Re-alignment: “To put back into proper order or alignment”
Last week we looked at how to identify if you’re off track and the fact that it is possible to re-direct yourself and start being intentional about the choices you’re making. I also said that just because this is possible doesn’t mean it will be automatic or easy. When you’ve discovered you’re off track and you’ve decided to re-align yourself, there is a process you’ll follow.
- It all starts with a decision. Decide you want to see a change in your life. We change our behaviour when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing (Dr. Henry Cloud). Spend some time critically examining your life and identify the areas that are off track. Commit to seeing these areas change for the better.
- You need to know who you are and where you’re supposed to be. Every product has a manufacturer and the manufacturer knows the purpose for which the product was created. If you truly want to know who you are and where you’re supposed to be, the first place to start is with your maker. Ask consistently, openly, honestly, “who am I created to be?”, “where am I supposed to be in life?”, “what am I supposed to do?”. You will get an answer, be open to accepting and responding to the answer you get.
- You need to have a plan. It’s one thing to know what to do, it’s another to do it. Once you’ve identified and highlighted the areas in your life you need to make some changes, you must create a plan to bring those changes to life. Your plan should be at two levels: strategic and tactical. For example, strategic would be to identify that you need to upskill yourself in some areas. Tactical is to identify the institution that provides the necessary training, identify the specific program that you need to participate in, plan for the funding and register for it. Put your plan in writing so you can track it and make sure you don’t lose focus.
- You’ll need to remind yourself daily about who you really are and where you want to go. This is sometimes called affirmation – which simply means telling yourself clearly, audibly and emphatically who you are. Your affirmation typically should begin with. “I am…” and then tell yourself who you envision to be and what you see yourself doing, in the present tense. For example, you may say, “I am a creative being, I have clear direction and function in clarity”, not “I will be…. etc.”. Repetition is key because you need to train your mind to accept what you’re telling it. Once your mind accepts it, your thought patterns will begin to change accordingly.
- You also need to be willing to make the required changes in your life. Perhaps you used to speak negatively about yourself. Stop doing that immediately. Perhaps you are surrounded by people who do not align with where you’re going – start distancing yourself from such people. Truth is change can be pretty uncomfortable, but stick with it knowing that the discomfort is only temporary.
- Be accountable. You need to identify the people who will hold you accountable for the changes you have planned to make and help guide you along the way. Ideally the people you choose are willing and able to share their own success stories with you as well as be firm with you where and when necessary.
The process may not be easy, but it certainly will be worth it.