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Are you living up to your full potential?

Do you feel like you’re the best version of yourself you could be?

Are you proud of the person you are and where you’re headed?

If you don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror, then I know how that feels. A couple of years ago, I hit rock bottom when I lost my job, broke up with my fiancé, and moved back in with my parents at the age of 30. This was so far removed from what I’d envisioned for my life. And I felt completely stuck.

It was during this time that I became pretty obsessed with self-development and neuroplasticity – or the idea that we can quite literally rewire our brains and become different people.

In the space of two years, my life is looking pretty different. Whilst this has been far from an overnight change (and I still have my challenges and insecurities!), in my own experience it’s entirely possible to change your life in ways that your past self wouldn’t have thought possible.

With real determination and small 1% habit changes, you can and will change the overall trajectory of your life. Here’s how to reinvent yourself and make changes for the better. 💪

Why Is It So Difficult To Change?

Let’s face it, change is uncomfortable. If you’ve ever set a New Year’s resolution for yourself and found yourself in the exact same place come February 1st, then I hear you and you’re not alone.

I mean, if it was that easy, we’d all be reinventing ourselves overnight!

I’d personally be very wary of anyone trying to convince you that change is possible with the click of a finger. I suppose it may be technically possible, but I think for most flawed human beings, it over-simplifies something which is often a complex and challenging process.

Making lasting change is like altering the core programming of a computer – not just modifying the interface you see on the surface. It requires a deep, systematic shift. After all, our belief systems and identity have been ingrained over a lifetime of experiences, so you need to give yourself time to build up evidence of your new character.

In my own experience, your ego will cling to your safe and predictable identity, no matter how damaged it is and no matter how much you acknowledge the desire to change. It’s kept you alive up until now, so it’s not going to stand down without a fight.

To change the surface-level systems running on autopilot, you’re going to have to wade into the tangled depths of your own computer hardware. Your neural pathways are like a well-worn pair of shoes, or a motorway you’re cruising down at 70mph. Breaking in new shoes takes time (and blisters). Building new roads requires a messy construction period before it’s ready for use.

Usually, things look worse before they get better.

Work on a construction site

Is It Even Possible To Reinvent Yourself?

As hard as change is, the good news is that we all have the power to transform our lives, and the study of neuroplasticity proves this.

In the past, it was widely believed in the scientific community that the brain was relatively fixed and inflexible once we reached adulthood. However, recent studies on neuroplasticity have challenged this assertion, demonstrating the brain’s ability to adapt, reorganise, and form new connections, even well into adulthood.

Whilst habits shape much of our lives by the age of 25, the brain has a rather remarkable capacity for change. After all, you’d likely agree you’re not the same person as you were 20 years ago or even 5 years ago, so it’s clear we are all constantly evolving whether we like it or not.

The thing is, if you want to make radical shifts and consciously re-mould yourself into the kind of person you want to become, then it’s going to require persistence and dedication…

But it is possible.

16 Ways To Level Up Your Life & Become a Different Person

So without any further ado, here are the exact steps that I recognise helped me on my own journey – from the inner work to actionable habit changes!

#1 Take radical responsibility

If you sincerely want to change your life, then the first step is to move from a place of pain to power by reframing your perspective. This typically means acknowledging where you take on the role of the victim in your life. Look out for those inconspicuous little phrases like:

  • “It isn’t fair.”
  • “Why is this happening to me?”
  • “It’s not my fault.”

In other words, you must stop blaming other people, engaging in self-sabotaging behaviour, and expecting everything to fall into your lap. Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for your own life, the decisions you’ve made that have led you to this point, and the things you need to change to get you to where you want to be.

And whilst this may feel scary and uncomfortable at first, it’s actually pretty liberating. Because if you are always responsible then everything is within your control – no one else’s.

If you don’t like where you find yourself, it’s up to you to change it. I remember the exact moment I made the decision that I was going to change my life. I didn’t have any of the answers at that moment in time, but I made a fierce commitment to myself that I would do whatever it took to find them.

#2 Become aware of your thoughts

Become aware of your thoughts

Your thoughts are the architects of your reality. They influence your beliefs, which in turn shape your behaviour, identity, and long-term character. Ultimately, your actions are a reflection of the thoughts that first took root in your mind, so your thoughts have the power to mould your entire existence.

When you realise the significance of your thoughts, the next logical step is to simply become more aware of them.

