Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

How the 'Identity Gap Formula' Can Help You Succeed

Knowing why you're failing and how to fix it is your first step in finding business success.


The following excerpt is from Ben Angel's book Unstoppable: A 90-Day Plan to Biohack Your Mind and Body for Success. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

Anytime we try to evolve from who we are to who we want to become to reach our goals, we create tension between our old and new selves, both psychologically and biochemically. This is what I call the "identity gap." Each "self" is fighting for residence within your mind. The one that wins is the one that avoids triggering your "fight or flight" response. Therefore, you're creating a "gap" between who you are, and who you want to become. To get on your way to being unstoppable, you first need to close your identity gap.

The first step

The first step in closing the identity gap is to choose your goal, defining who you are by the achievement of the goal. For this step, picture a light bulb that represents your purpose, your goals (an expression of your purpose), and the person you wish to become. Your mission is to light the bulb and keep it lit without flickering.

The second step

The second step is working with your identity, which is the battery that powers the light bulb. And, just like any battery, it can run flat at any point during the day, week, month or lifetime. Also like any battery, it will begin to hold less charge over time.

This battery is broken into four levels, each representing a different identity. As you might expect, our identities fluctuate throughout the course of a day, not just a lifetime, and depend on our energy levels, mental clarity, biochemistry and decision fatigue. When we're fully charged, we're unstoppable, but when we lack energy, we're as useless as a cell phone with a dead battery.

The four identities that make up your battery are the Catalyst, the Synergist, the Guardian and the Defender. When an identity is running the show, it takes control of everything, consciously or unconsciously. Both the Catalyst and Synergist are the most effective mental states for you to reach your goals.

As I mentioned, the battery is the fuel that drives your vision and shapes your identity. It is recharged by two specific energy sources:

Psychological/Spiritual energy

Psychological/spiritual energy incorporates your beliefs, values, outlook on life, willpower, focus and attitude. This energy is nourished via ongoing education, spirituality (for some) and life experiences that lead to heightened levels of self-awareness and emotional IQ.

A biochemical energy encompasses various factors, including nutri­tion, genetics, environment, allergies, overactive/underactive immune system, oxygen supply, neurofeedback, stress, move­ment and electricity. All these factors must work in unison to be effective. When one factor is missing or inactive, it can cause disequilibrium to all the others, to the detriment/destabilization of your mental and physical well-being.

However, psychological and biochemical energy don't necessarily play equal roles in creating your identity. As it turns out, psychological energy is more reliant on biochemical energy.

In effect, your biochemistry, when lacking in energy, can become the thief of your psychological energy and can steal your drive, willpower, motivation, clarity of thought and focus. Your willpower can override it for only so long before your brain is forced into self-preservation mode and your battery drops too low. While positive thoughts and expectations can boost your serotonin levels, it may only do so temporarily, resulting in a short-term identity shift that fails to stick.

Stress, prescription pills and poor nutrition can hijack our thoughts. If some prescription medications can trigger suicidal thoughts through altering our biochemistry, then could we also generate positive thoughts by hacking our own biology? Closing this gap by incorporating all the elements that are key to your success, including the underlying factors that drive an individual to succeed, is one of the first and most crucial steps to setting yourself up for success.

Are you ready to become unstoppable?

Visit and take your free 5-minute online quiz now. By answering a series of simple questions, my software will analyze your results and provide you with a comprehensive report that will indicate your identity type and lead you to the tools and tips you need to close that gap between who you are and who you could be. Take the quiz to get started!

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks