True change starts on the inside
When we talk about personal change, we are talking about the stuff on the inside. The negative beliefs we hold, positive values we hide, and the perspectives we need to broaden and grow.
Drastic changes like reaching our goal weight, moving to another city, starting a new job or completely upending what we know as ‘normal’ won’t always bring us the internal shift we’d hoped for.
Why outer change is not the same as changing from within
Wherever we go, we take ourselves along for the ride. And taking ourselves along means carrying our ingrained beliefs, values, fears, triggers, perspectives, habits and attitudes with us.
While our outer selves and environs may change, it is often the case that our inner selves won’t. Because when the shift we experience isn’t one that started on the inside, its effects will offer only short term changes – not lasting ones.
Address your current beliefs
Changing from within is not about changing who you are, but rather embracing who you could be. It requires you turning to face yourself, and having the strength not to turn away.
Identify your current beliefs. Do you know where they came from? Do you need to know? How are these beliefs serving you? Or are they stopping you?
Exploring the root cause of ingrained beliefs can be an incredibly eye-opening experience. While understanding where they come from can prove beneficial to many, it is not a required step in the change-making process.
A matter of self-reflection
Changing from within means practicing self-reflection. This practice requires you to consider your past actions and notice the impact they had on you and those around you.
Self-reflection is about addressing your beliefs, becoming aware of them, and taking action. Because the power to change your behaviour is in your hands, whether you know where it came from or not.
Practicing self-reflection increases your self-awareness. If ingrained behaviour isn’t serving you, or is doing harm to others as well as yourself, then you need to change it. And you can.
Practice self-compassion, always
Changing from within can be a confronting experience. It takes time, courage and the willingness to be vulnerable.
As you turn to face yourself and begin reflecting on past actions, you may come across some uncomfortable truths. In facing these truths, it is important that you practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself.
Every day is new, every step one further than the last
Whatever life you lived before, you have the chance to change the one you’re living now. Every day is a new opportunity for self-development. Every step takes you one step closer to the person you want to be. Because change leads to growth, and growth is the stuff of heroes.