Taking Steps to Change So You Can Live Your Dream in 2022
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coaching
In last week's post, I wrote about the importance of going for your dreams. In addition, I pointed out that being willing to step outside your comfort zone is essential.
Change can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it may also be necessary if you want to live up to the aspirations you have in your life.
Some people debate whether it is even possible to change. Some argue that everything is set once your personality is developed, and change isn't possible. But I am not a member of that camp. I believe in the growth mindset, so I believe you can change if you want to badly enough.
It helps if you understand your personality traits and consider those you would like to change. Self-awareness is the key.
So what do we mean when we talk about "personality?"
We are all born with a particular temperament. Some are more prone to being calm, for example, while others are more excitable.
Sometimes you can even determine temperament early in life. For example, observe two babies the same age and watch them react differently to things going on around them. That's a clue as to their overall temperament.
Temperament is part of personality. But personalities are formed by individual traits and characteristics as well as experience.
Some people may be naturally sensitive, while others are markedly less so. Some may approach life with caution, while others seek adventure. Some people are naturally more spontaneous, while others are more reticent.
These traits are sometimes referred to as dispositions. However, regardless of what you call them, you know how you are different from others. Likewise, you recognize how your friends and acquaintances differ from one another.
The truth is that life offers us endless opportunities to grow and evolve. We can work on our actions and modify our behavior. We can become aware of our personality traits and change and build ourselves for the best. And we can enjoy ourselves as we become older and wiser with experience.
So, is it possible to change?
The response is yes! You can absolutely change if you want to badly enough. You can always choose to do better and build a new, better you.
Steps to Take if You Want to Change in 2022
Get to Know Yourself Better
Start by learning as much as you can about yourself. You must do this before you can attempt to change anything. Therefore, you must take a step toward self-understanding and self-awareness.
Knowing yourself comes with loads of benefits. Pythagoras, Socrates, Aristotle, and a host of other ancient philosophers emphasized how relevant this is in each of our lives.
So, how can you get to know yourself?
Soul searching and self-reflection can help you become more acquainted with who you are. You can also take assessments to help you get to know your personality better and gain more knowledge about yourself.
Learn to Be True to Yourself Above All Else
Let's face it. We live in a world where many people are dishonest or deceptive. They take pleasure in being fake about everything, including themselves. Unfortunately, that has been one of the downsides of social media.
Remember Shakespeare's admonishment, "To thine own self be true." It calls for the acceptance of our own uniqueness.
You may have a role model that's motivating to you. You may be taking courses to help impact your behavior. Maybe you're reading books to become more knowledgeable about your actions.
But are you striving to be true to yourself?
Be clear about why do you want to change. Is it to meet up with other people's expectations or to fit in with a group? If you are doing it to satisfy other people, stop now. On the other hand, keep going to become your best version of yourself if you are doing it for yourself.
How to Set Yourself Up for Success
There are a couple of things you should keep in your mind when you're trying to change yourself. Here are a few of them:
Be Sure You Understand Your "Why"
Your desire to change shouldn't come from the outside in but from the inside out. So try to be conscious of why you want to change. If you don't have an important and compelling reason, you may not be able to make a lasting change.
The changes you try to make won't stick if you don't know your "why." So be sure you understand why you are making a change in yourself and the end goal.
Be as Specific as Possible: What exactly are you changing?
Be clear and specific about it. For example, do you desire to be more disciplined or social, less selfish, more thoughtful, kinder? Be specific. Know the areas you want to improve, and don't just flow with "whichever way" or "whatever comes."
Take Action as Needed
Once you understand your "why" and you're aligned with "what" you want to work on, the next step is to focus on "how" you intend to change. It takes time and dedicated effort to affect real change. Thinking about it alone solves nothing, and it certainly won't foster a change in your personality.
To make a change, you must build positive and helpful habits.
Invest Time and Money as You Need To
Invest in yourself. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can ever make in your life. What trait do you desire to improve, change, or grow? Identify that first and then proceed with your plan.
You can invest in skill development, training, or education. You can read on any topic.
In addition to books to read, you can take advantage of the many other resources like online courses. You can also listen to any number of available self-improvement podcasts.
Take time to listen to other people's stories. Be open-minded and curious. If you want to develop your Emotional Intelligence (EQ), take a course on it. Or you can read a book or take a course on time management if you desire to become more organized or efficient.
Build Your Self-Esteem and Confidence by Taking Action
Take action to build your self-esteem and confidence. For example, you become vulnerable to thinking negatively when you're idle. But when you're active, you feel more motivated and confident. That helps cut down on fearful thoughts and self-doubt.
Understand Your Core Values and Deep Beliefs
Some people don't know their values and beliefs. Knowing what you care about dictates what you do, how you show up in the world, and how you interact with others. Your core values can often influence your life decisions. This is because values are your guiding principles.
There are no wrong values when it comes to values as long as they are honest. Neither are values inherently bad or good. It's all about what you find to be most suitable for you. However, given how influencing these values are, you must become aware of them.
Knowing your core values and deep beliefs gives you the courage to stand up to the pressure that others may put on you to be less than you can be. Unfortunately, people-pleasing can stop you in your efforts to achieve your dreams. Next week's post will offer suggestions on how NOT to be a people-pleaser. It may be easier than you think.
Until next time.