I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.
Personal change starts internally with a shift in mindset. The resulting external changes grow from this internal foundation. Now that you know where to start, how do you make these adjustments in your approach to life? To achieve personal transformation, several major stages must be crossed. Now, this doesn’t mean that changes must always take place slowly. It merely means that all significant shifts will follow this sequence, regardless of how long the process takes.
The 6 Stages of Personal Change:
Nothing will change until you’re aware that something needs to shift. This stage can occur over time. Perhaps you’ve become aware of some nagging feeling that things aren’t as good as you’d like them to be. Maybe you notice a long-held belief that no longer serves you. This stage could also happen suddenly. If you recently suffered a heart attack, you’re probably very aware of necessary dietary or life changes. Also, keep tabs on your negative emotions. They are often your subconscious attempting to provide you with an awareness of needed changes.
After becoming conscious that something isn’t quite right, some thought needs to take place. Constant exhaustion, for instance, can signal an unhealthy work-life balance or even an underlying medical condition. Dreading going to work every day might mean it’s time for a new workplace, a new city, a different population to serve, or even your own practice.
After noticing that something’s not right, start the examination process by asking yourself these questions:
- What’s wrong?
- Why do I feel this way?
- Does anything need to change? If so, what?
- Can I live with this, the way it is?
If the process passes the examination phase, we then may enter into intentionality. A decision has been made to change, and the intention has to be there to remove a belief or behavior and replace it with a more appropriate alternative. In many ways, this is the most powerful step. At this point, you’ve indeed decided to change and replace something old with something new. With enough intention, nearly anything is possible.
Only with action, however, do you begin to experience personal change. At this point, you’ve already come a long way. You’ve taken what may have started as a dull sense of discomfort and given it a name and a face. You might feel even more uncomfortable now than you did in step 1. Now you’re more aware of what’s going on. If you’re feeling helpless about a situation, bear in mind that this is frequently the result of reaching stage 4 but failing to take any action.
As you discover what works for you, your initial actions may be inadequate or incorrect. When changing yourself, a fine-tuning process occurs until a satisfactory solution is found. This is mostly trial and error; keep making adjustments to your approach until you hit on an effective solution.
This stage may take some time because new habits require effort before they take hold. After this step, you’ve fully adopted the new belief or behavior. The initial discomfort that started the whole process of personal change should be gone now since the cause of that uneasiness has been alleviated.
Having a fundamental awareness of these steps will help you go from experiencing emotional discomfort to feeling whole and satisfied. The next time you get a nagging feeling that something isn’t right, take the time to examine your emotions. Do this every time you feel something negative, and you’ll grow into the person you’ve always dreamed of being.
Are you struggling with persevering while achieving your goals? Check out our blog post on how to overcome this obstacle.
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I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Follow me on social media @DrHassanRehab.