The return from holidays is for sure one of the most talked aspects. We used to write more, and we suffer during these first days of September. During this time, as well as in January when the calendar year begins, is the quintessential period of self-check on how I feel and how happy I am with the life I lead.
This process is automatic, because we become aware of what it means our personal, family, or professional life, and even we can see (even unconsciously) the big question: How happy I am living my life?
This question, as necessary as uncomfortable, leads us to check what we do today in different areas of our life, versus what we really want to do to live a truly fulfilling life.
Since sooner or later, proactively or reactively, we started this personal reflection is good to understand that we are facing a process of personal change that, by its nature, is cyclical and requires living a series of stages.
To do this I suggest a simple itinerary to accompany your process of personal change, whatever it is the point you are at this moment.
How to do the personal Change Process
1. Where am I? This is a first phase of personal discovery to make really aware of how I’m living my life. At this stage it is good to take time for personal reflection, but also asking the vision of others. Also the feedback tools that we use in personal development processes may help very much.
2. What do I want? At this stage, and after looking in the mirror, I am prepared to say what I want to see or have in my life. It is a time where everything is possible, where you have to think and desire BIG. Only then, my ultimate dream will be more readily achievable.
3. What do I need? It is time to reflect on what I need to get from where I am to where I want to be. It is necessary to build a bridge to go to the other side. We must be aware that a bridge is formed by small and large pieces, so our needs agenda will consist of more affordable challenges and other more challenging.
4. What beliefs limit me? In any process of personal change, we have to expect the presence of a “critical voice” with the aspects that we are trying to change. An accusingly and challenging voice, that warns us of the damage that could succeed if the status quo is broken. This voice is in my heart and tries to meet my needs and protect me, and also hinders me to get my deepest desires. Knowing my limiting beliefs, I understand and become familiar with them, something important to not frustrate the process of change.
5. What beliefs give me strength? This stage is to find those beliefs (real and not forced) that I also have and give me energy to continue my process of change. It is progressively replacing my limiting beliefs by these other more enablers, because the language I have with me will mark a before and an after of the things that I can get to achieve in life.
6. Who should know my wishes? Once I know where I want to go and what should I do to further enhance my personal leadership, it is important to let my environment know this. It is a way to commit myself not only with me but also with the world about my intentions to live a happier life. In addition, I’m asking to people around me to support me and also boost in that direction. And yet, I’m preparing them to see my things or different attitudes, successful or not (I’m learning new habits), respond to a clear intention to achieve a greater goal.
7. Who are my allies? Among these people around me I must also select some to ask some active involvement in relation to my personal change process. They are individuals that may be closer or not in an emotional level, which I’ll go asking opinions, feedback, or those who will reflect on what I want to do differently.
8. Which are the new habits that I need to put in practice? This is the moment of truth. The time to put all the meat on the grill and start putting into action these new actions or habits that I intend to approach my goals. It is also about putting a new energy and intention to do things and interact with the world; some ways that will encourage me to move in the right direction. This is a phase to experiment, and therefore to understand that no frustrating actions, but curiosity and enthusiasm to approach things from new dimensions.
9. What has been the impact? Once started my new actions, I need to see how myself and my environment response to my version 2.0. This will help me to see if I’m going in the right direction or if I should make some adjustments. If my environment shows me my surprise, or even an initial refusal, does not have to mean that I have failed in the attempt. Sometimes this is a different sign! That is to say, I’m on the right track and the environment is trying to adjust to new dimensions of my “new self”. It is here, and this is one of the most challenging phases, where should I integrate my personal benefit systemically with the needs and benefit of my environment to gain a more sustainable and durable change in the future. In the words of Gandhi, be each of us the change we want to see in the world.
10. And back to phase 1. The process of personal development is a continuous process, like life itself, leads us to continue climbing the ladder in the hope that by doing so, we are increasingly living the life we want to live, and so really understand that happiness has to do with the journey and not so much with destiny.
I fervently hope that these steps will be useful for your personal change process. This is my sincere intention.