Create life change with 5 principles
In the book Best Self: Be You, Only Better, life coach Mike Bayer talks about 5 foundational truths that are helpful tools to create and experience life change.
These principles target and challenge your mindset, which is where change begins.
Bayer tells his readers that they must be committed to approaching change with these 5 principles:
When you get to a place where you anticipate or are ready to make a life change, you first need to look within. Your transformation starts on the inside, because if your mindset doesn’t support the actions you want to take, you won’t get very far. Your thoughts and beliefs about yourself can ultimately prevent you from reaching the goals you’ve set.
In this post, I’ll be summarizing the author’s explanation of how these principles can help you change your life after 50 and achieve your biggest goals.
Curiosity about yourself
Curiosity is the strong desire to know or learn something. It’s where true learning begins.
When we become curious about ourselves, we are inspired to gain a deeper understanding of our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, decisions, dreams, passions, etc. We become a student of ourselves.
In the internet-age, we’ve grown accustomed to Google satisfying our curiosity with quick facts and immediate information. With just a few keystrokes we have an answer to our question.
However, this doesn’t help much with knowing more about yourself. Google doesn’t have those answers, and searching for some personal, internal enlightenment through a search engine will only leave you frustrated.
If you search your inner being, and look within yourself for answers, you’re not just looking for trivial information. You’re exploring those areas in your mind and heart that can help you understand who you really are.
This can be kind of scary for most. So many people avoid digging too deep, because … well … ignorance is bliss, right? The more we are aware of, the more complicated things can get.
It’s enough to have to deal with the external troubles in your life – why would you go searching for junk you’re walking around with 24/7? Just the idea of stirring up the mud can be emotionally draining.
But, I’m convinced, there’s no way around it. You have to face your demons directly, or they’ll always have some control in your life. The best way to overcome any fear is to face it head-on.
Someone once said that courage is being scared but doing it anyway. When you confront those dark places in your heart and mind – when you call them out and wrestle with them – you only increase your inner power and courage. You also realize you’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.
A great way to learn more about yourself is to engage in experiential learning. This means using all of your senses to explore your thought patterns, your actions, and how you engage with the world around you. You want to develop a sharp awareness of how your thoughts lead to your behaviors, and how they affect the way you interact in relationships.
As much as you can, become an objective observer of the person you are. Look at yourself as someone you’re studying, so you can understand what really makes you tick. Take notes, keep a log, journal about your findings.
Your objective is to find those areas that need improvement, so you can be the best version of yourself possible.
This curiosity about yourself will lead you down paths you’ve never explored before. You’ll be enlightened in new ways, and your mind will begin to open up to new ideas and perspectives.
One caution: don’t get hung up on all of your faults and flaws.
Being curious isn’t about looking for everything that’s wrong with you and getting down on yourself. Remember, you want to engage in change because you care about the person you want to become.
So, be honest but give yourself grace. Allow your insights to move you toward an understanding of your whole self, so you know which direction you need to go.
Honesty with yourself
Denial can be a comfortable place to stay. Which is why so many people are stuck in the same dysfunctional and unhealthy patterns.
Unless you’re honest with yourself about what needs to change, you will continually come up against road blocks that prevent you from making progress.
According to Bayer, wisdom begins with honesty. In order to make better choices in your life, you need to always be in pursuit of wisdom.
Of course, you can be honest without integrity. So, it’s important that your truth is aligned with your moral standards.
Your honesty needs to come from a desire to do the right thing, so you can do right by yourself through the process.
You need total honesty to truly discover the person you want to become.
So, take some time to think of issues in your life you’ve been avoiding.
What are you in denial about?
What secrets need to be dragged out into the light and dealt with?
Are you harboring shame over anything?
Engage with the process of change from a place of truth. Respect yourself by being honest in every area of your life.
Openness to learning
I’ve written before about limiting beliefs and how harmful they can be.
If you don’t know what a limiting belief is, it’s basically a belief accepted as truth that “limits” a person’s full potential. These deceiving thoughts convince the believer that there is a ceiling on what’s possible in their lives.
The tricky thing about belief ceilings is that they can be very convincing. Once you’ve convinced yourself of a certain belief, it’s tough to be open to the possibility that you could be wrong.
