Jim Rohn once said “One of the best places to start to turn your life around is by doing whatever appears on your mental “I should” list.”
That’s very brief and very wise. I can see that if I did all the things that I tell myself that I “should” do them, I would turn my life around completely.
There are a lot of things on my mental “I should” list. I should do this, I should do that and I should’ve done that. Lots of should. And yes, I intend to take these “shoulds” very seriously and turn them into real actions.
In brief, it’s a very good advice. You already know how to turn your life around. You know, deep down, what you need to do, go out there and do it.
However, let’s take this good advice and put a spin on it. Let’s figure out how you can, in the first place, induce a change in your life and turn it around.
Tell me, have you ever met someone from your past and you noticed that he’s not the same person anymore?
Or have you ever been through this process yourself? You were able to change something that you didn’t like about your life, no matter how small it was, and you were successful at that.
Change is taking yourself from a place that you don’t like (where you are now) to a place that you love (where you want to be), regardless of which area you want to create a change in.
They say that change is all about the mindset, it’s an inner game first and foremost.
And in this article you’re going to learn about 5 mindsets, or psychological forces, that will help you not only to turn your life around, but also help you go from a place that you don’t like to a place that you want to be in.
Whatever you want to change, a bad habit, your body shape, something you don’t like about your personality or even your entire life.
Apply these 5 forces, don’t give up when you make mistakes and I promise you you’re going to see real lasting changes in your life.
Let’s get started.
Let’s face it, change is painful. It’s not an easy process. Yes it’s doable but it takes a lot of resilience, self-discipline and courage.
That pain is the price that you have to pay in order to change something you don’t like about your life.
And most people aren’t willing to pay this price. Actually, most people believe that it’s too painful to pay that price.
So most people just stay where they are. However, staying where you are has a price too, and it’s painful as well.
For example, working to make more/enough money can be hard and painful even though you need it, but being broke (staying where you are) is painful too.
Working on your social skills and becoming more confident and outgoing can be painful (rejection, mistakes, fear of embarrassment …etc), but being shy, timid and lonely is painful too.
Sickness is when the second pain, the pain of staying where you are, becomes very intense and excesses the pain of change.
You’re not going to change if it looks something like this:
But you’re going to change if it looks like this:
When you’re so sick of being in a certain way. When you think “I’ve-had-it”.
When the pain of being broke becomes more than the pain of working hard to make money. It’s when the pain of being shy becomes more than the fears of putting yourself out there.
I strongly believe that this is the most powerful force that can lead you to change. Without it, change may never happen. After all, people change when they realize that they can’t deal with consequences.
Sure there are more reasons why people change, but this is the strongest reason.
For example, you’ll never stop a bad habit before you realize that it’s costing you a lot in the present, and it’s going to cost you even more in the future, let alone that it had costed you a lot in the past.
That pain is what will motivate you to change.
When someone gets really sick of his body shape, he’ll start doing what it takes to change that.
When someone gets really sick of shyness, he’ll start changing that.
And when someone gets really sick of whatever situation he’s dealing with right now, he’s going to change.
We’re designed to avoid pain as much as possible.
Now, how to create that sickness which will drive you to do what it takes to change?
First of all, it’s something that only you can create. I can help you, but i can’t do it for you.
And there’s no magic technique to do that. You have to sit down and talk to yourself. You need to ask yourself questions (thought provoking questions) and realize how much you’re losing as a result of not changing anything.
Take as much time as you need. Imagine yourself in the future without changing your situation. What are you going to lose? Are you going to be proud of yourself? What opportunities are you going to miss? What kind of person you’re going to be? Will you be proud of yourself when you look at your face in the mirror?
Keep asking questions until you realize, deep in your guts, how much it’s going to cost you?/
Last but not least, sometime certain experiences that you go through will create that level of pain that you need in order to change. For example, a smoker might face serious health issues and decides that he’s not going to smoke again.
However, don’t wait for a disaster to come around and change you, don’t wait to hit rock bottom. I’m sure you’ve already suffered a lot because of your situation, use that pain to create sickness and turn things around right now.
Pain is the best motivator, but it’s not the only one.
Aspiration can also lead you to reach the point where you say to yourself “I really want to change.”
