Change: From The Inside Out or From The Outside In?
If you want to make positive changes in your life, should you try to change within yourself first, as in your emotions, thoughts, and inner talk? Or can you initiate change from the outside, as in your physical appearance, the way you talk, the way you behave, or what you say out loud? I’ve always thought permanent change was a one way street, meaning, you always had to initiate change from within yourself first, and then the things on the outside would follow. I still believe this is the most powerful way to initiate positive change, however, I’ve been discovering an outside-in approach can also be very helpful.
First off, why would you want to change something? The main reason should always be to improve ourselves. Because once we’ve done so we become happier, more fulfilled, and more capable of helping others. The first step is not to decide to change, the first step is to examine and reflect on your life and decide WHAT to change. Once you’ve done that the next step is to decide what strategy to use to accomplish your change. If you’ve tried to change from the inside out, for example with meditation, and you’re not advancing, then try the outside-in approach.
What’s the outside-in approach? This refers to the external you, the person you see in the mirror. It also refers to your external situation, as in your body posture, the people you interact with, the places you visit, the things you see and hear. It can even refer to what TV shows you see, what radio stations you listen to, what foods you eat, and what websites you visit. If you want to make major changes in your life, examine your outside world and try changing the things that are preventing you from change. For example, maybe you’re hanging out with the wrong people. These types are usually negative; they discourage you, and draw you in to their misery. Simply being around the right people can have a huge impact in your life. Another good example is the food you eat. Have you noticed what you eat? Most of the times we fool ourselves into thinking we’re eating good, when in fact we are not. Take some time and just notice your eating habits, don’t try to change them yet, just notice them.
Did you know you can make positive changes in your life with just 2 minutes a day? That’s right; you can do a very simple exercise that has been scientifically proven to improve yourself. It has to do with body posture. Normally, the way you feel inside affects your body posture. For example if you are sad or depressed, your body posture is probably hunched over, or looking down at the floor. So in this case the “inside,” or your emotions, are affecting your “outside,” or your body posture. You can start to take control by changing your body posture. Simply changing your body posture to a positive one, and holding it for two minutes will change how you feel inside. This method is not called “fake it til’ you make it,” it’s called, “fake it til’ you become it.” The main posture is the Superman, or Wonder Woman posture, which is standing straight up, feet hip-width-distance apart, and your hands either holding your waist, or fists against your waist. It’s called a power pose because it’s usually powerful people that use the pose. Another popular pose is the victory pose, where you stand up with feet hip-width-distance apart, hands straight up and slightly to the outside, and eyes looking up. This method can be used in various ways. For example if you are looking for a promotion at work, imagine how you’d react physically if you got it. Simply act out that pose on a daily basis as you work towards getting the promotion, especially before an interview, and you can even imagine the pose during the interview. Are you out of shape but want to be in shape? How would you pose for a picture if you had finally reached your fitness goal? It’s as simple as that, imagine how you would look like, and pose that way for just two minutes, smile, and see yourself successful already, and the rest will just be details.
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See the video on body language here.
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