Humans are not meant to stop growing. In fact, no living thing on earth is meant to stop growing. We are all alive, reaching for the sun.
Progress in life is all about reinvention. I am going to preface all of this by saying that reinvention is not the same thing as endlessly seeking reward or achievement. There is a difference. Seeking an achievement usually implies an “end.” You win the trophy and then you’re “done.” That’s not what you want to aim for–because as soon as you say you’re “done,” you are no longer reaching and stretching yourself, which means you stop growing.
Reinvention, however, leaves the end open–which is actually a good thing. Reinvention is what allows you endless opportunities to continue exploring new parts of yourself. Exploration is growth, and growth in this sense is not outward facing but inward.
Whenever you find something about yourself you want to change, you need to look for a way to transform it .
1. See yourself outside yourself.
Imagine you are a sculptor. A sculptor looks at his or her piece of stone and endlessly questions new ways to shape it. And if he or she thinks of something to change, there is no emotional attachment. They just do it. This is how you need to see yourself–as a work of art, always in progress. No need to get upset, or come down hard on yourself when you see something you do not like. Instead, like an artist, just get to work.
2. Find the habit associated with the thing you want to change.
Far too often, people focus too much on the thing they want to change instead of the habits that formed the thing in the first place. For example: They try to solve being overweight with doing a lot of ab exercises, without acknowledging that the problem is their poor diet. To truly transform aspects of yourself, you have to find the habit that created that trait in the first place–and then adjust the habit.
3. Practice every day, no matter what.
Change is not something you do some days and then take a break from other days. Change is a shift in lifestyle. It requires daily dedication, to the point where that new habit takes the place of an old one and no longer requires conscious effort.
4. Set realistic goals.
You can’t just wake up one morning and say, “I’m not going to be impatient anymore!” Yes, you are. And you actually help yourself by acknowledging that a bad habit like that won’t be solved immediately. Instead, set the goal to be more patient during your team meeting that happens every morning. Use that as an isolated practice space and subconscious reminder of what it is you want to practice. Focus on that for a few weeks, and then go from there.
5. Constantly look in the mirror.
Things get dangerous when you refuse to stop and really look at yourself–when you avoid self-reflection. There is a time and a place for “go go go” mode, and then there is a time and place for reflection mode. Both are necessary. And you will quickly find that unless you take the time to ask yourself the tough questions, you will fall off track and not know how you got there.
6. Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth.
If everyone around you is telling you “yes,” then you have a serious problem. You need people who are going to challenge and question you. You need people who won’t be afraid to tell you the truth. Tough feedback is essential for personal growth.
7. You have to take risks.
You will never become the person you want to be by continuing to be the person you currently are. Growth’s only request is that you step out of your comfort zone. That’s it. And unless you are willing to take that risk, to take that uncomfortable leap into the unknown, you will forever stay exactly where you are.
8. Change Your Routine
Having a regular routine can be a safe option, but can make your life a little more exciting as well. Try changing something in your routine, such as taking a different route or method of commuting into work. If you’re one of those people who usually says ‘I can’t do that on Tuesday because I normally do …’, then break that cycle and try to do things in a more spontaneous manner. Just because it’s Friday doesn’t mean you always have to eat fish!
9. Get A New Image
Your image might be the one thing you feel is holding you back and making you lack confidence. If you’ve had the same old tired look for ages, then it may be time to change your appearance in some way. Spend some money on yourself and get a new hairstyle, buy a new wardrobe of clothes, and just do things to make you feel as though you are special. It amazing how you can feel more comfortable and confident in certain clothes when you make the effort — so make an effort more often!
11. Sleep More/Less
Some people just don’t get enough sleep, while others have far too much — the end result of which will be a feeling of constant tiredness. Getting the right amount of sleep will leave you more alert and able to relish doing things and get more out of experiences during your waking hours. Plus, one added bonus of sleeping less is that it enables you to fit more things into your day. After all, as they say, ‘you can sleep when you’re dead’
12. Change Your Diet
‘You are what you eat’ is a much-used phrase, and it may be that your diet is making you feel pretty rotten. Just changing a few things can have positive health benefits as well as give you more energy and make you feel better all round. Of course, there’s a lot of advice out there (some of it contradictory!) — but generally, eating everything in moderation is the best way to go. Also, making sure you drink enough water and get your five portions of fruit and veg are two of the golden rules to follow.
13.Change Your Outlook
If you think negative thoughts all the time then that’s exactly how you’ll feel! Smiling a lot and being positive will transform you into a more optimistic person. It has been said that people are only as happy as they allow themselves to be — and if you can put aside negative thoughts and be more optimistic, then that will transfer itself to how you feel about life in general. There is even evidence to suggest that people who smile a lot actually live longer!
14. Change Your Friends
There are some people who can just drag you down or use you as an emotional crutch for their negativity. While we may want to be there for people when they need us, there is no need to be constantly brought down to their level. Some people can be just plain bad for you and surround you with so many negative vibes that you just don’t want to listen to them anymore. If that’s the case, then don’t put yourself through it and get some new friends instead!
Also read ____ How to build confidence
What is Self-transformation?
I know the importance of self-awareness — the need to know our passion, recognize our gifts, understand our needs and define our core values. The better we know ourselves, the more aligned are our choices. But when I came across the concept of self-transformation, it called deeply to me. It’s so powerful and empowering. What is the difference between self-awareness and self-transformation?
To transform is to reshape
Transforming ourselves takes us beyond self-awareness.
It’s like being a potter, holding a ball of clay in your hand. You have shaped it to the best of your ability through your self-awareness; now you must take the additional steps to turn it into a cup or bowl or vase. There are the transforming steps. For instance, pottery requires steps like glazing and firing.
If I want to transform my life, where do I begin?
The first step is to know that you can. You can change anything — how you act, what you say, what you think. All of which shape your life experience.
Begin there. In particular, get rid of the beliefs of self-doubt and know that you can change, you can transform.
Let it unfold
Self-transformation. What does that look like? Feel like? Just be still and listen to the voice within and shape whatever shows up.
Begin with the work within
What calls to you? What do you want to learn, to explore, to try?
As I deepened my connection with the voice within, I could hear it and interpret it more clearly. It required stillness and receptivity on my part for several weeks before any direction began to emerge. Now the signs and ideas and opportunities are emerging clearly and rapidly.
What shows up, what evolves, what changes, cannot be planned for. It can only appear as it will. Work with what you are given.
Be willing to change
Your actions and choices will automatically transform your life. That means you make a choice, watch what shows up because of it, and choose and re-choose until you feel you’re closer to the right place, the center of your being, the core of who you are.
You’ll have to let go of some things, adjust others, and push through perceived barriers in order to achieve new understanding, move in new directions, rise to new heights.
What is your next step?
You embrace the concept of being willing to transform — to be responsible for your choices, to actively take part in deepening your inner life and broadening your reach. Be present. Be aware.
That’s the beginning of self-transformation.