It may sound a bit woo-woo, but it really helps to develop a mindfulness practice. To get started, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and practice meditating for 5 minutes daily. This will help you to detach from your thoughts, understanding that they are separate from your true self.

This awareness will allow you greater control over the life you’re creating, as you begin to accept that you are not your thoughts. You can control and influence them so that they work in your best interests.

#3 Uncover your limiting beliefs

This stage involves getting out your metaphorical trowel and digging deep with self-reflection. Buy yourself a journal, consider therapy, and get stuck into the inner work of healing the wounds you haven’t dealt with from childhood and past traumas.

These typically show up in the form of unhealthy limiting beliefs. So ask yourself: What self-limiting beliefs have you been dragging around with you which are no longer serving you?

If you sincerely want to change your life, then you must believe that change is truly possible for you. And to do this, it’s essential to identify, rewrite and act upon self-limiting beliefs. So question everything you believe to be true about yourself and the world around you.

Rather than reciting positive affirmations, what I would suggest to get started is simply acknowledging your limiting beliefs, considering the possibility that they might not be true, and rewriting them to something that feels more empowering right now (even if it’s not 100% perfect).

For example, in my own case, ‘I’m a bad driver’ didn’t automatically become ‘I’m a great driver’. Instead, it became ‘I’m not a confident driver but I can get better with practice’. When I tried on this new belief for size, it felt much easier to accept and helped me to gradually grow in confidence.

Our lives shrink and expand to our own set of beliefs, which are often inherited and usually hold us back from the very things we want in life. If we can accept that everything we tell ourselves is a story, then it becomes clear that we just need to tell ourselves more empowering stories.

#4 Create an anti-vision

Stark tree on monochrome background

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

Tony Robbins

Why can it be a blessing to hit rock bottom in your life?

Because it’s so painful that you don’t have much choice but to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

The great irony is that most people never get this opportunity. They lead such comfortable lives that they never feel enough pain to make the changes they should.

Now, I don’t advocate for purposefully blowing your life up and hitting rock bottom. But in my own experience, there are certainly benefits to experiencing pain and using it as fuel to make major changes in your life.

Dan Koe talks about the concept of creating an ‘anti-vision’, and I think this is a great way to jolt yourself out of your predictable existence. If you want to change, then ask yourself where you are on track to be in 5-10 years’ time. And, the more bleak and depressing the answer, the better. Write this down and revisit it often to motivate yourself when pushing through the fear of change.

Otherwise, I can guarantee you will always play it safe and opt for the path of least resistance.

#5 Get crystal clear on what matters to you

Once you know what you don’t want, it’s time to get laser-focused on what truly matters to you.

If you have no idea what that looks like right now, then don’t panic. There are some exercises you can work through which will help you build a life you’re passionate about. Begin by identifying what resonates with you and what doesn’t, then establish your core values and purpose. Set controllable goals aligned with these principles, and allow your vision to become your driving force.

Imagine you’re creating your dream persona. What characteristics does she embody? What actions does she take? What does her life look like?

Get obsessed with this vision, and let it guide your decisions and shape the daily actions you take.

#6 Raise your standards

Your inner circle

You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Jim Rohn

As human beings, we’re like sponges. We’re very perceptive to the energy flowing around us. So if you want to level up your life, my number one suggestion would be to start getting incredibly picky about who you let into your life and spend your time with.

Ask yourself: Do your friends push you to be the best version of yourself? Do you look up to them and respect them?

I’m not saying that they all need to be entrepreneurs with budding startups, but if all they want to do is bitch, complain and cause drama, then it’s worth considering what they add to your life. We spend so much time clinging to toxic friendships for fear of being alone. But your aura shines differently when you establish healthy boundaries and take on a ‘with or without you’ attitude.

Oh, and by the way, let me just warn you that people hate it when you start to change your life for the better. They may make unkind jibes to your face, mock you behind your back, or just generally try to drag you back down to their level. Usually, this is less about you, and more about how your changing makes them feel about their own lives.

If you’re struggling to find like-minded people, then don’t forget that in a digital age, your inner circle extends to the content creators you follow. Start using your free time to hang out with the kinds of people you’d like to hang out with, whether that’s a podcast with Steve Bartlett or your favourite personal development blogger (oh, hi 😉).

#7 Invest in self-education

If you thought that school was the start and end of education for you, then think again.

