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Change or Remain...4 Simple Premises for Personal Development

“...Well if you can’t get what you love

You learn to love the things you’ve got

If you can’t be what you want

You learn to be the things you’re not

If you can’t get what you need

You learn to need the things that stop you dreaming

All the things that stop you dreaming...”

The Things that Stop you Dreaming - All the Little Lights - Passenger (2012)

The beginning is yours. Where you start, where you begin, can only ever belong to you.

The things that stop you are yours too. Your decisions, you choices, your actions will be the determiners as to whether you choose to stay where you are, or progress towards that goal. Whatever that goal, a new job, relationship or health, you’re in control of the outcome. You choose whether you accept and stop dreaming or not.

These 4 premises are fundamental and may help you organise your thoughts....

Premise #1. Your life is yours! Take responsibility.

The initial step in our process for personal change is to understand and believe that you are in control. The decisions you take. The positions you adopt. The beliefs you have. These are yours and yours alone. Whilst there are always going to be external factors which impact upon us, the results of these factors, what we do in respect of these is down to the decisions we make. Sometimes that choice is really simple, obvious and an easy step to take. At other times that decision may be more challenging, less clear and a step into the unknown. However we move forward, the decision to move forward is always our own and made due to the choices and decisions we make. It’s simply not possible to place the cause for our circumstances at the feet of another. We are responsible for what we do within our environment, the decisions we make, choices we take and the actions we undertake as a result of these.

Premise #2. My perspective is my reality. Yours is yours.

In the same way, the map of the world that I have is not the map of the world that you have. The interpretation you make of these words, may be very different to the person sat across from you. We each approach life based on the personal experience and perceptions we have. These are largely built from and guided by the belief systems we have built and values we attribute. Our beliefs and values will fundamentally determine how we perceive an event and as such drive the behaviours and actions we undertake. Whilst we can always develop an empathic understanding towards another’s choices and decisions, we will never truly understand it as we are not them. This means that what’s right for you is right for you. You can’t base your decisions on the feedback and evaluations of others.

Premise #3. What you focus on is what you get. Your focus determines your reality.

What we put our attention to is what we notice the most. If we become interested in a certain type of product, we will simply begin to notice that product more. Your brain is currently being bombarded with thousands of pieces of sensory information. Yet it’s estimated that our conscious mind can only handle around 100 pieces of information per second. There’s then a huge process of selective reduction of this information, that must happen. The reticular activating system (RAS) is a tiny part of the brain which determines what information is relevant and what’s not. There are some pieces of information which will always be prioritised (for example things that threaten our physical safety). However the RAS can be focused, guided by our internal values and beliefs and what we most identify with. For example, if we then begin to place an increased value on a certain colour or physical characteristic, it is likely that our RAS will prioritise all the information available to us regarding this. We begin to notice it more and more often. Our values and beliefs focus our attention. Our RAS then prioritises information which confirm and support the values and beliefs.

Premise #4. Change is possible.

This is fundamental internal representation/belief that is central to your success. To achieve anything, we must fundamentally believe that the end is possible. Whilst the decision to make changes, and associated actions, may be challenging, the underlying reality is that you can decide to change.

It’s down to you to keep dreaming. It’s your choice to change, or to remain.

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