relationship with food), doesn't work.

Today we get into a lot about identity—which is one of the biggest things we work on with clients.

Your identity is one of the biggest factors involved in self-sabotage. If you struggle with being on/off diets—you start off strong, but something always happens—and you wind up back where you started, there is probably an issue with identity, because your identity will not go down without a fight.

So, one of the things I focus on is—instead of trying again, trying harder, and hoping it works out this time—why don’t we change our identity to be in line with our goals?

Nick has been working on a piece of content that he calls the 'Six Stages of Changing Your Identity'—how to go about changing your identity and shifting it from a tactical and tangible place.

I'm really excited about this episode because one of my biggest pet peeves with this mindset game is that oftentimes the advice you hear is not tactical and tangible, but Nick has a lot of great, practical advice in today's episode, so let's get into it!


00:00 Introduction

00:43 Our sponsors

04:46 About today’s episode

07:42 About Nick Ross

15:32 Identity Misalignment

21:12 Stage 1: Have Faith

23:52 Stage 2: Let The Dead Wood Burn

28:12 Stage 3: Vision Drives Decision

33:58 Stage 4: Purpose

52:44 Stage 5: M.A.P. (Massive Action Plan)

01:01:07 Stage 6: Choose to Win Today

01:03:59 Balancing Results and Identity Change

01:09:27 Jared's outro and how to sign up for coaching

Transcript (click to expand)

Episode Synopsis:

About Nick Ross:

Nick worked in the music industry for a long time—throughout his 20s—moving all over the United States. During this time, he was living a rock-and-roll-type lifestyle—he drank all the time, smoked cigarettes (starting at the age of 16), and while he loved the music industry, it was high-stress, and took a toll on his body.

Nick was moving about every 18 months for work and, though he didn’t realize it at the time, all the stress—and some of the other negative things that happened in his life—turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Seven years ago, at the age of 32, what really transformed Nick into the person he is today was being diagnosed with stage 2 cancer.

Nick was subsequently treated with the heaviest amount of chemo a person of his age and health could go through.

That process pushed him through limits and false beliefs that he had always put on himself.

Nick had been coping with his past and his stress with drugs, partying, eating whatever he wanted to, etc.

When he woke up at the age of 32, found a tumor, called a doctor, and less than 24 hours later was told he had cancer and had surgery Monday, he began to seriously reflect on his life.

At this point, he was working as the general manager of a brick-and-mortar retail store and most of his accomplishments were well in the past.

While he was going through chemo, Nick found himself having deep philosophical thoughts—reflecting on why he had so much fear, why he didn’t take certain opportunities—he had a fear of judgment and not being worthy.

As he has gotten older—and done the trauma work—he has learned that all of these things are manifestations of past trauma. They could be things that you don’t even remember but are still unhealed trauma.

Nick says it’s like walking around with a broken leg and not realizing that it’s broken.

Why Identity Work is Important:

Nick is a sales coach and he often finds that people on his coaching calls have a misalignment of identity and a misalignment of thoughts, words, and actions.

This misalignment creates a multiplicity of self and personality (not like dissociative identity disorder, commonly called multiple personality disorder).

You have competing interests—multiple voices—in your head that are contending for space, putting you in a place where you have to serve multiple masters.

Nick breaks here to take a moment to emphasize that there is nothing separating you from him.

Nick was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He came from a poor family, in a poor town—a life that most don’t make it out of.

He emphasizes that you are enough and you are capable, but the problem is: the reason you struggle is because you are supporting an identity that is not in line with your true outcomes.

Your identity doesn’t want to die and it will defend itself—making you not know who you are or what you want.

For example, Nick used to be a binge-eating, alcoholic, party animal—an identity that he supported for so long—with internal and external false beliefs to keep that identity alive.

Once he recovered from chemotherapy he wanted to take care of his body, so he started learning about nutrition. Once he got his body healthy—and he was proud of what he saw in the mirror—the chemistry in his brain started changing and he began to see life differently.

Nick added cardio. While doing cardio he would listen to podcasts, which is how he started learning about self-development.

