The New Year is a perfect time of year to reflect and consider personal transformation to enhance your life.
“Yesterday I was clever and wanted to change the world. Today I am wise and want to change myself.” Rumi, 13thcentury Persian poet and philosopher
Each week I host a show on the legendary talk radio station, 77WABC, a 50,000-megawatt station in metropolitan New York. It is called A Climb to the TOP: Stories of Transformation and airs every Sunday evening at 9 PM. You can listen live or watch past shows here.
The show features a diverse set of achievers from all walks of life. Overcoming adversity, career challenges, and life’s unexpected obstacles, we tell inspirational stories of how each guest climbed their way to happiness and success. These are tales of transformation that relate to anyone striving to reach the top of their personal mountains.
One common theme among our guests is, “You can’t control other people and events, but there is one thing you can do. Be mindful that many things around you change when you change yourself.”
As a small business owner, you are constantly challenged to adjust to a pace of change faster than any time in the modern world. How do you keep your business adaptable in light of all the events happening around you? To change your business, consider that changing yourself is the first step.
Consequently, the big question our listeners ask is, “Is there a specific blueprint to ignite a personal transformation?” While there are likely many ways to change yourself, below is a foundation for where to begin.
Here are five recommendations for personal transformation:
1. Change Your Mindset: It starts with the realization that living in the free world, we are handed a gift every day: The Power of Choice. When it comes to transformation, it is a conscious choice to change. You can either be intentional to change yourself for the better. Or, you can be defensive and let the world change you, often for the worst. Which do you choose? You decide every minute of every day.
2. Your Personal Assessment:
My coaching clients span the spectrum from CEO’s of large companies to small business owners. The process of self-assessment is the same. I have them take out a piece of paper and ask three questions:
- What is one habit you want to eliminate starting now?
- What is one thing in your life you want to preserve?
- What is one thing in your life you are willing to accept?
I include the question on acceptance because it is often the hardest part of change. Many people are stuck in a behavioral rut because they try so hard to change things they can neither control nor influence.
It is time to move past those frustrating people and/or circumstances and accept it. Just because others won’t change does not mean you cannot.
3. We are all each other’s teachers.
Reach out to people you trust. Let them know you are trying to change things about yourself in stages.
Advertising your desire to change helps hold yourself accountable. Making your goals public is an effective way to stay focused on what you said you would do. Ensure your actions align with your words.
That is effective leadership and the best way to either build or maintain credibility among your inner circle. Nothing kills the spirit of change more than others who say one thing about changing themselves yet behave contrary to those expectations.
4. One step at a time.
Resist the impulse to try to do too much. A lot of small lists are better than one gigantic one.
Sometimes, it’s best to take one step back in order to move two steps forward. Take a course, read a self-help book, anything to invest in your future self. That may add to the time to achieve an expected outcome, but the investment will be worth it.
5. Transformation Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone:
It can be easy to fall into a routine and get comfortable with the way things are.
If your life and work are good, why change them and risk things getting worse? That sentiment is often the path to complacency. Try things that are new to you and strive for progress, not perfection.
I hope you will stretch that zone and expand your horizons to get a little better each day as it is essential for transformation.
Before you construct your transformation blueprint, try answering, writing down, and committing to the next three questions:
- WHERE do I want to go?
- HOW will I get there?
- WHO is coming with me?
Your Call to Action:
On a single page, write down these questions and the three from section two above. Then, take out your phone, snap a photo of the page, and text it to someone in your life who will hold you accountable for your change. Check in each quarter with your partner to assess the progress.
We can transform ourselves, but as Steve Jobs once said, “It’s simple. But it’s not easy.”
Consider the cost of not transforming and look around. With everything changing so rapidly, take a look in the mirror and remember what Michael Jackson said, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change.”