Walk into any bookstore in the world, and you’re likely to find that there’s a well-stocked “self-help” section at hand, loaded with all sorts of tomes on just how to achieve your dreams, get out of an uncomfortable situation, or refine your vision for the future.
The meteoric and continuing rise of the self-help industry is fuelled in large part by a simple human need – that is, need to make progress towards valued goals, and to maintain a sense of growth and forward motion.
There is a difference between the messages that various self-help books will tend to promote, however, and there is certainly a good deal of variety to be found in the “motivational” content that dominates the web, too.
Often, the “motivational” and self help” messages you encounter will be along the lines of “you’ve got to want to succeed more than anything else in your life. You need to work, work, and work some more to be successful.”
Hard work, ambitious dreams, and big plans are all well and good – but they can often be daunting or confusing enough that they remain purely hypothetical. But, other than waking up at 4 AM and going for a two hour run every morning, what could you realistically do that might make a real and positive impact on your life?
Well, the answer is: you could implement small changes and watch the benefits add up.
In case you find yourself thinking that small changes might be ineffective, here are some examples of how they can, in fact, be extremely powerful.
Clothes make the man (or woman)
There’s a well established old saying that runs “clothes make the man,” and, of course, the same point can apply to women as well.
The way we dress doesn’t only have an impact on the way that other people perceive and treat us, it also has a potentially enormous impact on how we view and treat ourselves.
If you have certain hangups or issues with self-doubt, experimenting with different outfits – and, in particular, dressing in a way that makes you feel more comfortable in your own skin – can act as a potent and rapid psychological trigger for generating positive change.
Just as some clothes, such as those found that https://www.workersshop.com.au/brands/hard-yakka/ will have a direct practical role for particular jobs, so too will other clothes have a direct and practical role for shaping your own mindset and sense of identity and motivation.
Momentum is a really big deal
Small changes can easily seem insignificant, because taken on their own and viewed through a short-term lens, they typically will be.
A major benefit of small changes, however, is the fact that they can serve to generate momentum that can then be used to drive you forward towards bigger and better things.
Often, the hardest thing about any serious endeavour or task is just generating the energy, motivation, and insight to actually get started.
So, if you are significantly overweight, for example, doing something as simple as committing to removing soda from your diet during weekdays and walking for 10-minutes a day on a treadmill can work as the initial catalyst to get you into the best shape of your life.
Often, what will happen is that all those small actions will rapidly build determination, grit, willpower, and momentum -- and that will then allow you to achieve bigger things.
Small habits yield big results – and shape your destiny
In the book, “Atomic Habits,” the author, James Clear, makes a really interesting and useful point about small habits, and the importance of acting them out on a daily basis.
Specifically, Clear notes that every time you successfully act out a small habit routine of yours, you are not just contributing a small amount of work towards a greater goal, but you’re actually casting a vote for a particular identity and “Self” that you want to step into and embody.
According to Clear, one of the main problems with positive affirmations is that they generally require you to repeat things to yourself that you don’t necessarily see evidence for in your life – and, therefore, end up triggering the sceptical part of your mind and coming off as delusions.
The more you act out certain habits, however, the more you give your subconscious mind “evidence” to use to shape your new identity.
If you want to get fit, for example, you shouldn’t have a detached goal in mind such as “I want to get fit.”
Rather, you should commit to certain manageable and small daily fitness habits that will start to generate a sense of yourself as a “fit person.” Ultimately, it’s this that will likely make a major difference over the coming days, weeks, months, and years.