How To Change Your Life

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The world is changing as you read these words and it seems the rate of change is getting faster all the time.   It seems everyone is able to change an aspect of their life with ease and yet some of us might find it difficult to change some aspect of our life – why is that?

There are many reasons we want to change in some way: to get more money in our jobs, to feel loved and start a new relationship, to feel good about ourselves and lose weight, to be part of something and join a club, to move home to accommodate our family, to start a new business to escape 'cubicle nation'.   These are only a fraction of the aspects of our lives in which we are looking to change.

The top three reasons why people find it difficult to change

  • We don't know what we want
  • We don't know how to make the change
  • Fear of the unknown

Here's a few typical scenarios:

Scenario 1

Your friend tells you he hates his job, even though it pays great money, affords him a good lifestyle, and allows him and his family to stay in a home they love.   He speaks about all the things he hates about the job and a few of the things he likes, but mostly he dreams about getting out of this job into something else.   That's all very well, there are millions of people in that situation.   However, when you ask the question: What do you want to do instead? his face goes a bit distorted as if he has never even considered the question and the inevitable reply is: I don't know!

Scenario 2

Your friend knows what he wants to do with her life, she wants to go to Africa to save the Silky Sifaka Lemurs.   She knows her stuff as she has been studying endangered species all her life and her particular passion is the plight of the Lemurs.   It outrages her that these animals are being hunted to be eaten by local people, and driven from their natural habitat by loggers.   So she is very clear on what she wants, the only problem is she doesn't know how to get it.

Scenario 3

Your other friend has secretly fantasized about starting his own business as a business consultant.   He has studied for years and dabbled with a few things and even has a few gigs at the weekend.   He really knows his stuff and he gets great testimonials from clients.   The only trouble is he has a family and his wife doesn't earn enough for him to leave his current job and he still has a few doubts about his ability to run a business with all that entails as he doesn't really know what it would be like.   So he knows what he wants, knows how to get it but has the fear of changing because it would be unknown territory.

Your two selves

I believe everyone has two aspects to themselves: Their 'core self' and their 'ideal self.'

Core self

Your core self is the persona you live in your everyday life.   You have, roughly, the same persona at work, at home, with friends, and with your family.   There might be some slight variations as you don't feel as comfortable being your true self at work, but essentially your morals, principles and values remain the same.

Ideal self

Your ideal self is the person you really want to be.   Bob the builder secretly dreams of being a property tycoon, postman Pat secretly dreams of running for election of his local town.

Both your core self and ideal self has lots of little circles around it, called aspects,  which represent the aspects of your core self e.g. your job, your relationships, your spirituality etc.

Changing from your core self to your ideal self.

When we talk about changing we don't need to change our essential core self we are only looking to change an aspect of our core self so we then have to bridge the gap between our core self and our ideal self.   So it's within the bridging gap where the answer to 'How do I change' lies and where are a lot of people lose their way.

The Change Code

To be able to bridge the gap between your core self and your ideal self you need the code to be able to do it.   I believe there are seven steps to the Change Code:

  • Know yourself to know what you want – You've got to dig deep and ask yourself lots of questions about what you want out of life, we don't ask ourselves enough good questions.
  • Predicting your future – Know what you want and see yourself doing activities as your ideal self.
  • Stop making square wheels – Copy what other people have done in the field you are interested in changing.
  • Chunking the change – Break the change down into much smaller steps so you gain confidence with each step you take.
  • Clearing the weeds from your path – Look for potential obstacles and get rid of them before crossing the bridge and making the change.
  • Creating rituals – Create good habits in your life that will make the change easier.
  • Talk to the three parts of your brain (Logical, emotional and spiritual) – Have you ever felt that something was 'right', you don't know why but it just felt right? I think that's because you have spoken to all three parts of your brain, the logical part, the emotional part and the spiritual part.   (This is obviously a topic to discuss in another article).

So if we were to use the Change Code on the top three reasons why people find it difficult to change:

  • We don't know what we want
  • We don't know how to make the change
  • Fear of the unknown

You can see how the Change Code will help with all three.   It's still hard to know what you want in life.

Knowing what you want

If you don't know what you want in life then obviously you don't want anything in particular.   That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean making the most of what you have got.   That might have come as a bit of a shock to some readers and I am sorry about that.

If you don't have some kind of passion in life, something you are deeply interested in, something that drives you outside your daily work and it could be anything like reading books, watching nature programs, being a good parent, being the soap queen who knows everything that's happening in the soaps, being the next big internet marketer.   If you don't have something like this in your life, and you are unhappy because you don't know what you want, then start looking and asking yourself lots of questions because pretty soon life will pass you by and you'll berate yourself when you are older and the opportunity doesn't exist any more.

This is obviously a huge topic and is at the heart of what I am currently working on with the Alter Your Jacket program, but I hope it has given you something to think about whilst thinking about the changes you want to make in your life.

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.