And for your record, no change will happen before you reach this point. And all the forces we’re discussing in this article are going to help you reach that point.
Now, aspiration simply means wanting, very bad, to become in a certain way or to getting a certain thing.
You can get inspired by someone and say to yourself “WOW! That’s a way to live. I want to be like that.” And guess what, if you’re inspired enough you’re going to do what it takes to change.
You can see someone who lives the kind of life that you’re dreaming about, and you just get amazed and tell yourself “Why not? I want to be this way too.”
I know many business owners who started their businesses as a result of being inspired by someone else. They saw someone out there succeeding at a level that they desired, and decided that they want to succeed too.
Many athletes were inspired by other top athletes as well.
As the old saying goes “If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it”.
Aspiration can happen in a second. When you meet someone who is living the way that you want, when you watch a movie, when you read a book, or when you go through certain experiences.
I personally got inspired by a great man to become a public speaker and to be more outgoing and confident. I’ve seen him on the stage and with groups of people and something inside of me ticked. I wanted to be that way, and seeing him right there was enough to ignite the flame of endless aspiration inside of me.
I don’t deny that some sickness was also present, but aspiration is there as well.
Yes we do our very best to avoid pain, but we also do our best to gain pleasure.
Now, as you can see, creating aspiration is all about putting yourself out there and seeing those who live the kind of life that you desire, that will intensify your already existing desire, which it turn will motivate you and push you to change.
Also, to create aspiration you can ask yourself questions just like with sickness.
What are you going to gain? How are you going to feel about yourself? Who are you going to be? What kind of life are you going to have? How your self-esteem will get affected? How much joy you’ll have? What kind of role model are you going to be for others who are just like you now?
Ask yourself questions until you feel like you really want this thing very very bad. And keep doing that and keep reminding yourself of these benefits you’re going to get. All that plus going through experiences that inspire you to become better.
This will help you create a force that will push you to change your situation and be who you want to be. Pleasure is a powerful force that can induce change.
Last but not least, have a mix between sickness and aspiration. Tony Robbins said “In life you either need aspiration or desperation.” Why not use both?
“You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn
Don’t underestimate the power of the environment. It can either build you up or tear you down.
But, how can environment help create a change in your life?
First of all, you get affected by the people who you spend a lot of time with, even if you’re not aware of that. If those people are negative, you’re going to be negative. If those people are optimistic, you’re going to be optimistic too.
So, if you want to change and become more outgoing and confident, spend more time with people who are outgoing and confident.
If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful and optimistic people.
If you want to stop smoking, get away from any environment that promotes smoking (i.e. your friends who smoke a lot). If you want to stop drinking, get away from the bar!
And so on.
Also, putting yourself in a certain environment can actually help you create the two forces we talked about above, sickness and aspiration.
Sickness when you see that you’re not where you want to be, and when you see, and feel, what it’s costing you to stay the same and not change.
Aspiration when you see how beautiful it’s to be the way you want to be.
So, environment is a very powerful force, don’t underestimate it. Be careful who you’re spending your time with. And spend more time with those that you want to be like and those who will help you create the kind of change that you desire.
Last but not least, use environment along with the two forces above, sickness and aspiration. Make sure that those 3 forces reinforce each other (and also use the 2 next forces along with them).
Pro tip: start your process of change by either sickness or aspiration, preferably sickness.
Let me ask you a question:
How do you master any new skill?
The answer is: by practicing that skill, period.
Yes you have to study this skill and know it well, but to master it and make it a reality, you must practice it.
Change is the same.
You have to condition yourself in order to successfully change.
But what does “condition” mean? And how we can relate to it using the forces we’re discussing right now?
Conditioning means doing it over and over again, almost making it a habit. And i mean making the new behavior, the change, a habit by conditioning it, otherwise it won’t be a lasting change.
Breaking a bad habit requires conditioning, you need to condition the new mindset (and maybe the new positive habits), and you need to work on overriding the old limiting conditioning of the bad habit.
Now, how to condition yourself to change?
Obviously you need to do the new behavior over and over again, practice it until you master it.
But also we can condition the 3 forces we discussed above.