This eventually led him to develop his 'six steps of changing your identity'.

He has taken bits and pieces of what he learned from others and what has worked for him.

He emphasizes that there is no proven science behind these steps, but it’s a plan that can be executed and works.

Step One: Have Faith

You have to shed the old identity and let it die.

The first step to changing your life—and changing your outcomes—is having faith.

You have to have faith that you can do it. If you do not have faith in yourself, none of the other steps will work.

Nick references Bob Proctor, who explained that human beings live simultaneously on three planes of understanding—that we are spiritual creatures, with intellectual minds, that live in a physical reality.

Most people only pay attention to the exterior. They neglect the intellectual mind—acquiring knowledge and getting smarter—and neglect the spiritual side of who they are.

You are not just a physical thing, but also a mind and spirit that needs to be nourished just as the body does.

Most people are spiritually broken and don’t even realize it.

Nick explains that one becomes spiritually broken through conditioning for failure. This is common in the restrictive diet world where people will try various, unrealistic things that won’t work over and over again.

Step Two: Let The Dead Wood Burn

You have to have a conversation with yourself. This is step two.

Nick calls this ‘letting the dead wood burn.’

Have a real, honest conversation with yourself about what you are no longer willing to tolerate anymore and what you are capable of.

Realize that this identity is contributing to your unhappiness, your stress, and is leading you to hell on earth.

You have to allow the bits and pieces inside of you—the dead wood—that are not in line with your highest self—what God/the Universe designed you to be—to burn.

Nick says that the anxiety, depression, guilt, and shame you feel is because you are turning a blind eye to the truth. You’re willfully blind, meaning you know what you should—and need to—fix, but you haven't fixed it.

We have all felt this way. Why do we know what we should do but continue to set a bad example in our lives?

Nick again emphasizes that you need to have faith in yourself and then have a real, honest conversation with yourself about what you’re capable of.

Jared came to this same realization—that the old self must die.

He was struggling with stepping into what he knew he had to be when he realized that death hurts and he needed to let it hurt so his new self could live.

Step Three: Vision Drives Decision

Nick says that the new identity has to get a vision of who it (you) wants to be. It has to be reinforced by winning and reward.

Step three is getting a vision of who you want to be. As Nick puts it: vision drives decisions.

If you do not have the results you want in your life, it’s because you did not take the actions to get the right results.

What drives actions? Decisions.

If you are not getting the outcomes you want, not taking the right actions, and not making the right decisions, it’s because you don’t have the vision.

Vision drives the ability to make good decisions.

Nick recommends an exercise called ‘Mind Storming’.

Write down 20 things that you want to accomplish—you have to physically write them, pen to paper—then prioritize that list, identifying the top 5 things you want to do in the next year, three years, whatever timeframe you prefer.

The other 15 things, you forget about them.

In order for you to not get distracted, you have to forget about the other 15 goals.

When you do accomplish one of your top five, you can add one of the other 15 back in.

Doing this gives you clarity.

Nick puts it as, “If you can’t see the aim, then you can’t hit the target.”

He says the three most fundamental questions that human beings want answered at all times are:

  1. Where are we?

  2. Where have we been?

  3. Where are we going?

Nick believes it is essential to have these three things figured out.

Jared has often had the experience of having a potential client apply for coaching, and upon asking them these questions, they respond that they do not know. Jared and his team can provide a roadmap, but he cannot give you the destination.

Nick has observed that if you do not know what you want, then neither you yourself nor others will be able to satisfy you.

This goes back to the misalignment of identity. You may wake up every day and go to a job you hate, but it's the easier narrative instead of trying to aspire to your best self.

For many people, their loved ones are what drives them. Nick states that if you love them, you absolutely have to be the best version of yourself.

Step Four: Purpose

Nick always asks people, “What better do you have to do in your life than to be your best self?”

People almost never have an answer.

How do you become your best self? Get a vision of it.

Nick finds that many people fall short of becoming their best selves because they haven’t found their purpose.

Your purpose is not your goal. Your goal is a target that will involve a rewards system and reinforcement of your identity.