“What we fear of doing most is what we most need to do.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Personal change starts internally with a shift in mindset. The resulting external changes grow from this internal foundation. So now that you know where to start, how do you go about making these adjustments in your approach to life?
To really achieve personal transformation, several major stages must be completed. Now, this does not mean that change must always take place slowly, only that all significant shifts will follow this sequence, regardless of how long the process takes.
The 6 Stages of Personal Transformation
- Nothing will change until you are aware that something needs to shift. This stage can occur over time. You become aware of some nagging feeling that things are not as good as you would like them to be. You notice a long-held belief that no longer serves you.
- This stage could also happen suddenly. If you recently suffered a heart attack, you are very aware of necessary dietary or lifestyle changes.
- Also, track your negative emotions. They are often your subconscious attempting to provide you with awareness of needed changes.
- After becoming conscious that something is not right, some thought needs to take place. You might start by asking yourself these questions: “What’s wrong? Why do I feel this way? What needs to change? Does anything really need to change? Can I live with this the way it is?”
- If the process passes the examination phase, we then may enter intentionality. A decision has been made to change and the intention is there to remove a belief or behavior and replace it with a more appropriate alternative.
- In many ways, this is the most powerful step. At this point you have truly decided to change and to replace something old with something new. With enough intention, anything is possible.
- However, only with action do you begin to experience change. At this point, you have already come a long way. You have taken what may have started as a dull sense of discomfort and given it a name and a face.
- You might even feel more uncomfortable now than you did in Step 1; now you are more aware of what is going on. If you are feeling helpless about a situation, bear in mind that this is frequently the result of reaching Stage 4 but then failing to take any action.
- As you discover what works for you, your initial actions may be inadequate or incorrect. When changing yourself, a fine-tuning process occurs until a sufficient solution is found. This is trial and error. You simply keep adjusting your approach until you hit on an effective solution.
- This stage may take some time; new habits can require some effort before they take hold. At the completion of this step, you have fully adopted the new belief or behavior. The initial discomfort that started the entire process should be gone now, since the cause of that uneasiness has been alleviated.
Having a fundamental awareness of these steps will help you go from experiencing emotional discomfort to feeling whole and satisfied. The next time you get a nagging feeling that something is not right, take the time to examine your emotions. Do this every time you feel something negative, and you will grow into the person you always dreamed of being.