Change Is An Opportunity
For Self-Growth

Self-Awareness 101 Episode 14: Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional

In this episode we discuss how everything changes. But change does not guarantee growth. Self-Growth is a choice. Willard explores several questions that you can ask yourself to assist you in turning "change" into an opportunity for growth.

< EP 13: Power of Belief Systems                EP 15: You Always Have Choices >

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Today we're going to explore that change is inevitable, but growth... self-growth is optional.

This is going to be a silly question, but have you ever noticed that everything changes? Technology changes at a breakneck pace. The community you live in changes - you leave for a week, come back, there's a new store that's been built or one that has closed its doors. Friendships change, seasons change, your body changes... everything in and around you changes.

The challenge with change is two-fold. First many of us think that change equals growth. We think that because change occurs in our lives, we automatically grow. Growth, is a conscious choice. Growth is about adapting to those changes in ways that will serve you, and others. The second challenge with change is that most people fear change at any level. The fear that it will bring new circumstances that they cannot deal with. They fear both success and failure coming with change, as well as fearing that they may not be good enough to deal with it, or that they will be criticized for the very fact that they have changed. Many people are so scared of change, that they fight it every step of the way and are not willing to take the steps that would allow them to grow.

We fear change just because it's different; we fear change or we avoid change because we've been taught that we are not supposed to "rock the boat" that "It is just how it is." But again, change happens and it happens constantly. When we look at our society anywhere from a personal level to a global level, you see that relationships change. If the relationships change and you don't grow, the relationship ends. Economic situations change. If you don't grow, if you don't adapt, you're going to find yourself in trouble. The way that we operate globally changes. If you don't educate yourself, take that responsibility to learn how to interact in that new global community, you're going to find yourself struggling.

So how can you become active in the process of self-growth? How do you become aware that it is time to grow? What has to happen for you to actually desire to grow? First thing is, you'll notice that you have become uncomfortable with how life is. What used to work for you, no longer gets you the results you want. When you become aware of the shift, then you can make the conscious choice that you are going to adapt. But growing is beyond adapting. As I mentioned earlier, growth is about adapting to those changes in ways that will serve you, and others.

I'll give you an example of growing. It begins by deciding who you desire to be. I like to refer to is creating the grandest version of yourself. When you decide that you are taking responsibility for your life and circumstances, when you're committed to growing, you need to create a vision of who it is that you desire to be. Ultimately you should do this for every aspect of your life. Who do you desire to be in regards to your physical health? You relationships? Your finances? Your spiritual life? Look at all areas of your life and create the grandest vision of who you desire to be. When you have that grandest vision of who you desire to be, it makes it so much easier to make choices that serve you when it is time for change.

But to start with, just look at one area. One piece at a time. I'm not talking about your complete life vision in this first sitting. That can be so overwhelming you never want to sit down and even begin. Ask yourself, "Where is the best place for me to start? As I go over my life, my relationship, my finances, my health... If I were to pick one area, just one, and take small bite what would it be?"

When you have the grandest vision of who you desire to be in that area, then you can make informed decisions on how you will grow to become that person.

The example that I want to share, for me, was my life as a musician. I was living in Pennsylvania, I had decided that I wanted to record a CD of original music and become a professional singer and songwriter. At the time, I was in a very successful band that played other people's music. But I had a grander vision for myself. I left the band and recorded a demo tape that started getting great reactions from people in the music industry. I had received interest from a manager who used to manage Don McClean, the singer/songwriter that was famous for American Pie, and also had gotten the interest of a music publisher who worked for MCA records in New York City. These two men were very interested in my music, and they asked me to move closer to New York City so they could see how I developed as a singer and a songwriter.

Well, that was an opportunity for change. Change was being offered to me. But I decided not to just go with the change; I decided that was going to grow. If I was going to move from the small pond to the big ocean, I needed to step up my game. So I had to create the grandest vision of myself of who I was going to be as a singer and a songwriter. So I started listening to all the CDs that I had. And I looked for the singer that impacted me the most. At the time, Richie Sambora, the guitar player for Bon Jovi, had just released his first solo album Stranger in This Town. And when he sang, I felt the emotion in every note. And I said to myself, "If I'm going to do this, I want to be able to make people feel the way that I feel when I hear Richie sing." So I looked at the liner notes and found out who his vocal coach was. I looked in the phone book, scheduled an appointment to audition with her and after being accepted, I went and studied with her. I also listened to productions of other albums, and heard music that sounded the way that I wanted my music to sound. I created the grandest vision. And I found a producer who did one of those albums, sought him out and went to work with him. I created the grandest vision for myself and worked toward it. Now, there are some other steps I'm not covering here in my own personal story, but we're going to cover them for you because a lot of people are going, "Ok, that’s great, it worked for you, how do I do it?"

Well here's specifically how you do it. I want you to pick out one area of your life. Just one specific area right now. It could be your health, it could be your finances, it could be your relationship, it could be your job...you pick out one area. Take a moment right now and let's do this together. Take a moment and pick out one area that you are committed to growing in right now.

Now that you have isolated that area, this is going to take a little bit longer for you to actually do this, so you might want to pause this, or you might want to write down the things that I'm going to ask you to go through with and then you can take a break and do the exercise.

What I want you to do now is create the grandest vision of yourself. You know what? Pause it now, and just go and create the grandest vision of in that area. For this example, I'm going to say specifically in health, just to give you an idea of how this is going to go. I want you to imagine what your ideal body weight would be, or your body fat, if that's what you're familiar with and use as a measure of your health, or what pants or dress size you're going to be wearing. Imagine the vision of how you would be, in the most ultimate example you can imagine for yourself. What would the grandest vision for your health be, or whatever area you chose? Create that right now. Go into very specific detail. And then pause this and come back later after you've done it.

