To change simply means to transform, alter or modify the normal course/state of something to something else. Looking at this definition it’s quite clear that change isn’t something complicated or complex in any way. If on the surface change looks easy, while then do most people struggle with it?
When you talk to most people who are trying to achieve one thing or the other in life, they usually say something in the line of “am trying to change but it hasn’t been easy.” The fact is that these people are really trying to change but change isn’t easy.
The aim of this article is to help anyone who reads it to achieve a permanent change, this is why the article is titled “How to Change for Good”. There is no point in you changing who you are this week but within a month you’re back to your old self.
Permanent change is what we are going for here. A type of change that would make people who used to know you ask: “Is that you?”. So, let’s get started.
Know Who You Are Right Now
The first step to personal transformation (change) is for you to know who you are. You need to first get to know you. In Christianity, they say the first step to salvation is “recognition of sin” because if you do not recognise yourself as a sinner, you can’t truly ask for forgiveness.
In the same manner, you need to get to know yourself. Who are you? What do you stand for? Why do you do the things you do? Why do you have certain preferences? How did you develop all your superstitions and prejudice?
These are questions you must first answer because if you do not know who you are right now, you can never truly achieve the change you want.
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” – Mark 2:21-22 NIV.
The biblical passage of Mark 2:21 to 22 is simply warning you about the consequence of adding new, great personal qualities to your old bad traits. If you do this, the whole thing will become a complete mess. It’s akin to pouring a new wine into an old wineskin.
When you do not make any effort in getting to know who you are right now, any attempt at transforming yourself will be futile.
Embrace Your Strength And Weakness
Every legal business I know of usually carries out an annual audit of their business. After the auditors have finished auditing the business, they (Auditors) usually point out areas where the business is losing the most money, where savings can be achieved and which parts of the business need to shut down completely. The auditors can only recommend actions to be taken for better output and profit. It’s always up to the management to execute the auditors’ advice. The same applies to you.
Once you have taken an audit of your life and you make a genuine effort to get to know the real you and why you do the things you do, you might not like a lot of the things you discovered about you. You might be surprised to find out that most of the bad habits you accuse other people of, that you actually have all of those bad habits in abundance. After all, people can only reflect ourselves back to us.
If after your “inner search and audit”, you noticed that there is a lot of “ugly monsters” lurking in the dark corridor of the real you, you should be ok with this. Yes, you read that right, you should be fine with your monsters. We all have at least one.
Note down all your strength and weaknesses and embrace them all. Your weaknesses are what I referred to as your “monsters“. You should know that they are there but more importantly, you MUST know why they exist. What are they trying to tell you? All your monsters are only messengers. You know what they say: “Don’t shot the messenger.” Find out what message they (your monster(s)) have for you.
Most of the time, your weaknesses (monsters) symbolises different types of pains you are trying to avoid or run away from. For some people, their weakness is anger. While for some it is envy. Yours could be malice, self-sabotage, hatred or any other kind of prejudice. It doesn’t matter what it is. You knowing that they exist is the most important thing.
After knowing that these bad traits exist, the next step is to make peace with them with the help of a psychologist or via a self-help book on that issue. The aim of a psychologist or a book is to help you decode the message your monsters are trying to tell you. After you understand the message, then your healing can commence. You are the only person that can truly heal you.
When you seek help through a psychologist or a book, you will certainly get better but from time to time, they (your monsters) will show up when you least expect them. This is normal. All you need to know is that every time they (your monsters) show up, they are trying to tell you something. So listen and take note.
Know What You Want To Become
So you know who you are, your strength and your weakness; so, what’s next? The next thing is for you to know what you want to become. What do you want to become? Which values do you want to be associated and identified with?
Take out a blank sheet of paper, write at the top: Values I Want to be Known For. Below it, write out all the values you aspire to attain. I read a lot of books now but before I embark on my personal development journey, I hated reading. In fact, while studying mechanical engineering at university, I usually just take the numbers in every question and then try to solve the question without even reading the whole question because I just hated reading.
It was only after I made the conscious decision to “acquire the love for reading” that I started to make efforts towards that goal. Knowing what you want to become is the step that determines if you will change or remain the same.
