It was through a period of dramatic personal transformation that I deeply learnt the foundations of transformation and the tools that make this a more comfortable and manageable process. The four fundamental areas that empower change, which I will introduce here, along with some low or zero cost tools for each one are, personal mindset, what we consume, active use of mind and body, and intentional rest of mind and body.
No. 1: Personal Mindset
The most fundamental tool for transformation is your Mindset. Working with a coach is a powerful way to more quickly develop a strong, positive mindset and to hold you accountable. That said if you are not in a position to employ a coach there are some key mindset tips you can utilise to propel yourself forward.
The four key aspects of mindset that in my experience need to be in place for successful transformation are: What, Why, Cultivating an Open Mind, and Removing Comparisons.
- What (your goal): Be as clear and specific as possible on what you want to achieve. Vague goals are harder to reach since you can’t really determine when or if it has been achieved. Having a clear written statement of your goal will help you make decisions, if an action will not help you with your goal you either drop it or postpone it until later. Setting yourself a timeframe with some specific steps to be taken toward completion will help you hold yourself accountable and stay on track.
- Why: Knowing why you are making change is important when times are tough and you need reminding why you are even doing this; your ‘why’ needs to give you the tenacity and resilience to stick at it. Our emotional responses are far stronger than material desire. Therefore, take time to understand how you will feel when you attain your goal. Close your eyes and visualise, create a mood, or write a journal imagining your goal is already achieved – how do you feel? Hold that feeling dear and come back to it whenever you need an extra push to keep going.
- Open Mind: With our ‘what’ and ‘why’ in place we step into the world of what is available to us as support and the world is overflowing with options. Consider your goal and research what could be appropriate for you. Approach this with an open mind; try new things, not all will work for you, embrace what may seem ‘weird’, because if it works who cares if it is weird, right? Transformation is not about right or wrong it is about what is right for you. I wanted to increase my confidence in public speaking, but no courses inspired me, so I took up singing lessons instead – far more enjoyable, mildly terrifying as well yet lifted my confidence in presenting.
- Remove comparisons: Transformation is personal, your likes, your commitments, your time frame. It is really important not to compare your progress with others. Trying to force your experience to be as someone else’s will make the process uncomfortable if not unbearable. In this instance, just focus on you.
Mindset has to be the starting point for any transformation as it is our mindset that keeps us on track for what we seek to attain. If we tell ourselves ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you don’t deserve this’, you won’t attain it. So, before you jump into action check in with yourself, what exactly do you want to achieve, why do you want it and how you will feel when you reach that goal. Then get curious and explore the world of opportunities available to help you and do not compare yourself, nor be hindered by what others are doing. This is your journey.