Remember sickness and how you can create it by asking questions? Do that everyday. Feel that sickness everyday by creating it. See what it’s going to cost you to stay the same, and do it everyday.
Seriously, before you go to bed you can set alone and create this feeling of sickness. Visualizing all the bad things that can happen if you don’t change. The more you do that, the more your mind will get convinced by it.
And the same goes for aspiration as well.
Sure you won’t have to do this for the rest of your life, just until you successfully condition yourself.
Now the environment is going to condition you on its own by making you act in the desired way. Just make sure that you surround yourself with the right people and put yourself in the right environment.
Conditioning is what ensures that change is going to happen and last, because it’s all about consistency.
Also it’s going to create momentum, which will help you to aim for more.
And most importantly it’s going to override the old negative behaviors that you want to change.
Because if you don’t condition yourself to be in a certain way, it’s not going to last, your old conditioning will take over. You could feel sickness at some point, but you need to condition (and feed) that sickness because it might fade away with new life events.
5. Paradigm Shift
I said above that creating sickness is the most powerful force that can help you change. That’s true. However, this force we’re going to discuss here is another game. It almost governs all the forces we talked about above.
The paradigm shift is a change in the way you see the world, more accurately: the way you perceive the world.
And when i say “the world” i mean: yourself, the people around you, your life events, your environment and everything that you see and perceive.
Your paradigm is your perception. How you perceive things and interpret events. How you see/perceive yourself (very important) and the world around you.
I believe this is the fundamental of any change process. Any change process starts with a change in the paradigm.
In fact, sickness, for example, is a paradigm shift. You start seeing the same thing in a different way.
And to create a lasting change in your life, you need to work on your paradigm. The way you look at things.
When you want to stop smoking, for example, it’s because you’re now looking at smoking as something bad and something that you can’t do anymore, or because you’re looking at yourself as a person who doesn’t smoke anymore.
Real change must come from the inside, something within you has to change first. It’s your paradigm, the way you look at things.
It can be the way you look at yourself “I’m much more, i can be much more than this.”
Much more like a life mantra.
It can be the way you look at things. For example, when you stop a bad habit that you’ve been doing for your entire life because now you consider it something that you can’t/shouldn’t do.
Yes, this is where change starts. This topic of paradigm is very long and i can go on and on talking about it, it’s the roots of the tree that’s called “change”.
But to sum it up, a change in the way you look at yourself/the way you define yourself or the way you look at the world will help you a lot to create lasting changes in your life. Work on that as a top priority.
And last but not least, all the forces discussed in this article are supposed to actually help you change the way you look at things (and even yourself). Use them along with the knowledge that a paradigm shift can change your entire life forever.
Putting all this together
Use all these forces together. The point is not to use one technique and wait for results, change is a process and it requires a lot of work.
Start with sickness and aspiration. Get hurt (from staying where you are), and get inspired to be in a better place.
After that, put yourself in a different environment. The environment can really shape your behavior to a great extend.
The last step is to keep doing this and keep pushing yourself, change needs to be conditioned, it won’t happen after night.
All these steps are going to help change your paradigm. However, try to be aware of your current paradigm and try to get a new empowering one. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.
Last but not least, don’t be disappointed when things go wrong. You’re going to make mistakes because you’re a human. You’re going to have down times. This doesn’t mean that change won’t happen, it’s going to happen as long as you’re trying no matter how many times you fail.
Because change isn’t a smooth journey, you’re going to make mistakes, get off the track sometimes, and have your ups and downs, don’t lose hope!
Keep applying these principles, keep using these forces and you’re going to thank yourself later on.
Last but not least, I just want to thank you for investing time in reading this article. Because I believe that, since you’re reading this, you’re the kind of person who wants to become better and improve, you’re a brave warrior fighting for his/her dreams (in case you didn’t notice, this is a paradigm! The way you see yourself), and i have much respect for this kind of person. Thanks a lot.Was that helpful? You can also read:
- I Feel Nothing: A Brief Guide on Emotional Numbness
- How to Get Your Shit Together: 7 Proven Steps
- How to Be Confident: 25 In-depth Tips That do Work
- The Truth About Uncomfortable Emotions and the Comfort Zone