We all have difficulty creating new habits. But it is especially true for those of us who have experienced traumatic events in our lives. The pain and scars affect most of the areas of our lives….physical, mental, spiritual, health, professional and of course our relationships. Some things we attempt to change just come easier than others. But when it comes to making “life changing” turns in our life, we find the process much more difficult than planned.
That is what these articles are all about. Navigating the challenging period of change in your life can be a magical experience. Knowing what to expect can soften your expectations of yourself and the expectations you have set in place. Expectations, however, are just that…..expectations. Expectations are the results you are envisioning for your journey. Be aware that the word “expectation” in its truest form means: “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.” (https://www.dictionary.com/) While having an honest expectation to change significant area of your life for the better is good – it can also leave a person with a series of outcomes that sometime don’t fit your expectations.
One of the surface emotions for unmet expectations or expectation of a certain outcome is ANGER.
So in this first article, let’s take a look at what an honest expectation should look like for your journey.
Know What You Want
As with anything in life, we must have a crystal clear vision of what we want to accomplish. This involves really knowing yourself and having done the work of personal introspection. There are many ways to know what you want (or what you have deemed your purpose in life.)
Realization of your purpose may not happen instantaneously. I have a process that I take clients through that puts real clarity on what their purpose looks like from a practical and experiential way. But for the sake of identifying the process, I have outlined below.
- Begin a practice of mindfully making a list of your strengths (what you feel are your strengths). Continue until you feel you have a good, honest list.
- Ask the people who are close to you to identify what they think are your strengths.
- Then ask yourself the following questions:
- If I could materialize my perfect life right now, what would it look like?
- In this perfect, visualized life, what strengths am I using?
- What am I doing?
- That am I feeling?
- What is giving me immense joy in this scene?
The most important “first step” is to discover why you are here and what you can do for yourself and others. When you approach life from the aspect of giving, it changes everything… including you.
Develop a Winning Mindset
Have you ever met a person who had an infectious personality? They seem to draw you into their world. Just being around them causes you to feel their energy of excitement. When I am around people like this, it inspires me to reevaluate my current attitude. But I find I want to spend more time around happy, inspiring people. Psychologically, we all want to feel good. There possibly has been circumstances in your life that has proven to be somewhat challenging. We sometimes think positive people have everything good in life. Not always the case.
I, and many friends, have endured many traumatic situations; however, they have chosen to redefine their circumstances through gratitude. Did I say gratitude? What does traumatic situations and gratitude have in common? Nothing. Gratitude, by personal choice, frees us from the bondage of sadness, unforgiveness, excuses, blame, etc. Be grateful for what you have now; not for you lack. If you feel lack, you will attract more lack in your life. Look for the good in your situation. It isn’t always good, but believe me…it could be worse. Attitude is everything when it comes to health and happiness. More often than not…it is simply a choice. Circumstances tend to shift when we employ gratitude and positive actions.
Become A Student of Consistency
Upon starting your journey of change, it is important that you stay in the mode of learning. In other words, “be a student”. If the practice is inconsistent, you will Get Stuck in old behavior patterns and habits. Learning occurs when we are constantly reviewing the material and applying it. In the case of change in our life, habits are hard to break. The effort requires diligence, perseverance and a willingness to learn something new. On average habits are changed every 61 days. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. This is your key to success.
When changing the way you think, a constant monitoring of your thoughts is also required. Do not allow negative, ego-centered thoughts to control you. At first, you will find you are watching your every thought; however, it gets easier. Just like exercising a muscle, the more you do it – the easier it gets.
We will cover 4 additional steps to building consistency in your life in the next article.