What does it take to create change in your life? This answer is different for different people. I believe personal and professional improvement is the result of practice.
A co-worker recently told me that he considered most professional training to be a waste of time because, he suggested, people do not implement all the new ideas and tools they learn when they return to the office.
My co-worker’s view got me thinking about improvements I’ve made in my life and how I change myself for the better. It’s true that I don’t immediately implement every great new idea and method I read about or learn. For me, change just doesn’t work that way. What does work for me is practice.
Wikipedia defines practice as a learning method to gain and improve skills by rehearsing them over and over. In my life, self improvement, including self confidence, gratitude, joy and love are learned and nurtured by practice.
So how do you, or I as the case may be, go about practicing change?
~Expose yourself to new and positive ways of thinking.
I read books, blogs and articles on topics related to the areas of my life where I lack confidence, joy and love. I seek out productive solutions and try to keep an open mind and a fresh perspective.
~Visit and revisit changed attitudes.
The truth is I’m not going to understand how to take a new idea or attitude and put it to work in my life the first time I hear about it, and maybe not even the second or third time I hear it. I re-read stories and ideas that inspire me and challenge my old patterns of thinking.
~Express your goals.
Write a favorite quote or mantra on a note and stick it on your mirror, your computer monitor, or the steering wheel of your car- wherever you will see it, and read it, regularly. Better yet, speak your empowering message out loud. Even better than that, look at yourself in the mirror and speak your truth, no matter how silly it feels the first time you do so. I promise it will feel great with practice!
~Listen and share positive progress.
I discover many great ideas and insights through talking to others facing similar challenges. Listen to what others have to say about creating positive change in their life and share what you are doing that’s working for you. Talk to a friend in person, call someone on the phone, or even share your experience, strength and hope on your own blog. Surround yourself with the supporters of your truth.
~Keep doing what works for you.
In my past I would become attached to a result I wanted and would stubbornly cling to a method that just wasn’t working for me. When I learned to let go, I found it was easier to repeat the actions that encourage confidence, joy and love in my life and let go of the actions that don’t. If something is working in your life, keep it up! If something isn’t working, be open to letting it go.
~Be mindful of your progress.
As a former perfectionist, nothing I did was ever good enough for me unless I achieved the exact result I wanted. As a reformed perfectionist, I celebrate and enjoy my practice and my progress instead of focusing on the result. Whenever I am practicing positive and productive behavior in my life, it is my behavior, not the result of my behavior, that offers value and meaning.
~Practice positive and affirming beliefs in all areas of your life.
My pursuit of self improvement has affected my work and life. It has given me the freedom, and the ability to be happy wherever I am. When I love this life, that joy and gratitude is evident in my work, my relationships, my health- every little detail of my life.
Whatever improvement you want to see in your life, practice being that changed person every day and soon you will find that you have, indeed, changed.
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