This time of year nature is festooned with such spectacular color. Flowers embellish the landscape everywhere. Ahh, nothing like a June bloom. I’m captivated and still surprised with each day I notice yet another flower has bloomed. My flower pots are thriving, the lawn is lush, and everything seems to be growing. Outside. I wonder if your insides feel the same way. Pay attention. Are you actively changing or do you feel stagnant?
Everyone has an inner voice, but not everyone listens to it. It’s yours and personal. You don’t have to ever share it, but you can certainly learn from it. Possibly, the take-aways may even make you a better you.
Whether you’re in great place or in an overwhelming one, it’s still important to check in with yourself. Consider these steps as a helpful exercise to activate your listening skills and invite personal growth.
1. Stop. Make the time to pause from the daily busy and step away. Putting space between self and world can provide a fresh perspective.
2. Solitude. Being alone can be very cathartic and necessary to feel what you need to feel and think. Solitude doesn’t necessarily have to mean quiet time, just alone time. So feel free to ramp up the music if that ignites deeper thinking. Solitude is good for the soul, it works for me 🙂
3. Truth. You know what you know. Be honest with yourself. Otherwise, who would you be fooling? Think about what’s going right with your life and address what is not. Identify and clarify the changes you feel.
4. The Whys. This could be the piece that could give you more trouble, for sure. We all have patterns that we may not be skilled in evaluating, and so repeating bad behaviors is often a common culprit. Self analysis is neither easy or typically accurate. Enlisting help from a friend or professional can often give you the objectivity you might need. And if things are going great, acknowledge the whys too. There are life lessons learned from both our failures and successes.
5. The Work. What needs to change? What will motivate you to change? Are you ready? Life will inevitably change, but personal change won’t be actualized unless you’re part of the process. You need to do the work.
6. The Training. Just like with fitness and exercise, some of us can work out on our own and routinely get to the gym. But not everyone is self-disciplined. Others need a one-on-one trainer to help maintain focus and do much better with more motivational support. Pay close attention to which option suits you best.
The truth is that when you don’t know where to begin, it’s so difficult to take that first step. Implementing change seems unfeasible. And if it gets too hard, you are likely to give up entirely. Hiring a trainer or coach/professional might be the ideal accountability partner you may need to sustain you. Or perhaps it’s just the “push” that you’ll need to get started.
7. The Reward. Without question, listening to self is a very difficult skill to master. Practicing this step will help strengthen the personal change muscle. It can be an eye-opening experience and a powerful motivator for personal growth.
Asking the right questions can open up opportunities for positive personal change. Answering them will start the journey and make them a reality.