You possess the greatest gift known to mankind: the power of choice.
Is there something in your life that could be better? You have everything you need, right now, to change it.
You can’t always control external people and events, but there’s a secret: Everything changes when you change yourself.
Smart people know that we achieve our best life when we take time to look honestly at who we are and where we are and then make a change.
In other words, we can transform ourselves into someone completely new.
It’s easier said than done, right?
It takes work, without a doubt, but it is possible. Here are six crucial steps you must implement to make sure your personal transformation is a successful one.
1. Record the outcome
To get what you want, you must first know exactly what the final outcome will be. You won’t get there if you don’t understand exactly what you want.
Sit down and define your current problems or flaws, and decide what they will be like once you’ve transformed them. Don’t just think about it, either. Make it concrete. Write it down.
Add a list of reasons why you want to make these changes. Write down all the great things that will happen once your transformation is complete. This will motivate you when you’re tempted to fall back into your old habits.
2. Take baby steps
Change is a gradual process, and most big changes are made by taking small steps every day over a long period of time.
Personal transformation takes time, and it’s not linear. Sometimes you take three steps forward then two steps back. Other times, you’ll make huge leaps in just a day or two.
Prepare yourself for this reality, and don’t give up because change doesn’t happen quick enough, or it feels like you’re not making progress.
3. Learn from others
Change always involves learning new things, but you can create your own shortcut.
Instead of starting from scratch, learn from the journeys and mistakes of others who have already taken the path you’re embarking on. It can cut your learning phase in half!
Do some research and read personal stories, tips, and tricks of people who have created their own personal transformations. Avoid the mistakes they made, and adopt the habits that helped them achieve their goals.
At the very least, these stories will inspire you to keep going, day after day. They will let you know that what you’re doing and where you’re going is not only possible, but that it’s possible for you.
4. Be the outcome
There’s a popular cliché that says “Fake it til you make it”, and there’s validity to that statement.
When you act as if an outcome has already occurred, it is much more likely to happen. Your brain can’t distinguish between what you visualize and what’s actually out there in the real world.
Studies conducted at Harvard University showed that people who simply imagined practicing the piano every day physically strengthened the muscles in their fingers. Other studies also found that your brain does not distinguish between imagination and reality.
Adopt the identity of yourself as someone who has already made the changes you aspire to, and your actions will be those of someone who already made the successful transformation. This, in turn, leads to results in the real world that simply confirm your new reality.
5. Be willing to be uncomfortable
Change is uncomfortable. Realize that fact, accept it, and embrace it.
People tend to cling to stability and comfort, but your personal transformation requires you to step into new environments, meet new people, and do things that you’re not used to. And that is scary.
Physiologically, fear and excitement are nearly identical. Your heart races, you sweat, you shake, you cry. You naturally want to quit or run away.
When you start to feel fear, re-frame it and tell yourself that you’re just excited. Embrace the feeling, and work through it. Don’t let it stop you.
6. Be your own cheerleader
When you change, the people around you will react. Some will support you, and some will work actively to resist you.
Build up your inner strength and realize that you don’t need anyone’s approval. If they give it to you, that’s a gift. But if they don’t, you know what you’re doing and why, and you only need yourself as a cheerleader.
Most of the greatest thinkers and doers in history were ridiculed and chastised when they created change. When you better yourself, you should expect the same. That’s just proof that you’re on the right path.
Rhett Power is Best-Selling Author, Executive Coach, Columnist at Forbes, Inc. & Success. Rhett Power co-founded Wild Creations in 2007 and quickly built the startup toy company into the 2010 Fastest Growing Business in South Carolina. Wild Creations was named a Blue Ribbon Top 75 US Company by the US Chamber of Commerce and named as one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing US Companies two years in a row. He and his team have won over 40 national awards for their innovative toys. He served in the US Peace Corps and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He now has a rapidly growing coaching and consulting practice based in Washington DC.