Change and growth is something inherent to the human life. Life is not static, but a process that is constantly changing, as a consequence of the adaptation to varied conditions and stimuli. Because humans are self-conscious beings, we have the ability to think about who we are and what we want to change. We are aware of our process of change and we often want to influence it. Here are some steps that can help you in this process:
1) Realize your motivation for change
Sometimes we want to change because we do not accept who we are, because there is a part of us that we do not like and that we want to eliminate. In this sense, we change because we want to stop being who we really are at that moment. When change is experienced in this way it manifests a cycle of self-criticism that perpetuates feelings of rejection about ourselves. This change tends not to result since self-critical thinking, such as “you are not capable”, “there is something wrong with you”, etc., is extremely demotivating and can lead to feelings of sadness and even depression.
However, in a space of acceptance and compassion for who we are, change is motivated by the belief that we have the potential to be somehow better, i.e. to be closer to our values and principles of life. Therefore, through the recognition and understanding of where we are at this moment and where we want to go, that the will and the motivation to grow appears.
2) Know and accept yourself at this moment
The next step involves getting to know and accept who we are at this stage in our lives. This positive reconnection with ourselves is possible through self-awareness, drawing attention to the sensations, thoughts, emotions and motivations that arise in our consciousness, noting how these phenomena interlock and influence each other.
3) Know the values and principles that you want to follow in our life
Next, it is important to realize the values by which we want to guide our lives. The values correspond to the areas of life that we value and treasure (friendship, family, work, etc.) and function as a lighthouse that guides us and directs us to our destination. It is through these values that we can define short- and long-term goals for our lives.
This step is often ignored. We occupy our time with the day-to-day affairs, the problems that constantly arise and demand our rapid response, which lead us to not knowing what we want and value for our lives. Who do you want to be? What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to spend your time? What makes you genuinely happy?
4) Know the barriers and what limits us
Now that we know what our values are, we can reflect on what keep us away from them. What barriers do we encounter that prevent us to be who we want to be? What limits us and how can we break down those barriers?
The barriers are likely to change throughout our lives, requiring a constant work of self-knowledge, as well as thinking outside of the box, allowing us to reach solutions to what holds us down.
5) Understand that change occur at its own pace
Throughout this process, it is crucial to remember that all changes occur at their own time. Patience, tolerance, and persistence are important qualities in this process. Everything in life takes its own time and there is a natural rhythm that should not be overlooked.
Allow yourself to be where you are right now, in this process of change. Allow yourself to still not have reached the ultimate goal. And if you find it difficult to do so, go back to the second step and accept yourself as you are. Accept that you are on the way, that life is the constant walk, that will allow you to grow. We are not finished works, but imperfect beings, in constant evolution. Accept your own imperfection.