After 3 months of my journey, I’ve worked out that living in flux is thrusting me along a path of self-development, and that makes me very happy indeed! Here I’m sharing the conclusions from my journey so far, as 3 easy steps to personal growth that you can try yourself. There are no shortcuts in life, but I’m finding there are ways to hack every problem!
3 easy steps to personal growth
- Step 1. Explore the limits of your comfort zone ALL THE TIME
I’m spending this year trying a new thing every week, I call this my ‘Weekly Challenge’ and it ensures that, no matter what my circumstances, each seven days is a self-contained chapter dedicated to a new skill, experience or discipline. Whether it is learning to love something I hate, volunteering for a cause I believe in or eating only raw food, each week I start off outside my comfort zone, and in that space – unencumbered by skill or habit – the real ‘me’ is much easier to see.Now you try
Try it yourself, commit to something new for just one week. Seven days of novelty is a small ask, yet big self discovery lies only one step outside your comfort zone.
- Step 2. Ditch the old routines NOW!
I’ve also pulled the plug on almost all my old routines, leaving work, home and social circles behind to travel across the Americas. So here again, all of the usual habit-driven stresses and strains which might distort my character are removed, making my true personality more plainly visible.Now you try
Obviously I realise that not everyone can drop their life to galavant round the world, but why not start with your weekends, early mornings or lunchtimes. Drop every habit associated with those periods and try approaching them in a different way. Take a different route to work, say ‘hi’ to everyone you see, eat something new. It doesn’t matter what you do, but ditching pointless old routines and making your free time sacred again is a great way to find out who you really are, and what might be missing from your life.
- Step 3. Set a time limit, then forget about the future
Finally, living in flux for a predefined period leaves me unencumbered with thoughts of the future. I’ve written off this year, que séra séra. So, aside from short-term travel plans and long-term pipe dreams, I have no career or life goals which keep me up at night, no ambition to cloud the business of day-to-day living. I have a vague idea of what next week’s Challenge might be, and where in the world I might be doing it, but this could still change!Now you try
This final step is the easiest of all. We write periods of time off so often we don’t even realise we’re doing it. I bet you wrote off a large chunk of the last 24 hours for sleep, and a fair portion of last week to work and pastimes, heck you probably wrote off 3-5 years for school/university. My approach is no different, just write off a period of time and tell yourself that, for that precious stretch, you’re going to live in the moment, preferably whilst trying something new and ditching the old habits. Watch your anxieties about life, success and failure evaporate before your eyes. Sure, they’ll be back, but you’ll be a better, more focused ‘you’, ready to face them with fresh purpose.
Conclusion: living in flux CAN lead to personal growth
So those were my 3 easy steps to personal growth. Having followed these steps, my status, three months into My Year In Flux, truly is one of flux. I have begun the process of removing the baggage and armour of adult life, leaving a simpler, more mindful self beneath, ready for personal growth. I don’t like everything that I see, but the more time I spend outside my comfort zone, away from my daily habits and the pressures of real life, the more my resolve strengthens towards personal growth.
And where did this all begin? About a year ago, I asked myself these three questions:
1. Do I want to change?
2. Would I be happier if I changed?
3. Can I change?
If you, like me, answered yes to all three, perhaps it’s time to consider action. Good luck, and please let me know if any of this is helpful in the comments below.