Now, after you've created the grandest vision of yourself, here's what I want you to find out. I want you to ask yourself, "What would I have to believe to be that person? What would I have to believe about myself? What would I have to believe about what's possible? What would I possibly have to believe about other people?" If the area you chose is regarding finances or your job? "What would I have to believe is possible for me to achieve? What is possible if I look at things globally?" Just ask yourself, to be that grandest vision; what would you have to believe? Again I'm going use the example of health. Maybe you have to believe that you have the ability to eat healthy meals every day. Or you have the ability to exercise in a way that lessens your body fat and builds muscle mass. What are the belief systems that will best support you in becoming the grandest version of yourself in the specific area you're working on right now?

And the next question you need to ask is, "Who do I have to be?" Because becoming that grandest vision is about being that person now, not waiting until you get there. It is about starting to be that person now at this very moment. Being the person who exercises every day. Being the person who looks at their food and asks, "Is this healthy, or not?" Who do you have to be, in this moment, to move toward that grandest vision of yourself?

The next thing I want you to ask yourself is this. "How do I need to act?" Maybe you need to choose to not go out and party on a Friday night. Maybe you need to study. Maybe you need to remove some bad habits. How do you have to act to become the grandest version of yourself? Write these things down, because they are going to be the fuel that moves you forward.

Another thing that may not seem to be a big deal is asking yourself, "How do I need to communicate to achieve this grandest vision?" You need to watch what you say about yourself. Notice if you begin saying, "I can't do this because of this or that reason." Change the dialogue you have with yourself. Communicate with yourself in a supportive manner. "I can do this because I am committed. I am committed to no less than the grandest vision I have of myself."

1) What do you have to believe? 2) Who do you have to be? 3) How do you have to act? 4) How do you need to communicate to become the grandest vision of the grandest version of yourself?

You deserve these things for yourself. Just take one area of your life right now, focus on that, and after you have mastered this area, you're going to apply it to other areas of your life.

People are asking, "What does this have to do with becoming self aware?" It's about becoming aware that growth is your choice. If you do not take responsibility for your own growth, life will take you bouncing off walls on this journey. Be aware that growth is your responsibility.

So I look forward to hearing about the grandest vision you've created for yourself. I look forward to hearing about the resources that you used to become your grandest version of yourself. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Take care.

You can jump from Change Is An Opportunity For Self-Growth to our next free video in the series, Self Awareness 101 Establishing Personal Boundaries 

< EP 13: Power of Belief Systems               EP 15: You Always Have Choices > 

Choose the next Episode you would like to watch from the list below:

Self-Awareness 101 Series with Transcription Plus

Introduction To Self-Awareness 101:  To Inspire, Educate and Empower
SA 101 Episode 1:  The Importance of Developing Self-Awareness 
SA 101 Episode 2:  How to Truly Learn from Mistakes
SA 101 Episode 3:  To Soar, I Needed To Let Go Of The Past
SA 101 Episode 4:  The Meaning That We Give Things
SA 101 Episode 5:  Kind Words And Good Deeds Are Eternal
SA 101 Episode 6:  Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
SA 101 Episode 7:  Two Most Powerful Words You'll Ever Say
SA 101 Episode 8:  Making Time For What's Truly Important
SA 101 Episode 9:  Expectations and Desires About How It Ought To Be
SA 101 Episode 10:  Tap Into The Sources Of The Universe
SA 101 Episode 11:  The Four Agreements
SA 101 Episode 12:  Courage-Being Scared But Saddling Up Anyways
SA 101 Episode 13:  The Power Of Belief Systems
SA 101 Episode 14:  Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional
SA 101 Episode 15:  Establishing Personal Boundaries; It's OK To Say No
SA 101 Episode 16:  Encountering External Resistance To Change
SA 101 Episode 17:  Creating A Supportive Environment
SA 101 Episode 18:  Our Decisions Determine Who We Become
SA 101 Episode 19:  Personal Development Tests
SA 101 Episode 20:  A List Of Excuses Vs. Results
SA 101 Episode 21:  The Meaning Of Honesty
SA 101 Episode 22:  Living In Gratitude
SA 101 Episode 23:  Repetitive Patterns
SA 101 Episode 24:  Non-Verbal Cues
SA 101 Episode 25:  Be Brave Enough To Accept The Help Of Others
SA 101 Episode 26:  Positive Thoughts And Positive Intentions
SA 101 Episode 27:  Active Listening Skills
SA 101 Episode 28:  How Self-Awareness Relates To Spirituality
SA 101 Episode 29:  Positive Affirmations 
SA 101 Episode 30:  Basic Meditation Exercises
SA 101 Episode 31:  Personal Development At Work
SA 101 Episode 32:  Toxic Shame
SA 101 Episode 33:  Eliminating Clutter
SA 101 Episode 34:  How To Forgive Others
SA 101 Episode 35:  Self-Forgiveness
SA 101 Episode 36:  Deepening Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 37:  What Is Fear?
SA 101 Episode 38:  How To Overcome Fear
SA 101 Episode 39:  Dealing With Your Anger
SA 101 Episode 40:  How To Find Your Passion
SA 101 Episode 41:  Increasing Your Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 42:  How To Feel Deserving
SA 101 Episode 43:  How To Be A Humble Observer
SA 101 Episode 44:  Progress Not Perfection
SA 101 Episode 45:  Expectations And Perfectionism
SA 101 Episode 46:  Dealing With Anger
SA 101 Episode 47:  Taking Responsibility For Yourself
SA 101 Episode 48:  Achieving Higher Consciousness
SA 101 Episode 49:  Trust Life
SA 101 Episode 50:  Being Skeptical
SA 101 Episode 51:  Benefits Of Closure
SA 101 Episode 52:  The Final Episode 

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