Personal Growth

Change Is a Process, Not an Event

“That isn’t you. That isn’t living inside your heart. You let fear take over.”

I took another step and then another. The elevation on our hike had me breathing pretty hard. The conversation was holding me accountable. “Don’t let fear limit your life.” I was grateful for the reminder.

I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, reconnecting with many of the wonderful people I met during the Hoffman Process. We were reflecting on what has transpired since our personal growth retreat. Jackson Hole is a magical, healing place and it offered a powerful reminder that change is a process, not an event.

I received a note from a reader thanking me for the insight from the original a href=”http://ryanestis.com/performance/my-journey-home/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>journey home post. He shared that he’s on his own journey, but he had stumbled and was still living a long way from home.

Setbacks are part of the journey. We won’t always get it right. I definitely haven’t. When you fall down, trust that failure is a powerful teacher and the path to achievement. Ask for forgiveness. Forgive yourself and be gentle on the self-talk. If there is a next level you want bad enough, the only failure is to not continue trying.

Here’s what I have learned: Fear is a powerful, driving force that can produce limiting beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that inhibit our potential, relationships, happiness and fulfillment. Fear holds us back.

The key to transformation is to understand the truth.

The truth is, those limiting beliefs, thoughts, patterns and learned behaviors aren’t who we are! They are just stories we tell ourselves and strategies we adopt to survive. We don’t have to simply survive. We can choose to thrive.

That means having the courage to confront our fear. To be decisive, intentional and wholehearted even when you are afraid. But courage alone isn’t enough.

It also means making a commitment. The best place to start is on the inside — with “yourself first.” When you elevate your self-concept, you can elevate the quality of your life. Not only do we have to commit to ourselves, we have to commit to the people around us — the people in our lives who care enough to share our journey. Without commitment, things fall apart.

When we are courageous and committed to showing up for others as our most genuine, vulnerable and compassionate selves, a beautiful thing happens. We start connecting and experiencing the world in a different way.

“To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.”― Brené Brown

My life is my responsibility. Like so much of my writing, I’m sharing this as a personal reminder that if I want to break through and live life on the next level, it’s important to be courageous, committed and not let fear hold me back. Of course, your next level is going to be different than mine. The great thing about success is that we get to define it for ourselves.

Here are the commitments I’m working on keeping:

  • Be your most authentic self.
  • Be present.
  • Treat everyone with love in your heart.
  • Be more gentle on the “self talk.”
  • Write/journal every day.
  • Reflect in gratitude daily.
  • Healthy body + healthy mind.
  • Read 12 books.
  • Work hard when you’re working. Don’t work when you’re not.

Growth usually requires change. Real change often requires consistent effort. It’s a process. That’s why meaningful change can be so hard. When fear is driving, we often default to our patterns, even when they don’t necessarily serve us well.

I’m going to keep pushing myself toward change. I encourage you to keep going, too. The real gift isn’t arriving at the destination. It’s who we become in the process.

Animated gif of Ryan speaking on stage Screenshot of e-newsletter

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