Effecting Internal Change: Self Empowerment and Improvement
By internal change, this article refers to everything belonging to you - your thoughts, your style of living, your habits, your work life, and so on. In contrast to external change, it is usually easier to effect internal change than external change because when trying to effect external change, other people have their own beliefs and belief systems to which they usually desperately cling. Fortunately, when you do effect internal change, or internal improvement, the consequences of your actions can be enormous, for you can gain much self control and better results after such self improvement.
Recognize your defect. In order to effect internal change, you first must recognize that your present style of living or style of doing something is not in tune with your values and your goals. You must realize that you may not be living to your full potential if you continue to live this way. This is not a trivial step, as so often people are not even aware that their current way of living or doing something is causing them problems, or actually being a burden to them. Thus, you have to have a sense of being able to tune in on your life and actions.
If you are having a difficult time to decide what your defect is, and really are into self-improvement, you may even want to be so drastic as to ask others what they do not like about you. Perhaps they do not like your walking style, perhaps they do not like how you interrupt them all the time. Family and close friends will likely give you honest advice.
Just remember that you should not change a part of you that if after having changed, you feel you are being untrue to yourself. In other words, maintain your qualities and values that you feel really comprise your inner character.
Resolve to commit. You must also decide that you dislike this old habit enough that you will make the effort to change it because it is often difficult to change ingrained habits. In other words, you have to have a high sense of dislike for this old habit. At that point, you must make a firm resolution to change. Addictions, of course, are the most difficult habits to break off of. That's why you should try to form a supportive network with another person, or other people. That way, you will tend to stay on track more.
Decide upon your alternative. Next, you must decide what is the best alternative you should change to. You don't want to switch to another bad habit. There usually is more than one alternative to choose from, so creatively think of them. Only when you have as long a list of alternatives as you can, can you come up with the best alternative for you.
Continue your efforts. "Stick to it," or stick to your schedule. Doing the new activity over and over again daily until it becomes a habit will eventually make your new habit a part of you. You won't even want to abandon your new, improved habit. Usually, it is easier to substitute a new habit for an old bad habit than just eliminating it. For example, if in the past you enjoyed watching TV, and now would like to refrain from watching any more, it would be easier to find something else that you can do daily at that time to replace the TV watching. Perhaps you can listen to the radio, or perhaps go out for a walk. Perhaps you can learn a new language.
And, as stated, you should keep to this task daily. Usually, having a set target with your new activity, such as walking 4 miles daily, or walking for 30 miles in a week and 120 miles in a month and making a log of your walking, will result in a firmer schedule that you will more likely adhere to.
If at first you are unable to effect internal change, don't be hesitant to try out different possibilities. You will eventually find a method of change that will work for you often, a method that you can often use to change undesirable habits.
In summary, to effect internal change for lasting benefits, try these tactics:
A. Recognize your defect.
B. Resolve to commit.
C. Decide upon an alternative.
D. Continue your efforts.
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