How to Redefine Yourself
Is there something you want to change?
We are meant to grow, creatively speaking.
A person not striving for something is a person without purpose. Therefore, there is usually something about ourselves or our life experience we would like to improve upon. Even if it's super simple, intangible, or invisible to everyone but youself, it's a change worth welcoming into your experience.
No change can happen without awareness.
Become aware of the things you would like to change or bring into your life. What do you strive for? What makes your heart skip a beat whenever you think about it? For me, that's snowboarding, business and self discovery. Okay, and interior design. I will admit to spending many a night restructuring the living room until the wee hours of the next morning.
Yet, with all these desires swimming around our awareness, it's still human nature to shove our hopes and dreams into a drawer for later. We wait for the 'perfect time to start' and naturally crave assurance in a "safe" and relatively pain free future. Aspects of our experience that we'd like to see changed, and that we would even benefit greatly from changing, simply lay dormant.
Don't worry; if this is you, you aren't alone.
Find your pain points, and obliterate them.
I call this the darkness exercise. Mentally scan your current situation for a moment. What makes you feel heavy? What areas do you feel darkness or confusion around when you think about them?
For example, your junk drawer is one of them. Don't look at me like that, everybody has one.
Maybe you feel resistance with something small like your junk drawer, your current method of filing receipts, or the disarray of your front hall closet. Maybe it's something larger like your job, or a disagreement you've been having with a coworker for the last few months.
Whatever it is, it holds a tremendous payoff if you work through it and eliminate it from your life.
Plan your action steps
He who thinks and never takes a step, won't ever see spectacular places.
Lets get real. Change is hard, and big things take a lot of time, effort, and occasional heart break to change. The good news is that you can make a huge impact on your life by changing small things as well. In fact, I've had some of my happiest moments after solving a simple problem like having my library of books still packed in boxes after 6 years.
Every change whether its big or small can be broken down into logical steps, and those steps broken down even further until you have a solid, actionable plan of attack. Usually this step right here is the reason people don't change to begin with. Change is confusing and can present itself as overly problematic and confusing until you throw it down on paper. Then it becomes a different entity entirely.
Sit yourself down, whether you have a few minutes or a few hours. If you're always on the go, jot things down in your phone or a crumpled piece of paper in your pocket (crumpled paper is more my style).
Write down what you want. If you want to clean your home office desk because you haven't seen the top of it in a year, make that your focus. Write down all the things that are stopping you from doing that. It may be the catastrophe in your filing cabinet and the fact that you have paperwork in there from a first aid course you took in 1998. Write that down too. Keep breaking down what it really takes to get that desk cleaned off. Make it so simple that each step cannot be broken down any further.
There. You have turned your dark spot inside out.
Hold ourself accountable
Whether you are good on your own at the accountability game, or you need to bring in others to hold you accountable, do it. If you want, send me an email and let me know what you're up to. I will help hold you accountable too.
The die hard I-owe-you-two-hundred-bucks-if-my-desk-isnt-clean-in-a-week mentality works for some, and not others. If simply writing it down on a piece of paper works for you, thats awesome. Whichever approach fits you best. Or skip this step and just move right into your project.
Get right on it
This is the hardest part, and why we made our action steps so damn tiny to start with. If you can get the ball rolling, so to speak, the little bit of momentum you release will begin to propel you towards your next step. This momentum keeps building. Making change happen in your life becomes easier. It becomes faster. It becomes part of you to want to attack the places in your life that you hold on to this heavy, dark energy. It becomes habit.
The big picture
"But organizing my desk doesn't solve my career or relationship, bigger picture problems. WTF."
No, it doesn't. Or does it?
In my expeierne, the practice of seeking out the things that bother me and changing them so they are eliminated or at least greatly diminished helps me to create so much momentum (and courage) that yes, It does carry over to the big picture challenges.
The small changes you make, whether its becoming more organized, or eliminating a thorn-in-your-side daily routine... they all lead back to building the habit of slowly improving yourself and your situation. It's gearing your awareness toward cultivating your own momentum and creating the life you want. It brings the power to create and interact with your surroundings and daily processes back into your hands so you feel more empowered and uplifted, and feel more in control of the direction your life is taking at any turn.
Building the habit of change is more important than the change itself. That's why, big or small, any change is good if it's taking you in the right direction.
Your very existence is based upon your adaptability, survivability, and resilience in the face of change. Embracing change is the basis to redefining yourself learning to guide the direction of your entire situation. You can't control everything, but the habit of seeking out opportunities for change and handling them with gusto is an enviable and notable trait. It can take you as far you need in life, putting you in the drivers seat instead fo being benched for the game.
Through this method you can start to redefine yourself, your relationships, and the direction your life is taking right now. Just by cleaning off a desk. Isn't that simple? And when you're done , you can take that crumpled piece of note paper, toss it in the recycling, and move right onto the next one.
We are creative human beings, after all. We might as well learn to use it to our advantage.