Change is obviously a huge part of personal development as you can’t truly develop without change.  You can learn, you can gain knowledge, but you don’t really develop without putting those things into practice where you develop your character, your relationships, or work or some part of your life.  I always strive to put more than just the learning aspect in my articles and the biggest differentiators that I have learned in realizing personal development is that of taking action.  And action creates change.

Start Small

Change is tough.  It scares people and when we are satisfied with life, it threatens to break whatever certainty we have in keeping that satisfaction.  Personal development challenges that by looking at driving change to improve oneself and to better our lives and the experiences we create in life.  Whether you are a master change agent or an individual of daily habit afraid to try anything new, the only way to create any method of change for personal development is to start small and work up to bigger and bigger changes.  For those just starting to explore change and personal development for the first time, simple ideas or change are the best way to start.  Focus on thinking of the positives from change and what you can accomplish once you have made it.  Think about what you will have, how you’ll feel when you accomplish that first change and how it motivate you.  Perhaps it will give you specific feelings of pleasure or happiness you don’t have without it.

Starting small can happen simply by looking first at those ideas.  The way you think about change is really a crucial step and unfortunately it’s often overlooked.  Just imagine yourself where the change has already occurred and think about the future with that change in place.  This visualization you create is the first small yet crucial step in making change happen through action.  Changing the way to think about change and looking forward to what you will have from making change, even before doing it, is an action in your mind that will enable so much more.

Practice those thoughts of change, visualizing the great things you will have and the next small thing to do to implement change is to simple decide that yes, you do in fact want that change.  Reinforce your desire for it and keep reminder yourself of the pleasure you will have by getting it.  Perhaps you will also avoid some pain you experience now by NOT making that change.  If so, the promise of avoiding that pain by making the change can further enhance the desire you have to make the change.  All of this and you really haven’t DONE anything yet.  Start small.

Building Confidence

From the desirable change you’ve now imagined in your mind you’ve got to convert that desire into something stronger.  You need to make a decision to get the change.  Depending on how committed you make yourself to your decisions, this might be a powerful factor or a weak one.  It still makes an impact once you commit and decide to make it happen.  The strongest way to do this is to write it down and share it with a friend or loved one.  Share it to make your commitment stronger.  With that commitment on paper and in the minds of others, its time you set out and take action.  Make the first step that leads toward the change.  Just as before, start small and build upwards.  There are many ways to progress your steps from simple to small. These won’t apply to all change but they do provide a list of ideas from simple to more complex.

  • Tell someone about the change you visualized
  • Use pictures to visually represent the change you want by creating a poster or picture
  • Use daily affirmations about the change in place
  • Create a list of steps or goals that lead you to the change
  • Tackle one change each day to work towards the change
  • Remind yourself and reward yourself for progress made

The best thing about progress in change is that it builds confidence.  Gaining confidence create momentum which allows you to take on larger and larger actions, leading to bigger results.

As you see this progress, your confidence continues to grow and it’s a cascade effect.  This process might be over a period of days or years, it depends on the individual.  However, recognizing the progress and the change will always build confidence.

Realizing Continual Change

As you experience changes through personal development, you begin to go through periods a significant change and often one change will lead to another.  This is a great aspect of personal development, because change itself will sometimes revealing new opportunity or inspire another area in your life.  When these start to happen, you’ll end up with changes want to make that overlap each other in time.  As you see more progress, and continue to ramp up the changes you desire and enjoy the pleasure of achievement, you’ll begin to close the gap and see that you are really going through continual change.  Continual change is more than many repeated cycles of change that you intentionally perform, it begins to go much deeper inside one self without having to intentionally do so.

At this point, your subconscious becomes more and more activated by the continual change your experiencing and you’ll start to realize the changes are no longer happening only from your conscious ideas but there also starting to happen with your awareness, with your understanding, and even your fundamental beliefs.  Personally, I found that this new subconscious activity forms conscious thought, questions and a desire to explore it further.  So this realization comes full circle if you once again decide to make a change and carry it through.

Mastering Change

Mastery is a wonderful word.  It implies taking a skill to the furthest level and being able to do it easily, repeatedly and every time with excellence.  Mastering anything takes years of practice and dedication. Mastering a skill typically has a finite amount to learn and practice in order to gain that level of repeated excellence.  Once you reach that level, you can maintain it without struggling and it really becomes automatic.

Change however, is more complex than an ordinary skill.  Change is never finite because every single change you make will always be unique and have its own set of obstacles to overcome.  Improving your ability to change though makes you more flexible and adaptable.  Mastering change would mean that you can take on any change in life easily and do it well every time. Mastery means that change becomes so easy you simple need to make that choice and decide to change something and because of the mastering in change, it will happen one way or another with no further contemplation necessary.  Countless practicing, years of training, conditioning the body and mind to follow are all what leads to and creates mastery.  Eventually, just the decision itself becomes all that is needed as a catalyst to make the change happen.  That is complete mastery in my mind.  This is of course subjective but what a fantastic goal to have.  To be able to adapt to any circumstances, to change oneself for the better whenever the opportunity arises simply by making that decision and then to have continual changes bringing challenge, joy and satisfaction to each and every day in life!

Personal development has that very thing to offer and even though it may be an audacious goal, these steps for change allow us to come ever closer to mastering change, all we have to do is start small, take action and everything else builds on that.

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