Rather than spending your time shopping for clothes, makeup and expensive designer brands, how about ploughing that money into an investment with an exponential future payout?

Yep, that’s you!

Now, before you start to panic, I don’t mean cracking out a biology textbook or spending thousands of pounds on higher education. What I do mean is taking the necessary steps to level yourself up each day – whether that’s reading a book on personal development, listening to an interesting podcast, or taking the time to learn a new skill.

It’s easy to say that we don’t have enough time to do these things, but there’s always time. I don’t care whether you’re reading for 5 minutes on the loo, cramming in 15 minutes on the train to work, or listening to a podcast while hitting the gym.

The best, best, best investment you can make is in yourself. So stop aimlessly doom-scrolling cute videos of golden retrievers and start using your brain. It will open you up to all sorts of new ways of viewing the world, fine-tune your critical thinking skills, and pay you back dividends in the long run.

To build this habit, start small:

  • Read for 5 minutes a day
  • Listen to one podcast a week

#8 Treat your body like a temple

The three pillars of health

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin, then start exactly where you are with something you have direct control over every day: your health.

It’s funny how, despite being the most important thing we have, we regularly relegate our health to the bottom of the priority list. But to level up your life, you must start treating yourself like someone worthy of your own time, care and respect. The easiest way to remember this is to think of it as the holy trifecta of diet, exercise and sleep. Look after each of these three aspects of your physical health, and see how quickly you’ll start to feel differently about yourself.

Not only will you light up different areas of your brain and build new neural pathways, you’ll start to feed your subconscious the nourishing belief that you are worthy of respect and that you care deeply about yourself.

To get started:

#9 Get up earlier

Another ridiculously simple (yet deceptively challenging!) way to start making better choices is to wake up earlier.

We have no problem getting ourselves out of bed to respect our employer’s time, so why do we find it so difficult to respect our own time?

If you’re a serial snooze button-hitter, then I hear you, because this was me for many years! But one of the early wins I can pinpoint that made me start taking myself seriously was setting my alarm earlier and getting up when I said I would.

This is something I religiously stick to to this day. I get up at 5am, despite telling myself for years I just wasn’t an early bird. I make my bed straight away. And it feels bloody amazing.

By 9am, I promise you, you will feel like you’ve won at life!

If you even just get up an hour earlier than you need to for work, the beauty is that you are able to start your day on your own terms. And whatever this looks like, it’s a cornerstone habit that racks up crazy compound interest because of the ripple effect it has on the rest of your day and decision-making.

Check out my personal morning routine (and, if you need it, some much-needed motivation for waking up earlier!).

#10 Look the part

Change up your style

This might sound vain, but hear me out!

Your subconscious believes everything you feed it. So even if you do something as small as change up your wardrobe or style, you will start to take on the characteristics of the person wearing those clothes.

For example, put on a blazer and see how it immediately makes you feel more authoritative and confident.

You don’t need to go out and spend a fortune, but think about what you can do to switch up your style. This might mean trying a new shade of lipstick, getting a new haircut, or rocking a new style you’ve never felt confident enough to pull off before.

Be creative and have fun with it, even if it’s just around the house at first! Trying on new styles is like trying on new alter egos and can be incredibly liberating. It’s also very powerful when you see a different person looking back at you in the mirror.

#11 Become your own biggest cheerleader

To take things to the next level, you’ll want to start thinking about how you talk to yourself on a daily basis. Is what you say supportive, motivating, and kind?

Now, I used to have terrible self-talk. I’d constantly tell myself I couldn’t do things, beat myself up when I wasn’t perfect, and was scared to death of failure. And because of this, I relied on the voices of other people to validate me and lift me up. This meant that I was constantly seeking approval from outside of myself – whether I was working my arse off to get praise from bosses at work, or doing what I thought would make my family proud.

The truth is, you’ll never please everybody. And when you over-rely on the opinion of others, you diminish yourself and have a very shaky sense of self.

It’s up to YOU to celebrate the small victories no one else sees (or frankly cares about). So tell yourself how amazing you are when you do something brave, be delighted with yourself for getting up for a week on your alarm, or reward yourself when you achieve a goal you set for yourself.

When you become your own biggest cheerleader and build the voice of inner self-praise, you will start to level up in ways you didn’t even think were possible.

#12 Spend more time alone

Spend more time alone

When we’re feeling like we’re not living up to our full potential in life, it’s so easy to cram our time with a million-and-one different things. This means that we never have to pause for air and listen to our own intuition.

