The following is adapted from Free for Life.
If you’re suffering in some way, whether it’s physical pain, mental distress, or feeling stuck as you work toward your life goals, you need a personal transformation.
As the phrase implies, a personal transformation is a huge undertaking. However, by breaking down the process and getting past the hardest part—getting started—you can jumpstart your journey to permanent change.
There are three steps you need to take: free yourself from self-defeating patterns, commit to daily self-improvement, and seek help where you need it. Once you’ve taken these three steps, you’ll have set the stage for the rest of your transformational process and be ready to make even more impactful changes.
Free Yourself From Self-Defeating Patterns
To deal with life’s challenges, we develop behavioral patterns. Our brains think these patterns lead to the path of least resistance, but that isn’t always the case.
For example, if a teenage boy gets rejected by a potential date, his confidence might suffer, which in turn hurts his future attempts to find a romantic partner. He becomes caught in a self-defeating pattern of poor socialization because he has a low opinion of himself and believes he doesn’t deserve affection. Eventually, he might stop trying entirely.
The problem occurs when we keep following this pattern without ever exploring other options. There might be a better way, but if we’re trapped in the same behaviors, we’ll never know.
You can probably see why these patterns limit our potential. If you aren’t aware that there’s another choice available to you, you’re basically a prisoner in your own penitentiary. That penitentiary is a tiny little box you’ve been living in and are too scared to leave, and in some cases, it’s more about collective ignorance. You simply don’t have the information necessary to make real, palpable, instantaneous, permanent change in your life.
Every time you follow a pattern, you reinforce it. To get out of the vicious cycle, you must break the patterns. There’s no other way forward than to take the leap and stop doing the behaviors, but you can soften the blow by building the confidence you need to make different choices.
Commit to Self-Improvement to Raise Your Self-Esteem
Transformation takes time, but you can start by committing to only fifteen to twenty minutes per day of self-improvement exercises. These exercises can be anything you choose: meditation, exercise, playing an instrument, drawing, etc. Choose something that will make you feel happy when you improve.
Once you’ve decided on your exercises, hold yourself accountable to this schedule so you can make progress and build your inner self-esteem. People who have high levels of self-esteem choose a life characterized by love-based states of awareness, consciousness, and right action.
People who have a low level of self-esteem opt for a life characterized by fear-based strategies and controlling mechanistic structures, which only further greater states of separation from the authentic self.
You want to raise your self-esteem as high as possible to be in the right mindset for greater transformation.
Seek Help and Guidance
Next, ask yourself, “Am I courageous enough to admit that there’s some area of my life where I need help? Or am I going to continue to go along and pretend everything is OK?”
We all need help, especially with a personal transformation. You need someone to look at you objectively and help you understand how to get free of the self-defeating energies, like lack of confidence or motivation, that keep you from being the better you.
An experienced life coach can help you identify all the things inside you that are keeping you locked in your unhappy circumstances. A good coach will have helped others through similar transformations and can tell you what works, what pitfalls to avoid, and how to best direct your energy. They’ll identify limitations you can’t see in yourself and help you grow beyond them.
Getting started on any project, especially when that project is yourself, can be the hardest part. But by escaping your self-defeating patterns, committing to self-improvement, and seeking help when you need it, you’ll be well positioned to make permanent, transformational change.
For more advice on self-improvement, you can find Free for Life on Amazon.
Christopher Lee Maher is a former Navy SEAL who endured intense amounts of physical, mental, and emotional stress as a child and during and after his military career. He has taught himself how to free his energy, body, mind and emotions from pain by developing the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of being. Christopher studied Traditional Chinese Medical Practices at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and at Yo San University, then continued his studies at The Universal Healing Tao System. He is a student of Grand Master Mantak Chia at the Universal Tao Master School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is currently pursuing his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Traditional Chinese Medicine.