Advertising
Advertising

How to Use Your Power of Self To Make Huge Life Changes in 21 Days

How to Use Your Power of Self To Make Huge Life Changes in 21 Days


    Most people choose to stay the same their entire lives, but the successful people of the world choose to constantly improve, to constantly work on themselves, and even make drastic changes in their lives to become more effective.

    Improving skills is one thing, but when you talk about deep down personality changes like becoming a more outgoing and confident person or molding yourself into a leader, these aren’t things you can do by just learning alone.

    I’ve always wondered how people seem to make such massive changes in themselves in such short amounts of time.

    • How does a nervous introvert become a confident influential speaker?
    • How does a struggling athlete become a determined champion?
    • How does a sub-par student become an academic honors member?

    It All Starts with 100% Belief in Yourself

    Over the past few weeks since reading Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, the book that pioneered a massive chunk of the self-improvement industry, I’ve been experimenting with habit change of my own with some pretty good success.

    One of the things I’ve been working on is becoming a more confident speaker. I’ve done a fair amount of speaking in my life in classroom settings, and some in training sessions for my consulting business, but not too many in large professional settings, such as speaking at conferences.

    When I found myself struggling with this sort of speaking environment I knew I needed to improve as this was going to be a large part of my future. But I wasn’t really sure why I was struggling. I had done fine in other areas of speaking. Why not this one?

    Psycho Cybernetics helped me realize that even though I did fine in other speaking environments, I didn’t truly believe in my abilities in this kind of high pressure setting. I had never experienced it before, so I would build it up and get really nervous. I didn’t truly believe that I could excel.

    The Step of Self-Examination

    The self-examination, awareness, and recognition of the fact that I didn’t 100% believe in myself was huge in the actions that I was able to take to improve in this area on my life. This is a huge key to any kind of self improvement. If you’re struggling with anything, first dig deep down and figure out why.

    Advertising

    Do you truly believe in yourself? If not, why?

    Is it because of past experiences? Is it because you’ve never had an encounter in this area before? Is it because someone else has influenced your opinions?

    Once you figure that out, you’ll have identified your true beliefs, and you’ll be much closer to figuring out your course of action to improving in this area.

    That was huge for me. It made me come to a realization.

    The Incredible Power of the Self

    Napolean Hill once said

    “Anything the mind of a person can conceive and believe, the mind of that person can achieve.”

    In all of the things I’ve been successful with in my life, such as getting a graduate degree, winning golf tournaments, nailing high dollar contracts for my business, and even delivering great speeches the few times I have done that, the one commonality in my success with all of those things is this.

    I never had a doubt in my mind that I could do them. I believed in myself 100%. I was confident I could succeed, and I didn’t let anything stop me from doing so.

    At the time I didn’t even realize it. But looking back on those situations, I realized that this was absolutely true.

    Advertising

    And that was really powerful. Recognizing this helped me realize that success with any area of life starts well before execution. It starts with owning a 100% belief in yourself that you can do something. It starts with eliminating any doubt whatsoever from your mind.

    If you can do this, you truly can do anything.

    This unfortunately wasn’t the case for me with professional speaking. I had reservations and doubts in my abilities, and it came through in my performance in these settings.

    So I tried out a couple of techniques designed to help change habits – visualization and positive self-talk, and I’ve had some pretty good success so far.

    21 Days to a Huge Life Change

    It takes around three weeks of perpetual action for a new habit to really set in and start becoming part of your subconscious.

    At first when I heard this I thought, “that sounds like a lot of work”. But then I thought to myself, what do I have to lose, right? A little bit of time just before bed? A few minutes each morning?”

    That’s nothing on the grand scheme of a lifetime of successful speaking. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Don’t let excuses get in your way like I almost did.

    So for three weeks, I spent about 15 minutes per day visualizing myself performing well in professional speaking situations. Each night before I went to sleep, I played a detailed loop in my mind of exactly the things I would do from start to finish. I would visualize a variety of different speaking situations I might end up in, and I would carefully place every detail I could in these visualizations, down to the color of the paint on the walls.

    These were very detailed visualizations that put me directly in the environments I would most likely be in.

    Advertising

    And after about three weeks, actually a little less, I started feeling much more confident in myself and my abilities. I started speaking better without even thinking about it. This ability became a part of me, not something I had to force myself to do. It was… just natural.

    Believe me I was pretty skeptical when I started. I thought this was a bit silly, but it really did work.

    You see the mind can’t tell the difference between what goes on in your imagination and what goes on in real life. When you visualize and rehearse, you are actually practicing and honing your skills just as you would in the real world, which allows you to ingrain subconscious habits. This way when the real situation does occur, you’ll have already done it 100 times in your mind, and you’ll be ready for it.

    It’s important to note that I still continue this technique to this day. I feel like this is a very powerful practice that I’ll always use. I’m actually starting to work in other things as well, such as working on my professional presence, and my ability to work networking events.

    But I Didn’t Just Visualize

    Throughout this same time period, I also used what is known as positive self-talk. It might sound a little nutty, but it works. I would stand in front of the mirror in the mornings and talk to myself.

    • “I am a confident and effective speaker”
    • “I am the kind of person who speaks very well”
    • “I am energetic, charismatic, and influential when I speak”

    And other positive affirmations about my abilities when speaking.

    Notice that all of those phrases identify me as a great speaker. I’m not saying “I have good speaking abilities.” I am actually identifying myself as an effective speaker. “I AM a confident and effective speaker.”

    The difference here is huge. If you use this technique, you must do the same. You must identify yourself as whatever you want to be by using phrases like:

    • “I am the kind of person who ______”
    • “I am a successful ______”
    • “I am a confident and successful ______”

    This is very important in transforming not just your skills, but your self-image – the actual picture of yourself that you hold in your mind that determines what you will ultimately be.

    Advertising

    I’m not gonna lie. It felt really weird at first to talk to myself in the mirror, and I had to really force myself to do it, but after about a week I went from this feeling awkward to this feeling very positive. I actually looked forward to it as a part of my morning routine and could feel my confidence improving each and every day.

    The Results

    I’ve been doing this for about a month now, and not only have my nerves begun to calm in speaking situations, but I’ve also noticed that I’m more confident in other areas of my life as well.

    Where I used to be timid to talk with those in more authoritative positions, I’m now confident in my abilities to approach them and have meaningful conversations. Where I used to be reluctant to put myself out and in front of the world, I am now much more confident to do so (this post exemplifies that).

    The benefit has been great so far, and I will continue my work in this area of my development.

    The greatest thing I learned with this experiment is that I now have the power to change any ingrained habit just by using these two simple techniques.

    And you can do exactly the same… for absolutely anything in your life you wish to change.

    (Photo credit: Child in Superhero Costume via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    Cody Wheeler

    Cody is a self-improvement blogger at Academy Success, the place to learn life skills you don't learn in school.

    Are You Making This Major Daily To-Do List Mistake? unlock hidden hours 3 Simple Hacks to Unlock 5 Hidden Hours Each Week staying in debt 11 Reasons Why You Stay In Debt Why Your Silly Bucket List is Holding You Back How to Use Your Power of Self To Make Huge Life Changes in 21 Days

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 8 Best Teas for Weight Loss and Fat Burning 2 5 Killer Stomach Workouts for Impressive Abs and Core 3 The Effects of Stress on Your Body And Mind (You Never Knew) 4 7 Signs You’re Burnt out (And How to Bounce Back) 5 How to Cope with COVID Anxiety And Stress

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

    Advertising

    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

    Advertising

    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

    Advertising

    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

      Advertising

      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next