So, if you really want to level up your life, then I want you to practise getting quiet. This doesn’t mean becoming a complete hermit, but it does mean getting okay with spending time alone in your own company.

If you’re single, then stop seeking male attention. Spend six months to a year dating yourself, learning to love everything about yourself, and building a life you’re obsessed with – independent of anyone else.

Have a digital detox, stop filtering your life through Instagram, and spend more time off-camera. When you find the passions and hobbies that light you up independent of other people, you’ll start to feel as good on the inside as you’re projecting to other people on the outside.

#13 Take one big crazy leap

What is the biggest leap you could take right now that scares the hell out of you, but that has the potential to catapult you onto bigger and better things? That could be:

  • Moving to a different city
  • Deciding to change career paths
  • Accepting the invitation to give a presentation in front of your company

When I look back, I guess my crazy leap was starting my blog. It felt really scary at the time, and I didn’t feel ready, but it’s without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever done.

In general, I am all for 1% habit changes, so don’t feel like you can’t get to where you want to by taking things slow and steady. But there’s no doubt that the biggest leaps of faith often come with the biggest potential rewards.

#14 Eat the ugly frog

Eat the ugly frog first thing

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

Mark Twain

If taking a crazy leap is just too much, too soon, then take heed of Mark Twain’s sound advice and simply make it your mission to tackle the one ugly job on your to-do list, first thing in the morning.

Ask yourself: What is the one thing I could do today that would move me closer to my goals?

Whether that’s a cold outreach email or attending that yoga class for the first time, ugly frogs are by very definition scary. But they will generally have the biggest pay-off and move the needle closer towards your best life, each day.

When you get into this habit, you naturally become more action-oriented. And the beauty is that you also become better at feeling able to handle whatever comes your way.

#15 Become an active creator

I believe that the world is increasingly being split into creators and consumers.

To put it bluntly, you’re either being manipulated by big companies trying to steal your time and money, or you’re actively making an effort to shape the world as a creator.

How do you spend your time? Are you watching TV, scrolling through TikTok, and feeling pressured to buy crap you don’t need? Or are you rising above the noise and adding value to the world?

If you want to level up your life, then I’d recommend building a creativity habit into your day. This means being so focused on the stuff you love that time falls away and you enter into what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls a ‘flow’ state.

When you share your unique talents with the world, you’ll also tend to see this value reflected back to you in a natural symbiosis. Think about what you can bring to the world and then devote yourself to this mission wholeheartedly.

#16 Just take the first step

Take the first step on the staircase

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Martin Luther King

If you’re at the start of your self-development journey, then I know how daunting a prospect this can be.

But wherever you find yourself, just take the first step. Set your alarm half an hour earlier. Exercise for 15 minutes. Start reading a book.

Whenever you’re doing healthy things for yourself, think of it like planting positive seeds in your brain. Seeds take watering and trees take years to grow. But if you consistently nurture yourself each day, you can’t help but see positive changes begin to take place over time.

I think we all struggle when we don’t see immediate effects, but remember that patience and delayed gratification are essential components of transformation. In the words of Matthew Kelley:

Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month. We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade.

So don’t beat yourself if you’re not seeing changes quickly enough. And you don’t have to have all the answers right now. What matters is small investments every day. Levelling up is an infinite game and the work is never complete – we just get to celebrate the milestones along the way.

Fake It Til You Make It Because You WILL Get There

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Building a new identity is like trying on a new pair of shoes for the first time; it’s uncomfortable. And, as human beings, we’ll go to great lengths to avoid discomfort.

When you’re making changes in your life for the better, you’re likely to feel self-conscious, perhaps even ridiculous, and have a massively inflated sense of imposter syndrome.

But how do you think anyone got to where they wanted to get to in life?

You have to push through the discomfort until it becomes normal. This takes time and practice! Only by doing something repeatedly does it become unconscious and habit-driven.

So embrace the messiness! Embrace that you’re going to fail, get things wrong, and feel like a muppet for a while.

Because one day, you’ll look back and realise that all the blood, sweat and tears were totally worth it. You can’t pinpoint when it happened, but it unexpectedly dawns on you that you’re a completely different person from the one who started out on this journey.

And, even though you can still acknowledge that you have many miles to go, there’s no better feeling. 💚

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