How to Change?
After navigating the different areas of your life and discovering your reasons why you would want to make some changes, the next part of the process begins in how to actually make that change. This can be seen as the most difficult part. But once you can come to the true, solid, and healthy reason why you need and want to make some changes with your life, this process will come more naturally.
Admit- To begin the process of change, you first need to confess that there is something that needs changing. Admitting involves the surrendering of your defenses and allowing the truth to be revealed without complete resistance. Admitting that you are at fault in an area or aspect of your life can be pretty excruciating. This is the starting ground because how can you possibly change something about yourself when you cannot even confess that something needs to be changed.
Acceptance/Faith- Similar to admitting, acceptance relates to the full awareness and reality that a change needs to be made. Faith is where you set up your vision or goal and hope to achieve it. It is important that you also accept that you are not perfect and will make mistakes. Accept that you are not achieving perfection and there will be times when you fail. The key to the failure is getting back up again and not giving up even if and when you fall again.
Forgiveness- Learning to forgive yourself and forgive others is the key to making lasting change. Holding onto resentment and negativity only adds extra unnecessary weight and burden in your life and will take up more space, which will leave less room and flexibility for healthy changes. The more we can let go and forgive, the more free and open we will be to embracing positive and healthy opportunities for growth and change.
Plan of Action- Change obviously does not happen by just imagining or fantasizing about it. Action needs to take place to either increase, decrease or transform a behavior, attitude or belief. You have to move towards that vision of hope. It may help to make a list of the steps that need to be taken and an outline of what can be done realistically. Create something that you can hold onto or see that can remind you of the steps that need to be taken. The change process also includes seeking out and utilizing the resources of the world, such as seeking counsel from a friend or therapist, someone you can trust to hold you accountable and remind you of what your goal is. It is also important to consider resources such as books, articles, journaling about your experiences, attending classes and learning more about your goal. Do something to get you out of the element and routine that has not been working for you.
Repeat- Repeat the above steps. Think about the process of taking something that is unclean and transforming it to something that is clean. You need to wash, rinse, and repeat those steps. You may need to revisit these steps frequently until you are at a place of transformation.
After pushing through the grueling process and repeating the above steps, you may still encounter some roadblocks that will get in your way down the road. Part 3 of Making Change will explore some of these barriers. Please stay tuned for the conclusion to this article in September.