My Blueprint for Personal Changesam
Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
It’s time to open your Re-Creating Your Self notebook once again. This time, you’re going to participate in the most creative of all of the Adventures in Inner Space. That’s because you’re going to design the blueprint for your new self, the person you want to become.
All right, let’s get started. Be generous with your self. Keep in mind, there are few, if any, unsatisfactory aspects of your current life that can’t be recreated for the better.
STEP1: Make a categorical list of the negative and outdated beliefs that you want to discard, leaving plenty of space after each belief to complete Steps 2 thru 4. As you do Step 1, remind your self that this list represents your personal beliefs and not irrevocable facts of life.
STEP2: Examine these beliefs, one at a time. Ask your self, “Why do I accept this limiting attitude?” In each case, write down your reason(s).
STEP 3: In each case, write an objective evaluation of your reason(s). In other words, evaluate each of your beliefs as if you weren’t the person who had accepted them, but simply an interested non-believer.
STEP 4: Write the new, positive belief that you want to replace the old false, negative, or outdated idea.
YOUR GUIDE FOR THIS ADVENTURE
During our first meeting, Lee blurted, “I’m trying to find a reason to go on living.” Lee had health, financial security, a beautiful home and good friends. But none of them mattered to him. A year before our first meeting, he’d lost his wife to cancer. Making matters worse, he’d become disenchanted and bored with his work. A loving marriage and a dynamic career had been Lee’s reasons for being. Now they were gone. He felt like an empty shell of his former self. He believed that future happiness and fulfillment were unlikely, possibly impossible.
After completing the previous Inner Space Adventures, Lee had become somewhat hopeful about the future. He grew into the understanding that, for him, Re-Creating Your Self meant changing negative attitudes and feelings of hopelessness in at least three areas: relationships, aging and career.
You’ll have your own categories of beliefs that require re-creating. Lee’s guiding example provides a workable template for designing your own blueprint for personal change.
LEE, 48-YEARS OLD:
1. Negative belief: I will never again find happiness with a woman.
2. Reasons for my belief: Betty was my high school sweetheart, my one and only love. We couldn’t have children, so we built our lives around one another. I’ve never loved any one as much as I loved Betty. No one has ever brought me so much happiness. No one has ever cared so much about me. Betty was my wife, my best friend, my little girl and, sometimes, my mother. Quite simply, she’s irreplaceable.
3. Objective evaluation of my belief: I understand that (1) I’m still mourning Betty, (2) I’m feeling sorry for myself, (3) I’m feeling guilty for surviving my wife.
This is difficult for me to admit, but because you insist that I be objective, I admit that it’s possible I could find happiness with another woman, though I’m not ready to try at this time. I’m not saying that another woman could ever replace Betty, but I may someday find a woman with qualities of her own that I’d find appealing and lovable.
4. New belief: When I’m ready, I can have a relationship, or even a second marriage, that will return happiness and meaning to my life.
1. Negative belief: At 48, I’m at least thirteen years too old to start thinking about a new career.
2. Reasons for my belief: It’s just a fact of life. These days, you’re over-the-hill at 35, at least as it concerns starting a new career.
3. Objective evaluation of my belief: Ooops! I belief this is an example of mistaking a culturally prevalent attitude for an irrevocable fact of life. I suppose there are many people who successfully start a new career, or even go back to school to learn new career skills, during middle age. In fact, I personally know at least three people who have done this very thing.
4. New belief: My ability to change successfully doesn’t decrease with age, and that includes my ability to change careers.
1. Negative belief: There’s really nothing more I want to learn about the real estate business.
2. Reason for my belief: I’m bored with the business. I’ve been in residential real estate for 26 years. The thrill is gone.
3. Objective evaluation of my belief: All right, maybe it’s not the business. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I, and not the business, am boring. After more than a quarter of a century, I’ve become complacent, developing an arrogant, know-it-all attitude.
4. New belief: With the right attitude, my business can become exciting, fresh and stimulating again. There is always something new to learn about any business.
When completed, this Inner Space Adventure becomes your Re-Creating Your Self Blueprint. Like everything in life, your blueprint is subject to change. Make additions as you discover beliefs that need changing.
A Re-Creating Your Self Thought: You may be asking your self, “How am I going to make the changes I’ve described in my blueprint?” The answer: The greater self-understanding you now possess will assist you in accepting new beliefs. Additional assistance will be provided by the powerful tools for change we’ll examine in upcoming columns.
Next Up: Thinking for Your Self.
Have a comment, observation, or question about Re-Creating Your Self? Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2009 by Christopher Stone