A caterpillar doesn’t morph into a butterfly by random chance, nor does a personal transformation randomly occur. Instead, both scenarios happen through a series of meticulous and orderly steps over a period of time.
When I was looking for a personal transformation, I tried various strategies that only led to more stress and worrying. Not seeing any progress, I started to let self-doubt creep into my mind, which led me to become even more unproductive.
Although it seems daunting to think about becoming someone that you’re currently not or learning a skill that seems impossible in this moment, transformations are essential for continual success and growth.
Much like how a caterpillar must undergo several steps in its metamorphosis, the process of becoming an improved version of yourself in life occurs with these five steps.
1. Find your why.
Since the beginning of time, there’s been a thing called the call to action.
Luke Skywalker accepted his call to action, became a Jedi Knight and saved the galaxy. Richard Branson wasn’t pleased with his airline experience and accepted his to call to action to change the way airlines treated people by launching Virgin Atlantic. Steve Jobs accepted his call to change the way we interact with technology and communication through Apple.
The first step in your journey to transforming is to decide why. Your why ignites your spirits. It gives you the motivation necessary to chase your goal, to go in search of an improved version of yourself.
2. Get guidance.
To reach your ultimate goal, you’re going to need directions to avoid getting lost. Without guidance, you can be led astray and off the path that you need to be on—the one that leads to reinvention. And setbacks like that can be demotivating.
Ask for help in becoming who you want to be or getting where you want to go. Save yourself the potential time and heartaches of making the same mistakes as the ones who went before you. Choose from resources like mentors who have walked the same path, a community who can give support on your journey, or books that provide timeless wisdom and knowledge.
3. Leave your comfort zone.
To start down the path of reinvention requires leaving your comfort zone. Growth doesn’t manifest itself unless you get a little uncomfortable, take a few risks, and expand your skills and mindset.
It’s difficult at first, but leaving your comfort zone doesn’t have to mean taking gigantic leaps. Leaving your comfort zone can start with incremental steps and daily improvement. Improving 1 percent each day will have a massive impact months and years down the road if you stay consistent.
Each day, challenge yourself to be a little uncomfortable and do the one thing that scares you a little. What’s the worst that can happen? Rejection, embarrassment, someone saying no? Alternatively, what’s the best that could happen? Land a dream job, happiness, more fulfillment?
4. Trust the process.
Overnight success stories are anything but. They only seem to be overnight success stories because we didn’t hear about the years of struggle, or how they were working at their goals long before anyone had a clue who they were.
Personal transformation happens through a process that you can’t rush or skip. At the beginning, there’s a lot of uncertainty. In the middle, it’s messy and things might not be moving in the direction or speed that you want them to. But only at the end does the journey become clear.
Long-term success with your personal transformation comes down to consistency with your daily habits, repetition, time and patience.
5. Choose yourself.
At the end of the day, if you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect others to believe in you? You need to be your biggest fan. Because if you don’t value yourself to the highest degree, who will?
When you’re pursuing your goal and attempting to transform yourself, own it and claim whatever it is that you’re going after. Don’t be afraid to look bad in front of other people. Fear of failure is one of the biggest deterrents, preventing people from chasing their goals and dreams, but failure is only failure when you give up and quit on your dreams.
Julian Hayes II is the founder of The Art of Fitness & Life. He is an author, health and wellness consultant, and speaker operating at the nexus of creativity, health and business. His mission is to help you integrate health and wellness into a life you love while increasing your energy, productivity and performance at work. His book, Body Architect, is a real-world guide designed to help you create a life you love while creating a body you love.