How do we become the kind of person we want to be?
Can you say, with 100% certainty, that you are the person you want to be?
Are you living your best life?
Are you absolutely sure that you are in control of yourself, your thoughts, your life?
Some people seem to have this all figured out. They are passionate about their cause, they improve upon themselves every day, and they are open to rolling with the punches.
What’s the secret?
No one is forcing them to make identity changes in their life. They are improving themselves, building their preferred identity because they want to.
We all have our reasons why we think we should be better human beings. We know that with less stress we could have time to spend with our families, nurture our relationships, revel in the richness of real presence.
Psychology describes this internal drive as intrinsic motivation. Its counterpart is an external force, what they call extrinsic motivation. The difference in these two motivations is of paramount importance when it comes to the fortitude and success of implementing changes in your life to become the kind of person you want to be.
Not sure of what your intrinsic motivations are? Here is a quick guide:
- Take a few minutes to reflect on the person you are. Remember to be honest with yourself, think of your actions and feelings, and determine the kind of person you are and not what you want people to think you are.
- Now think of the kind of person you want to be. Notice I said be not have, they’re personal characteristics.
- If you were to implement these changes into your life, to become the kind of person you want to be, how would your life change for the better?
- What would you do with these new positive traits? Start to think of why you want these traits in particular.
Here is an example:
Life’s little stressors create an air of confusion and urgency in your day to day life. You find yourself being short with your loved ones. You realize that the patient and the gracious person you always wanted to be is not who you have become and are determined to rectify that. Why is patience and graciousness important to me and what do I stand to gain by utilizing these characteristics? I want to be free of stress in order to have meaningful, quality time with my family and be more patient with my children.
That’ it, right there.. that is how you can determine your intrinsic motivations.
The desire to be present and positively impactful in your children’s lives and be a kinder and more patient person with your loved ones. These are the factors that will allow you to stay motivated to make the changes you want to make in the long run. These are the intrinsic motivations.
No one is saying that change is easy. It’s not, it’s actually really hard. What makes the difference, what tips the scales in favor of success instead of complacency, is why you are making the changes. Only you can know why you are doing it. Incorporating the changes into your life takes time and effort. You have to do it over, and over, and over to make yourself convert your old behaviors into new behaviors. Your new go-to reactions.
Choosing not to choose, and being reactive rather than proactive in training yourself to be who you want to be, is also a choice.
Who do you aspire to be? Why do you want that? How will it change your life?
It’s up to you. Choose your identity wisely. We will drill down on the “How’s” in a subsequent post. We will show you how.