However, unless your belief set is based on facts, then there’s always the possibility that part of your belief system is faulty.
Many times we choose not to change because we believe our efforts won’t get us the results we want. We’re too committed to the false belief that our income is limited, or success depends on talent we don’t have, or we’re too old to try something new.
It’s only when you open yourself up to the idea that *maybe* your limited mindset is holding you back from what you really want out of life, that you give yourself the opportunity to see the true answers. Answers that were always there – you were just closed off to them.
It’s helpful to understand that this is just being human. Your brain naturally wants to protect you, so it resists any ideas that could possibly upset the status quo. If things are working fine the way they are, your brain will consider that “safe”.
But, your brain doesn’t know the difference between escaping a real danger or trying to develop better habits. It’s all a threat to the brain, which is why most people resist change in their lives.
That’s why it’s important to be intentional about your thoughts. Don’t leave it up to your feelings. Take control of your mindset and *tell* your brain what to think.
This is where it’s important to be open to learning and accepting new ideas, beliefs, strategies, concepts, etc.
Open up your mind to trying new things and accepting the fact that you don’t have all the answers. (If you did, you probably wouldn’t be where you are now.)
As you read and listen and learn and grow, remain teachable – always soaking in new ideas and points of view. I’m not saying to accept everything – be sure you are lining up any new knowledge with your life values and principles.
As you step into the journey of exploring who you are now and who you want to be, remember to be open to doing what’s necessary to get there.
Focusing on your goals
I take in a lot of different content – from blogs to books to podcasts to YouTube videos. I’m always trying to fill my mind with positive reinforcement and new knowledge because I know how easily I can get off track.
The more I take in, the more I realize that personal development isn’t complicated. In fact, those that teach how to better yourself are all really saying the same thing, just with different twists.
One of those ideas is how focus makes the difference between success and giving up. The only difference between someone who reached their goals and someone who didn’t is the one who was successful didn’t give up.
In other words, the successful person kept their focus on the goal. They kept moving forward and didn’t let failure deter them.
When it comes to the day-to-day, staying focused on your goal will look different for you than it does for me. I stay focused by working in a quiet space, by myself. I like to have a candle burning and calm, instrumental music playing in the background. You might be able to focus better when you’re in a busy coffee shop, listening to loud 80s music in your earbuds.
Find what works for you. When you know what type of environment helps you to be fully present and focused, you’ll make progress faster and you’ll keep moving forward toward real change.
Willingness to take action
This is where the rubber meets the road.
You must be willing to do whatever is necessary to improve your life and better yourself.
You must be open to step outside of your comfort zone, try hard things, fail a lot, and never give up.
This is where most people get stuck, because being willing means taking action. You can’t stop at dreaming or planning or talking or writing or thinking or reading.
You must be willing to take action – massive action.
If you find that you haven’t made the progress you want in your life, it’s probably due to a lack of willingness.
Your willingness can be strengthened by having a clear vision and a compelling “why”. Connect your vision to a reason you feel strongly about so that you don’t easily give up when you’re feeling discouraged.
Sometimes we’re not willing because we think something is going to be too hard. But, if you’re resisting change because you’re afraid of failure, you’ll always be stuck. Besides, the reality is that those *hard* things are usually not as difficult as we think!
So, be willing to say yes and take action. To try new things and do what’s necessary.
That’s where real change begins.
Video: Life coach Mike Bayer explains the 5 Steps To Change Your Life
You can change your life after 50
Remember when you were in your 20s and your parents seemed so old? They were probably in their 50s!
Now, here you are. You see retirement on the horizon and youth in your rear view mirror.
Yes, you have a lot of history behind you. But, you still have a lot of future ahead. What are you going to do with it?
If you feel stuck, and you’ve held to the limiting belief that you can’t change your life after 50, I’m here to tell you it’s possible.
It’s never too late to make better choices, create healthier habits, build more relationships, or learn new skills.
You have everything you need to make your last half of life your best half.
You *can* change your life after 50. You just have to be willing, intentional, and committed.
Nobody is saying it’ll be easy. But, it is most definitely worth it.