7 Steps to Live The Life You Want
The life of an individual, although unique, is often a repetition or recreation of the past. We are frequently living in the same way that we lived while with our families or in school without asking ourselves what it is that we really want or if this is the way we believe that we should behave.
Our past life experiences make us who we are today and have brought us to where we are now. However, change is always possible. But in order to achieve any kind of change that will help us to build up our new life, it’s necessary to know ourselves deep down inside and sincerely answer some complicated questions: How did I become who I am today? How can I act differently?
Our early years contribute to our character and personality; this includes the positive aspects that we like about ourselves, as well as those that we don’t. In fact, the behaviors within us that we aren’t too fond of are usually adapted from the negative characteristics of those who influenced us when we were younger. This includes parents, teachers or other important caregivers. When we take a close look at these aspects, we can begin to notice how they affect our careers, our relationships and even the goals in our lives.
The process of separation, where we separate the habits that we’ve adapted by imitation, is not an easy process. The way we make sense of the world is much like a puzzle and in this puzzle some ideas are packed up within others. Therefore, removing one idea could ultimately break up the entire puzzle. We often prefer to keep the ideas that we know are wrong so that we don’t have to analyze the structure of our puzzle and possibly break it apart.
Dr. Robert Firestone describes this separation process as a path with seven steps for freeing ourselves from past behaviors and becoming who we really are.
7 steps to help you break from what’s holding you back
- Analyze the behaviors that are hurting you. Start by writing down the behavior of an influential person in your life in it’s most extreme form. Take a close look at this behavior from the outside.
- Once you’ve identified these behaviors, think about how they affect your cognition, conduct and feelings.
- Get some perspective. Our “blind spots” concerning our past hinder us from seeing the influence that these behaviors have on our present. But how do we get rid of this limited visibility? One way is to talk with others who have recently come into your life. These are the people who will be able to look at things from a better distance.
- Pinpoint what you want to change. Once you recognize the influence this past behavior has in the present tense, it will be easier to identify where you can make changes.
- Taking note of the times when you react in a way that you don’t like is very useful in the separation process. It also helps you get to know yourself better, identify patterns and ask yourself what is happening right when it happens. After all, our automatic reactions are often programmed in us and can cause us to become immersed in negative feelings such as guilt.
- Resist the temptation to quit trying, and take your goals seriously. The initial inability to overcome the behaviors that we don’t like can cause anxiety and insecurity. No one ever said it would be easy.
- Remember: No one is perfect. The patterns that you are trying to change have deep emotional ties. If you find that you are constantly repeating a mistake, don’t judge yourself or generalize it. Assume that your behavior was consistent with your way of thinking and that, fortunately, you have changed.
The power to change is in your hands. So, what are you going to do next?