I have been coaching executives for a long time on how to be better leaders (i.e. making personal change). There are predictable steps to go through in doing this.
1. Realize that you need to improve. You are NOT a finished product.
2. Pay attention to and value how others see you show up
3. Make the tough and risky decision that you need to change some things. (This is hard, and you might fail)
4. This requires surfacing old habits that once worked for you, but are now in your way. (Example. Being the guy who has all the answers in the meetings, and automatically taking charge.)
5. Doing the extremely hard work of breaking those old habits, and developing new more useful habits. (Example: In meetings with your team asking more questions than providing answers.)
6. If you are successful (few are) you will be more resilient in the face of change and remain relevant, bigger, and more valuable.
There are typically three phases to this change journey
1. Letting Go Phase
• Create spaces (nature, alone time) to listen deeply to yourself and others (pay attention to yourself while others are talking. What are you doing)
• Suspend your usual judgements, beliefs and assumptions; what if they no longer apply.
• Ongoingly ask yourself and others about what blind spots you have
2. Gap of Transition Phase
• Expect to be disoriented and confused….worried and afraid even.
• Think about other big transitions in your life. What got you through them
• Study Mindfulness or some form of meditation. Learn to watch yourself and your internal monologues.
3. Letting Come Phase
• Test (in a gentle, modest way) some of your existing, likely unconscious beliefs, assumptions, habits that are now holding you back. Do they really make sense anymore.
• If you aren’t sure about what you want longer term, be clear about what you DON’T want.
• Visualize a better future, and write it down, and look at it from time to time.