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How To Make Positive & Long Lasting Changes To Your Life. Part 1.

How To Make Positive & Long Lasting Changes To Your Life. Part 1.

One of the main reasons we undertake personal development is to change ourselves into something we perceive may be better. If we decide to change, people who prefer seeing us in the ‘old’ way may become resentful. The more successful we become, the more resentful they may appear. Even if they say nothing to us, or seem to behave no different outwardly, we often find they have been actively working against us behind our backs. We may find we soon outgrow such people, especially if they hold us back. Furthermore, new people will be attracted to us, who are more appropriate to our new mind set and lifestyle. Nature abhors a vacuum, and like attracts like.

There are many reasons why we avoid proactive and willed change, and only change when it is forced upon us:

  1. Inertia – we commence a programme of change only to reach a particular stumbling block and progress no further. It appears easier to accept our current circumstances, no matter how unsatisfactory,  than to seek new realities.
  2. Lack of belief that change is possible – self-doubt is a key inhibitor. We need to analyse our real desire to change and what we are prepared to do to make it happen.
  3. Fear – entertaining thoughts about the worst thing that could happen can paralyse us into inaction. We can deal with this by quantifying and evaluating what could happen and thus develop risk management strategies. Fear is often an illusion and the largest fear is that of failure. Confronting a fear, either in our imagination or in its real format, is an effective way of understanding that fear and reducing its importance. This should be done within reason. We may justifiably fear going down a dark alleyway at night where there is a history of muggings. There is no advantage, other than being perverse or trying out our new martial arts skills, to confront fear in this way.
  4. Indifference – does it matter, do I really want to do this, am I that bothered and am I doing this merely because it sounds good or I want to impress my friends/partner/peer group? If we are genuinely indifferent to making fundamental changes that could improve the quality of our life, we may have a number of subconscious blocks to work with.
  5. Risk – cost in terms of opportunity, time, effort, money and sacrifice. What if it goes wrong, I lose everything and end up discredited in front of my family and peer group? Risk management techniques should be used to deal with this inhibitor.
  6. Conditioning – although I want to do this at a conscious level, influences from my past are working against me. I don’t actually think I can do this or am in fact good enough to have what I want.
  7. Lack of belief in our ability to want to change, develop a strategy, and act – it sounds good but there is no way I can actually achieve any of this.
  8. Inability to follow through – success begins in the mind but action is required to realise success on the material plane. A strategy, decomposed into tactics and goals is fundamental to realisation and a superb way to measure progress and keep us motivated.

Why Change?

In order to counteract the blocks, consider the benefits of change. The benefits will drive us forward and provide the emotional adrenalin that keeps us going:

  • Live life to the fullness of our being – we are a long time dead so we should make the most of our short time on Earth.
  • Get what we want – better that we do than don’t unless masochism is compelling or we wish to seek refuge in the ‘if only I had done that’ philosophy.
  • Avoid feelings of regret that we have not developed or made the most of opportunities.
  • Avoid the life of mediocrity that we may have felt is all that we deserve or are capable of.

Is staying the same an option anyway? Change is endemic in life and we are subtly changing every day. Our bodies rebuilds themselves over a period of time, so we can look at making a positive choice to rebuild our lives and circumstances as well. By changing in a positive, planned way, we take control and achieve the results that we desire.

Who are you?

Who am I at this point in my life and how did I get here? Look around and we observe everything that we have created for ourselves now, the totality of our choices and decisions over a period of time. If we are dissatisfied with the results, why have we chosen such self-limiting beliefs, as it is these that have manifested our current situation.

Usually, the ego and accompanying belief systems have been constructed in an ill-devised way as a series of reactions to unplanned events. Consider the opportunities that may be presented by rebuilding the ego from the ground up in the most creative, positive way. We can recreate ourselves according to our own creative impulse and eliminate success inhibitors, those insidious subconscious blocks to success. The formula is straightforward – think, identify, understand, establish if the inhibitor can be transformed into a positive enabler, otherwise terminate with extreme prejudice. Creative visualisation has a clear role here in getting rid of a negative or success inhibiting belief

Work out who we want to be and how to get there – the difference between how we are now and how we truly want to be is often summarised as the gap analysis. So who do we want to be – that which we think we currently are or the true expression and realisation of our potential? Understand and relish the multiple aspects of our personality and recognise which come to the fore in given situations. Many people fall into the misconception that they need to be consistent, whereas this is not always possible. Understanding and relishing our inconsistencies can be a key strength.

Beliefs

Belief is capable of producing the most sublime and atrocious human behaviours and acts. We choose a belief system at an early age (or have one chosen for us) and generally stick with it. Only under conditions of stress and life-changing events do we reconsider the nature of our beliefs, why we chose them and whether they are still appropriate. Maybe one belief system is as valid as another – if nothing is true, everything is permitted.

Being ourselves and true to ourselves sounds wonderful in theory. However, society does not always approve of those who are truly themselves and relish being themselves, therefore we may find there are certain costs attached to this. How do we quantify those costs and are we prepared to pay? Some of the major costs and risks can be summarised as follows:

  • Social disapproval
  • Career limitation or enhancement
  • Potential financial or lifestyle pressures
  • Friends and family disapprove
  • Alienation
  • Uprootedness

Against this, balance the cost to the self and self-esteem of not following our true will and living a lie for the sake of social approval. Choose the belief system that works for us and to make modifications to enable us to function effectively in society to ensure that we get what we want without having to make unsatisfactory compromises. Look to change belief systems as necessary – play with new ones to understand new possibilities and explore new aspects of our ‘self’. Remember that we have been brought up within a particular context of belief that may not even have been valid when it originated. Establish whether this still works for us – if it doesn’t, change it.

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