It was Socrates who said, “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Self-reflection is integral to happiness; the ability to examine your life and to evaluate the course you are on, then to stop and make changes to your thoughts and behaviours to be more in line with who you really are, is in essence what becoming a completed version of yourself is all about.
How Will Personal Transformation Help You?
- Personal transformation often helps with anxiety, stress, addictions and depression and significant behaviour changes.
- It will help you enhance your confidence levels and increase your communication abilities.
- Personal transformation will help you to create more successful personal and professional relationships.
- It will give you clarity and guidance for your future career and life goals.
- Rapid Personal Transformation can help you stop many self-destructive, self-defeating and self-limiting behaviour patterns.
- Personal transformation will force you into healing the damage caused by past traumas and enable you to live in congruence with who you are as a person.
So with all these positive growth points why are we not all on a quest for rapid personal transformation?
Humans are always in a process of personal growth and transformation which is a lifelong journey, however, it does not need to be.
There are times when we tend to go off track, get stuck, hit a block or generally land up in unprogressive cycles that hinder our progress. Recognising those “getting stuck” situations and then working on getting “unstuck” and building “awareness” is paramount to your success.
The “rapid” element to rapid personal transformation simply means that you are NOT going to be waiting around for your whole life to roll out to learn the best version of yourself. We want results and results now, however, each person’s life journey has its own intricacies and roadblocks and there is no magic pill to get you to where you want to be.
The big scary elephant in the room
While behaviour change practices such as mindfulness will certainly help to build awareness, real personal growth comes from understanding and accepting why you are off track in the first place.
Rapid transformation does not come from comfortable, serene spaces, unfortunately. True realisations are uncomfortable, closing the book on them means that you will have to open the book and start reading those chapters page by page with a different perspective and then let go.
We are all in some way traumatised by something that happened at some point.
From that point on, you would have continued with your life in whichever format you did and that created your own thoughts and perceptions on how things “should be”.
This block fits here, that person should do this, I should do that in this situation etc actualising these events from a safe standpoint gives you the ability to start filing things correctly in your mind and that ability is the meat and potatoes of your personal transformation.
So where do you start?
One of the hallmarks of unsettled emotional trauma is a sense of not belonging, not fitting in, not being able or wanting to do certain “normal” things or just a sense of general unease or fear that surrounds certain situations, and people or events.
All those feelings have a source and sometimes that source is clear and defined and other times is covert or hidden over years of obscure avoidance. Working through the source would mean that you need to start talking about it. Getting it off your chest as it were.
This is where talk therapy from a registered therapist comes in handy. Speaking about life problems is how the mind naturally begins to settle them. Therapists are trained to provide that safe space platform for you to vent, chat, talk and convey the life issues that are holding back your progress in life.
Therapists or counsellors get paid to dig into the stuff that you have buried and glossed over. If our friends, family and spouses could serve the same talking function (and often they do) you probably would not need much therapy. Yet in most cases, the people closest to us are part of the problem or don’t have the right “digging” skills or simply won’t understand, or it’s hard to be completely open with them.
The mind most often operates on a subconscious level which requires an unpacking process by a trauma aware counsellor who understands this better than your best friend or parent might.
It’s very hard to re-drag up old hurts when so much time has passed, but then it is even harder living a life that is a half version of your true self.
Here are the basic tools to use to accelerate the process of your personal growth and rapid transformation.
- Take the time to choose your path carefully, even if you are only focused on short term goals. You can’t leapfrog mount, Everest. It starts with a plan to move to itemise the problems that you can tackle one at a time and start working toward your summit.
- Let training, experience and your intuition be your biggest guide. If you are not learning, you are not living and at times when you do not know what to do, ask a friend or trust your instincts. Whatever the outcome you will be learning, accept and acknowledge that failures are our greatest guides.
- Take responsibility for your journey, it does not belong to anyone else. True personal transformation is a lonely journey, perhaps the loneliest journey. No stupid blog post on the internet can encapsulate your specific journey or identify your goals, you are you and we are not transforming anyone else but ourselves. The responsibility to be a better person comes from you deciding that you want to be and then being.
- Be aware of what you actually want in your life and be prepared to let go of things that are stopping you from getting there. Getting cluttered up in what other people think and want and expect is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. This is your ride, set your goals selfishly and be sure that those are the things that you want out of life and if you change your mind along the way, hey the only person worth answering to is yourself.
- Stop talking and listen more. Since we were born we understood the world from our own perspective, yet the greatest learnings in our personal journeys come through stopping the self chatter and listening to good advice, taking time to actively hear another perspective, and reflecting on other human experiences. It is a great honour and a privilege to learn about yourself from other people’s experiences. This is not to say you have to agree with what they say, it is the art form of simply and truly being present and listening. Sometimes other people distorted pictures of the world can teach you not about them but about how you don’t want to be. So listen with the intent to learn about who you are, accepting that some things people say are coming from places that you may not understand.
- Practice empathy by putting yourself in another person’s emotional shoes, try thinking about how they must be feeling in any given situation. By projecting in your own mind how other people feel you learn to gauge your own emotional responses. Empathy and understanding work wonders in relationships. On that knifepoint of all-out war, anger and pent frustration, mindfully stopping for a second and choosing an empathetic approach can instantly defuse the atomic bomb explosion. That person that you are speaking to is a human being with a complex history that you will probably never fully understand. Is it worth tormenting them over some silly situational event?
- Practice the fine craft of looking at yourself realistically and positively. There are many good if not great things you do each day and should be proud of. So be proud of yourself for those things and in the small areas where you have failed to recognise them as part of your learning curve and areas to improve. Getting stuck in self-flagellation for small aspects is silly, to say the least. The only critic that truly matters is you. So if stuff needs to improve, thank you universe for the lesson, I am going to improve right there, but am grateful for all the other awesome things I am doing right.
- Let action follow your insights. As you learn more about better ways of handling problematic areas of your life, keep applying newly learned skills biting off bigger and bigger chunks until they are no longer problems in your life.
Change is a slow process, and most big changes are achieved by taking small daily steps over time. Three steps forward, two back. Sometimes you’ll make huge leaps in a few days.
Of course, there are many other tips and tricks but these are the core focus areas in personal transformation that neatly dovetail with widely proven Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and other therapies like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT used in the direct assistance of people with more intensive requirements for psychotherapeutic treatments in mental health.
To learn more about how you can maximise personal transformation in mental health treatment, read the full article. Recovery Direct believes in assisting individuals to live the best lives they can. We treat a range of behavioural and substance use disorders. If you are struggling with an addiction, contact us.