Personal Transformation: One Step at a Time
A Quick Tip for Self Improvement
Transformation is an integral part of life.
For this Quick Tip, I'm suggesting that you make a choice to notice one subject that you want to change as you're walking or running or skipping. The idea is to make each step count as a step toward what you want to transform.
So, identify the subject, find empowering words for personal change, and take a step. Examples below.
More of the Story
The most powerful personal development changes take place incrementally. Many people seek and applaud quantum leaps. Usually the "quantum" leaps are defining moments or distinguishable markers, but the incremental changes before the marker are what make you ready to benefit from the more dramatic situations. If the incremental changes have not taken place before the "quantum" leap, they will occur afterwards in order to integrate and benefit fully from the transformation.
The incremental changes are not nearly as noticeable as the dramatic events, but you are far more likely to embody the changes. So, while you might like to leap from a bad habit to a good habit, you can only change the habit by taking the steps.
Physical Strengthening Example
Recently I twisted my knee. It really wasn't a big deal, but I've had a knee injury in the past, so I didn't want to re-activate that. So I walked, and with each step I thought, "my knee is getting stronger." Sometimes I varied the words to follow the rhythm of my walk or to insert other ideas, like "my knee is getting more flexible," or just "stronger knee."
The positive transformation was already taking place, though it was much more subtle than if I had broken a bone. The idea was to use each step to strengthen my knee. By using the comparative (more flexible, stronger, more vibrant), I empowered the knee to make a change in the direction I wanted.
It took only a few steps for me to make a positive connection with my knee, knowing that I was not colluding with the twisting. No problem materialized.
Mental Clarity Example
A physical situation, especially a body part involved in taking steps, is an obvious way to use this Quick Tip. Here's a different type of illustration. I was frustrated with some software (sound familiar?) and the more I stayed with it, the more frustrated I felt. So I took a little walk, saying, "With each step, I feel calmer." And for some of the steps I used "clearer."
I could have said, "I let go of frustration." However, that would have put the emphasis on what I don't want. If I had needed to, I would have taken a few steps to let go of frustration. However, I wanted the emphasis to be on stepping TOWARD what I want rather than AWAY FROM (or toward!) what I didn't want.
All transformation takes place in the mind. The more aware you are of your thoughts and how you feel when you give your attention to a subject, the more you can change in the direction you want to change. Awareness of a dynamic expands the dynamic.
I want to acknowledge that some people suggest a mindfulness exercise similar to this one that can help you to be more present to your activity and your environment. It helps you to be more mindful, more aware. That's a worthy exercise, also, and one I suggest from time to time, but is a little different from this Quick Tip about personal transformation, one step at a time.
OK Anytime; Not Necessarily All the Time
I'm really not advocating that you do this ALL the time. Rather, I'm suggesting that you pick a topic that's meaningful to you and make your physical movement be parallel to the movement you want to make on the topic. This practice helps you to integrate what you want, one step at a time. There's no need to be obsessive, just intentional. You might do a walk around your home or office or stroll from your front door to the corner. Keep it simple.
So, improve one part of your life, one step at a time.
Copyright © 2008 Marshall House. All rights reserved. Jeanie Marshall, Personal Development Consultant and Coach, has developed Empowering Personal Development at www.empowering-personal-development.com to encourage you on your path. This Quick Tip is not available for republication without express written permission.
This Quick Tip Encourages You to Use Each Step for Personal Transformation
See Additional Ideas in the Self Improvement Quick Tips Section