The 3 Fastest Ways to Make Positive Changes
Why does it seem so difficult to make positive changes in our lives? You would think it should be the easiest thing in the world because it is obviously so desirable. Yet it can be utterly vexing to watch ourselves try over and over again, only to revert back to previous unwanted results.
The main reason that our efforts are so often futile is because we look for the signs of change on the outside, and forget to consider what is going on inside of our own consciousness. We measure our ability to affect positive change by the results we have seen so far in our lives. If we witness the same repetitive results, we simply decide that we are just not capable.
This is like forgetting to put gas and oil in your car, and then deciding that the car is inherently incapable of running. In that case, you will probably give up on the car. This is a simple metaphor for how we give up on ourselves. Maybe the only problem is that we forgot to consider a few very important things!
So let’s discuss what those things are, and how we can accelerate our ability to make positive changes by including them in our efforts. There are 3 main ways to amplify your ability to make the changes you want by aligning yourself with the following steps:
Step 1 – Live by your abilities, not your past
There is something that pulls us down like a lead balloon or a ball-and-chain every single day of our lives, if we let it. It is our identification with the past. Do not underestimate the sheer force of gravity that this will have on your ability to go forward in life in a positive way.
Almost all of our identity is tied up in who we were, rather than who we are today. We believe that we are the sum total of everything that has ever happened to us. The only problem with this belief is that it causes stagnation to gain greater momentum over time. We become more and more the same, and less and less likely to change.
The more weight that you give to the past, the more it will weigh you down. This means that the more past you acquire, in terms of years, the heavier that weight becomes.
Ask yourself if you are defending your past. Many people do. Your past can actually become a security blanket the more that you rely on it to define you as a person.
The truth is that there is a great deal of your past that is just excess baggage that you truly do not need. If it is not serving you today in the direction that you wish to go, then why rely on it for anything? You can probably let go of a lot more than you realize!
Letting go of the past really means releasing your identification with it. You don’t have to be that person anymore. You can end that identification right now, if you wish. You can free yourself to change today, at this very minute!
Step 2 – Assess your talents and own them
There are two areas of strength that you have in your life. The first relates to your natural propensities and the gifts you were born with. The second relates to skills and knowledge that you have acquired in life.
Rather than believing that you must shore up these two areas by using past experiences to validate them, why not just own them as they are today? The more that you believe you must justify the good things about yourself through previous proof and verification, the less you will be able to feel in true ownership of yourself right now. This can seriously undermine your self-confidence.
Why does this matter? Ownership means that you embody these positive attributes as they are today. If any of them have weakened over time, you will know what you have to do to strengthen them again. You will be strong in the knowledge that you have a certain level of command over yourself that is not dependent on the approval of others via past justification. You will feel much more whole.
For example, let’s say that you were a great athlete in college. But today you couldn’t perform at that level if your life depended on it. Yet, you might cling to that identity as though the image of that physically proficient person still exists today. It becomes a label or a phantom identity, rather than being experienced as a current reality.
Why is this a problem? Isn’t it okay to say that you were a former college athlete? Of course it’s okay, as long as you hold it that way in your mind – as a simple memory. It becomes a problem when you make it part of your current identity, in order to validate yourself right now. It will actually weaken your sense of self, because it exists as a former self. It is not who you are today. It can actually displace your ability to own who you are right now, with all of your current gifts and strengths. It can become an identity crutch, instead of an empowering idea.
Certainly you have acquired knowledge, strength, and skills from your previous experiences. The important thing is to acknowledge these positive attributes as they exist right now, and ask yourself what they can do for you today. Your past was merely the thing that led you to whatever gifts you possess at this point in time. What matters about those gifts is what you can do with them right now!
Step 3 – Realize that you have the power to make new decisions
So far, you have done two very important things. Firstly, you have released your identification with images of your previous self. You have decided to let go of those images as the current definition of who you are today. You have removed the ball-and-chain of your past. Now you are free!
Secondly, you have decided to own the skills, knowledge, and talents that you have right now. You have relinquished a need to prove yourself via past experiences. You have chosen to embody your skills as who you are today. From here, you can strengthen these gifts and put them to use in a way that matches who you wish to become, as you make the positive changes in your life.
Now the third and final thing to address is your ability to make new decisions. This is perhaps the most powerful step of all!
Take a moment to notice your own self-talk. Do you find yourself saying things like, “Why can’t I ever….?” and “I always do such and such….” Or, “How come I never…?” and “Why can’t I just…?”
All of these questions lead to the same answer, which is some version of “It’s just how I am.” Together, these repetitive questions with their one-note answer act as affirmations of sameness and an inability to change. They only serve to reinforce your previous identity.
Your dramatic moment of awakening occurs the instant that you realize you can actually make a new decision! You don’t have to keep deciding that you are the same person that you have always been. You can decide to be someone different. You can decide to be someone new and better than you have ever been before!
As simple as this may sound, it is exceedingly powerful. Now you can see that the key to making accelerated positive changes is to relinquish your old identity. Decide what your new identity will be, and what kind of person that is. Do you want to be healthier? Make a decision to be a healthy person. You will instantly know what you need to do differently, and you will feel inclined to do so. Do you want to have better relationships? Decide what type of person you need to be in order to manifest this, and you will instantly feel your own power to make those positive changes.
By relinquishing your old identity, owning your gifts and talents, and exercising your ability to make new decisions right now, you can make powerful changes. Try this out in small ways, and then go for much larger changes. You will be amazed as you tap into abilities and levels of empowerment that you didn’t know you had, when you remember these 3 simple steps!
What things have you struggled with when you’ve tried to make positive changes? Can you relate to any of the steps listed here? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!