If you know which values you aspire for, then naturally you should be able to combine all these values and define the “whole you.” In Astrology, each Zodiac sign has several traits. It’s the combination of these traits that define each zodiac sign. Now that you know your values and the values you aspire to achieve, how do you define the new you?
Define The New You And Start Living It
If I ask you to define the late Steve Jobs, am sure you are likely to say something in the line of; he’s a creative, smart, innovative, minimalist and courageous human being. This definition is simply based on his lifestyle and accomplishments not on his words.
Words are cheap. They mean absolutely nothing. To achieve change, you must define who you are and start to live your new life in accordance with your new values.
If you have read to this point in this article, then you have a clear understanding of which values you want to be identified and associated with. Use these values to define yourself in one sentence and live by them. You must hold yourself accountable to the new definition of you.
This is where wisdom comes into play. For wisdom is first the desire for discipline, the love of it, the voluntary choice of it. – Raymond Holliwell.
At the core of the statement above by Raymond Holliwell is “Discipline“. When you define the new you, it will be mostly based on the characteristics and values you want to acquire, due to this, you will experience strong resistance from the old you. Old habits die hard.
The old you is comfortable. It doesn’t like change and it doesn’t care if you’re currently in pain. So the old you will push back against this new you that you are trying to establish. You must fight back against the old you. The only way you can win this internal conflict within yourself is by disciplining yourself. Make yourself to obey and live by the new standard and values you have set for yourself.
Once you define the new you, start to live it, because, any assumption lived, although it might be false, will eventually harden into fact. In the Law of Reversibility article, I made it clear that if a physical fact can create a psychological state, then a psychological state will definitely create a physical fact.
Live in the belief and assumption of your new values and before you know it, it will become a fact in your new reality.
Permanent Change Requires Complete Change
Now we’ve reached a really interesting point in this article. Have you noticed how a lot of people seems to suddenly make major personal progress once they move to a new environment? Most people are unaware of the reason behind this phenomena.
The change or progress most people experience once they change their environment is actually a spiritual occurrence.
Here is the truth:
(1) Everything around you is energy. This includes people and objects.
(2) Energy store information. This means memories, and we communicate based on the information we have about an individual, things or situations.
(3) Since everything is energy and they have memories, this means that everything and everyone in your current environment remembers the old you. And since they remember the old you, every personal change you try to achieve while in your present environment will experience strong resistance from people and objects in your current environment.
Subconsciously people don’t want you to change. It doesn’t matter if it’s for good. They prefer the devil they know than the angel they don’t know.
Remember what they said to Jesus:
“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56. Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
– Matthew 13:55 – 56 NIV.
In this biblical passage, the people in Jesus environment were trying to project the inferior opinion they have about Jesus family upon Him.
(4) The thoughts of the people around you are constantly being absorbed by you subconsciously. Haven’t you notice how you seem to perform badly around some certain people? You were likely displaying the worse side of you around them because they are constantly projecting their extremely negative view of you unto you and subconsciously, you absorb and accept these opinions and then act them out. Then they go: “Aha, I told you. He or she is good for nothing.”
In the book of Deuteronomy 34:6b it is written: “to this day no one knows where his (Moses) grave is.” This biblical text is talking about the complete burial of the old self. You need to completely bury the old you to the point of being unlocatable by anyone, including you.
Metaphorically bury the old you in some unmarked grave deep down in some valley no one can locate. To do this in the real world requires physical relocation, disciplining yourself to live by your new values, making new friends whose values and principles are in line with yours and never backsliding into your old habits. For it is written: No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. – Luke 9:62 KJV. Your kingdom of God in this instance is the new you.
This article is all about how to change for good and if you have read to this point it should be pretty clear to you what you should in order to achieve this goal. I must admit that some of the recommendations in this article are not easy but real permanent change isn’t easy.
So, let’s recap, in order to achieve a permanent change you must:
(1) Know Who You Are Right Now.
(2) Embrace Your Strength And Weakness.
(3) Know What You Want To Become.
(4) Define The New You And Start Living It.
(5) Completely Change Your Environment.
If you follow the five steps explained in this article, you will certainly change yourself for the good.
I hope you’ve found this article useful in one way or the other. If you know anyone who might find it useful, please be kind enough to share it with them using the share buttons at the top of this article.
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