Change and growth is something inherent in human life. Life is not static, but a process in constant change, guided by adaptation to different conditions and stimuli. As humans are self-aware beings, we have the ability to think about who we are and what we want to change. We are aware of our process of change and we often want to influence it. Below, we list some steps that can help you in this process:
1. Understand the motivation for change
Sometimes we want to change because we don't accept who we are, because there is a part of us that we don't like and that we want to eliminate. In this sense, we change because we want to stop being who we really are right now. When change is experienced in this way, it manifests a cycle of self-criticism that perpetuates feelings of self-rejection. This change tends not to work because self-critical thinking, expressed as “you are not capable”, “there is something wrong with you”, etc., is extremely demotivating and can lead to feelings of sadness and even depression.
However, in a space of acceptance and compassion for who we are, change is motivated by the belief that we have the potential to somehow be better, i.e. to be closer to what our values and principles of life are. Thus, it is through the recognition and understanding of where we are right now and where we want to go, that the desire and motivation to grow arises.
2. Knowing and accepting who we are right now
So, the next step involves getting to know ourselves and accepting who we are at this stage of our life. This positive reconnection with ourselves is possible through self-awareness, drawing attention to the sensations, thoughts, emotions and motivations that arise in our consciousness, observing how these phenomena interconnect and influence each other.
3. Know what values and principles we want to follow in our life
Next, it is important to understand which values we want to guide our lives. The values correspond to the areas of life that we value (friendship, family, work, etc.) and act as a beacon that guides and directs us towards our destiny. It is through these values that we can define short-term and long-term goals for our lives.
This step is often ignored. We occupy our time with day-to-day tasks, the problems that constantly arise and demand our quick response that we so often don't know what we want and value for our life. Who do you want to be? What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to spend your time? What makes you genuinely happy?
4. Know the barriers and what limits us
Once we know what our values are, we can reflect on what keeps us away and prevents us from achieving them. What are the barriers to being who we want to be? What limits us and how can we break down these barriers?
These barriers are likely to change throughout our lives, requiring a constant work of self-knowledge, as well as thinking outside the box, allowing us to reach solutions for what binds us and holds us back.
5. Understand that change has its time
Throughout this process, it is crucial to remember that any change takes time. Patience, tolerance and persistence are important qualities for this process. Everything has its time and there is a natural rhythm that should not be overlooked.
Allow yourself to be where you are in this process of change. Allow yourself not to have reached the ultimate goal yet. And if you find it difficult to do so, go back to step two and accept yourself as you are. Accept that you are on the way, that life is just that: the constant path for our growth. We are not finished works, but imperfect beings, constantly evolving. Accept your own imperfection.