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I have always been a big fan of anything related to personal growth. I find it exciting and so empowering to know that with the right tools I can change and create what I want. Of course, I didn’t always feel this way; I used to think quite differently.

One of the biggest changes came about when I started to differentiate between who I am as a person and who I am being. When I first set out to change my life around years ago, there were so many moments when I wanted to give up. I would tell myself that maybe this is just who I am and I must just accept it. Does that sound familiar?

Let’s imagine that you have a goal to get more organized. You desperately want to have things more ordered and controlled so you don’t always feel so stressed. Imagine your intention to fix this is really strong. You want this badly and so you decide to dedicate Monday morning to cleaning up the clutter around you, arranging your filing system and getting on top of your email.

Monday morning arrives and you feel yourself starting to look for reasons why you can’t start today. You might feel a slight resistance to having planned this and even a growing frustration when you find it difficult to follow through. ¨Why isn’t this easier? ¨ – you ask yourself.

Annoyed with yourself, you might conclude that you have just never been an organized person and that is just the way you are, so you might as well give up. You walk away feeling disempowered and hopeless. You might never attempt to tackle this problem again, because it is just the way you are.

Imagine another situation, you are driving to work and suddenly you notice an accident up ahead. Your mind starts racing, you know you are going to be late for work. The irritation starts to grow, you feel your heart beating faster and your stress levels rise. You breath out loudly and mutter some words under your breath.

Your emotions have hijacked you and you are feeling so irritated with this delay that you snap at the other person in the car.
If you react like this on a regular basis, you will probably start to use the excuse that, ‘I can’t help getting so stressed so easily, it is just the way I am.’

The problem with this way of thinking is that you are letting ‘that way of being’ define you as a person. There are things about yourself that you can’t change of course. Your value system for example, the things that are so important to you in life, often stay the same for most people. Your personality and preferred style of working are also often quite set. Behaviour isn’t though and you need to separate the two.

If you act in ways that you don’t like, the good news is that you can change it, your habits and way of being now doesn’t have to define you as a person. You have learnt ways to deal with things and if you don’t like it, you can unlearn them and adopt a preferred way of ‘being’ if you choose.

If you have behaved in ways you don’t like or done things you later regret, welcome to the world of humanity. It is inevitable, no one is perfect no matter how pretty the picture  of others may seem. The most important thing is what happens after you feel this way.

Are you going to let limiting habits define you as a person or are you going to take back the control and be who you want to be?

To Your Success

Kirstin Odonovan

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