The Secret to Change
The secret to change is to first clean up your past by creating self-awareness of why you do the things you do, and then incorporate new positive actions consistently that formulate new patterns of behavior.
To Change, Deal with Your Past
It’s hard to grow and change when you keep looking at the past and fighting with it. What I mean by this is that you must do the work to heal your past so that you can move forward. Instead of having half of your energy focused on building the new and the other half focused on dealing with past events, why not first heal your past and then commit to building a new future. This is a better way to be more productive. Why? Because you will be more focused on fulfilling your higher vision and more present to the moment. At the same time, you don’t get stumped over and over again returning to your past because you didn’t deal with it fully, losing your attention to what you are doing in the present moment.
To Change, You Need a Strategy
It drives me crazy when people simply say to “just let it go and get on with your life” without any sort of a strategy. It’s easy to tell others what to do, but a statement such as this lacks meaning and an approach. If you can’t give them a plan, then you’re clearly judging and preaching. When you have habitual patterns that you are unaware of that are dictating how you live today, you first need to dive deep into your inner world to achieve clarity on how you are behaving and how you are reacting. You cannot change what you don’t see or what you don’t know, plain and simple!
Change Is a Process
Change is hard, but that is not the only reason people don’t do it. There could be dozens of reasons for staying in old habits that don’t serve us anymore (e.g., fear of change, unaware of patterns that don’t serve us, no plan, no idea how to do it). That’s why self-inquiry is important. However, the first three things that you need to do to sustain you and keep you from giving up on your goals are awareness of what needs to change and awareness of your weaknesses that allow you to falter; you need the desire to change; and you need to make a heartfelt commitment. These first steps will set your foundation before you make a plan. Change also requires effort - daily effort to change old patterns. It takes time, and its hard work. I think in today’s world with so much convenience and quick fixes, when you mention hard work, discipline, or consistency, people back off as though they are bad words.
I’ve been doing it, making changes, for a couple of decades, and I am still doing it. I am constantly learning, working on personal development, and I always seem to discover something new about myself. For me, to commit to a lifetime of change, I needed to accept it as part of my whole being, not something that happens occasionally. So, for me, it’s an attitude shift.
Change Is Normal in Nature
Change is normal in nature, so think about change as a natural process of life. We have many physical and chemical changes that occur in nature, as well as in our bodies. For instance, the seasons in which old growth dies in the fall and new growth is born in the spring; our water in which a liquid can convert to either a solid or a gas; the ecosystem and geography, too, are always changing as animals migrate and fires and storms occur. You know all this. I don't even have to mention it. Yet, sometimes, it is a good thing to bring up this sort of information because we can get stuck in our ways. We need reminders that life is about change, from birth to death. When we get stuck in our old ways and lack self-awareness, we lose insight. Without insight such as what I have explained, we lose inner peace and joy. We essentially just survive.
Building the New
So, the secret to change is to focus your energy and attention on healing the past and then create a new sustainable future. Clean up your past, create awareness to why you do the things you do, and then insert new, positive habits. From this point, you can focus all of your energy on building the new!
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