My experience as a psychotherapist gives me unique insight into how someone experiences amazing breakthroughs personally, relationally, physically, spiritually, and professionally.
If you hope to experience radical life transformation in some way, certain approaches will take you far. Here are four that come to mind.
They are so simple to understand you might miss applying them to your life.
1. Be action-oriented.
To get to a new destination, you must set out on a new path into the unknown.
This likely requires taking action you've never taken. It means being willing to be a beginner, to make mistakes, and to try something new.
Being action-oriented sometimes means trying again. You may have tried before and failed, or the action didn't work for you, but that does not necessarily mean it won't work again.
To experience profound transformation also means you will not fully understand this new kind of action before you do it. We learn by doing. You may think you understand something intellectually, but that doesn't mean you embody it. Simply knowing about something isn't enough.
Intellectualizing is a form of denial.
Don't trust people who teach but don't do. If people are not living out what they are teaching, they are either charlatans or at least not the most effective teacher. Trust the people in the arena who are taking the action they prescribe.
If you want to change, be willing to try new things.
2. Be collaborative.
You have a lot to learn no matter who you are or how much you know. Other people know more than you and have more experience in many areas. You will grow in fortitude if you try to learn from everyone you meet.
Be transparent with your community. Seek to connect deeply with others. Take council.
Talk about your experiences and emotions. Some see this as weakness and were raised in a family where vulnerability meant being shamed or ridiculed. Difficult things were avoided or not talked about. This is an ineffective and often harmful strategy of avoiding pain.
You can't fix what you can't see. Talking about your life can lead to new perspective.
There are different types of collaboration. The best is when you talk with others who have skin in the game. If you are receiving wisdom from someone who is not vulnerable and authentic, be careful.
If you have no one to be honest and vulnerable with in an ongoing way, you're living in isolation and have a ceiling on your growth.
If you want to experience deep transformation, prioritize finding a community where you can know and be known more deeply: some start with a therapist, others with a spiritual community. You will severely limit your growth until you progress in deepening your community. We aren't meant to grow alone. Have courage and move closer to someone trustworthy today.
If you want to grow, grow in community, and invite others to give you feedback.
3. Be flexible.
Fortitude requires flexibility. The process of change you are seeking is never linear. There will be setbacks and surprises. Your choices and effort so far has gotten you to where you are today.
It is easy when facing uncertainty to experience fear and to seek to avoid the risk of loss or suffering by seeking to control. Sometimes that control is in a rigid plan. Thoughtful planning is good, but you can expect setbacks and be prepared to adapt your strategies when facing reality.
So plan. Take action. Be flexible.
If you want a different outcome, embrace uncertainty.
4. Be curious.
Being curious puts you in a mindset to learn and grow. Curiosity turns every experience you face into an opportunity for growth. Learn to observe your thoughts and feelings with curiosity. Fear is a normal, probably necessary part of the change experience.
Thinking you have it figured out, that you have nothing to learn is the death of curiosity and kills creative growth.
Curiosity will open the door to new possibilities and allow you to navigate through fear. Being curious about your internal experience can lead to new insights and discoveries.
Curiosity requires humility and being open to new perspectives. Be open to new ideas. Be open to trying different approaches.
If you want transformation, be curious, be flexible, be collaborative, and take action.
"The beginning of worthwhile living is thus the confrontation with ourselves."
Harry Emerson Fosdick, On Being a Real Person
"Expect the unexpected."
A mentor and dear friend, the late David "Faouzi" Arzouni
What old ways do you need to let go of?
Who can you learn from today?
How might you be rigid and resistant to growth?
To get where you want to go, is it best to stick with the same strategy and persevere or try something new?
We can either be reactive to change, resistant to it, or seek to embrace it and grow through it. What would you like to choose?