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Change Your Life One Step At A Time

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Are you self-motivated enough to be a success, to go where you really want to go, and to be the person you’ve always dreamed you could be? Are you motived to begin the change process? Yes? Then let’s get started

Self-Awareness

The first step in making changes in your life is to become aware of what it is you want to change. Part of being able to change a behavior is becoming aware of whatever it is you want to change before you do it.

For example, if you want to curb your anger, become aware of the triggers that make you angry. Let’s say you’re a person who likes to be on time with everything you do. You have a project that is finished except for one approval and the person who needs to sign off on the project is not at his desk and you’ve got just a few minutes before it’s due. You can feel the stress begin to rise inside.

Flashing Red Warning Light

Your emotional responses can be viewed as a flashing red light on the dashboard of your life, indicating that you have a potential thought or behavioral problem.  Let’s continue with the scenario above. The longer you have to wait the more intense your angry becomes. A few minutes after you needed to turn in your project you are standing outside the boss’s office waiting.  A coworker walks past telling you that the boss left for the day.

You suddenly feel physical changes in your body.  These changes are the flashing red light that indicates there is a problem.  Once you become aware of your emotional responses you can identify and analyze your thoughts and restructure them.  This will change your feelings and your behavior, thereby, improving the quality of your life.

Is This a Quick Fix?

No, there are no quick fixes.  Your troublesome thoughts didn’t appear overnight.  Likewise, change also takes time.  Your thought patterns, distortions, and quirks are habits that you have been developing or reinforcing since childhood.  They often result from your Core Beliefs.

Core beliefs, habitual thinking patterns or automatic thoughts, define the very essence of how we see ourselves, others, the world, and the future. Our experiences from a very early age create our core beliefs which create our automatic thoughts. These beliefs continually play in the background of your mind. They are the source of your perceived limits and your joy and fulfillment. They create your experienced reality.

First Step to Designing Your Life

Below are some questions to ponder. Use them to examine yourselves and your core beliefs. Often these questions will challenge your core beliefs and what you know to be true. These questions can help you uncover mistaken core beliefs and adopt a new perspective.

 Take your time working through the questions below to gain insight into who you are, what you believe, and what you want in life.

Negative Core Belief #1

Having love recognition and approval from friends, family, co-workers, and peers is very important to me. If I don’t please others they may choose to reject, criticize, or abandon me.

If you fear rejection or disapproval – or you feel guilty for saying no – or feel a lack of recognition – or you fear blame or criticism – you are responding to an irrational core belief. When this happens you become stressed or tolerate these feelings as normal.

Goal: Self-love, self-appreciation, and self-dependence

Affirmation:

Repeat these phrases at least three times daily or until the negative clues are replaced or disappear.

“I am good just the way I am. I appreciate my talents and abilities. I depend on myself for getting my needs met.”

Negative Core Belief #2

I’m not attractive enough.

This person believes that to be attractive they need to resemble the thin and beautiful men and women in magazines. Their inner voice says, “I will never be like that.” He/she judges themselves to be inadequate in any and all ways.

Goal: Self-acceptance, Accurate self-image or self-concept.

Affirmation:

Repeat at least 3 times per day until perspective changes.

“If there is anything I desire to change about myself, I’ll do that because I want to, not because I feel I have to. Trying to attain “perfect” looks is unrealistic and I know that unrealistic goals will only leave me disappointed. I recognize that the media portrays beauty unrealistically. I also realize that makeup, camera angles and airbrushing all contribute to a model’s perceived perfection.”

Negative Core Belief #3

I need to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to be happy.

This person often lives in an unnecessarily large house, driving luxury cars as a sign of having “made it.” They always wear expensive clothing, even at home and dine at “exclusive” restaurants even if they can’t afford it. They also feel they must have the best of everything.

Goal: Contentment. Peace of mind and acceptance of the present situation while moving toward creating more wealth.

Affirmation:

Repeat at least 3 times per day until perspective changes.

“I realize that money and material possessions may make life easier, but they are not the key to happiness. I will maintain a positive attitude and be happy while I am on my journey to attain my goals. I will appreciate the material possessions that I accumulate, but will always know that they are not the reason for my happiness.”

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