Directions for a "Personal Revamp"

The most constructive thing to do with your past is to use it to propel yourself to where you want to be. This exercise is designed to ensure that we use our knowledge of our past and of our present selves to create a system that actively prevents us from getting into situations that have been difficult for us in the past. Situations that have caused us pain, grief, anxiety, and dissatisfaction.

The Exercise Overview:

When you are finished with the exercise you will end up with ‘5 characteristics’ and ‘5 or more boundaries’. The ‘characteristics’ you end up with will have personal significance to you; they will be your customized route to fulfillment and satisfaction. The ‘boundaries’ will ensure that you can successfully instill these characteristics in yourself. The idea behind this exercise is that if our responses and our choices are in sync with the values we have chosen for ourselves, then we will feel a harmony within ourselves that leads to fulfillment and satisfaction.

Personal Compass:

The combination of these ‘characteristics’ and ‘boundaries’ is going to allow you to create your Personal Compass. If you are motivated, with consistency and commitment this compass can help you live a life with less anxiety and more fulfillness and satisfaction. It can help you develop yourself into someone you can be proud of.

1.    Personality Characteristics:

Make a list of 7 personality characteristics or values that you consider to be admirable and impressive in people, such as: Dependable, honest, confident, etc. Think of your role models, elders, colleagues, even characters from a story; just characteristics you admire in others and would like to see in yourself. You can look up a ‘list of personality characteristics or traits’ online to help you choose.

While the characteristics you choose should lead you to where you want to go, author Steven Covey warns that in order for us to stay away from becoming narcissistic and self-centered we must make sure that our values are more holistic and anchored in fundamental realities of nature and healthy relationships. For example, respecting yourself is a great value, respecting yourself by showing others down would not be holistic and not anchored in the realities of nature. Treating others badly will eventually catch up to you, so choose wisely.

2.    Needs Check:

Write down your top 5 personal needs, such as: Belonging, freedom, financial stability. You can look up a ‘list of needs’ on-line.

The list of 5 needs you develop is just a reference for you to allow you to make sure the 7 personal characteristics you have chosen are compatible with your needs. If you find an incompatibility here, then add or subtract the 7 personality characteristics until they feel right to you.

Do not be a perfectionist when doing this. Please understand that you really are the best judge of who you are and what you want despite what you may or may not be feeling at this moment. Stressing too much about this will spoil the process so just go with your gut and keep on going.  

3.    Your Personal Compass: The Final Five

Revise the list of 7 personality characteristics and get rid of 2. You should end up with only 5 personality characteristics. These 5 characteristics make up your Personal Compass.  

Picking 7 characteristics instead of picking 5 allow you to consider more characteristics. Cutting 7 down to 5 forces you to think about each more deeply. Usually the 2 personality characteristics you get rid of are already covered by the 5 that you are keeping.

4.    Building Boundaries:

It is impossible to implement these characteristics without defining healthy personal boundaries. Personal boundaries are about setting limits on the behaviors of other people according to what we are willing to tolerate from them. They are about deciding what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the people you come in contact with.

Even though this part is hard for many of us because we maybe in the habit of pleasing others and maybe afraid of setting limits on their behavior, but knowing ourselves means knowing our boundaries.

Write your personal boundaries in statements such as:

‘I will not allow anyone to ______ ‘

or

‘I will not accept _____ behavior from anyone’

These boundaries allow you to preserve the characteristics you have chosen for yourself. As such there should typically be at least 1 boundary for every personal characteristic from your Personal Compass; this means you will end up with at least 5. I encourage you to create more than 5 if you need to, but do not make more than 10.

5.    Using Your Personal Compass:

Once you have managed to create your Personal Compass and have defined the boundaries that will make using this compass possible, promise yourself that you will not make any decisions unless you have consulted your personal compass.

1. In order to run all decisions through the compass, you will have to first create some time between having to make a decision and actually making a decision. Slow yourself down. When you are asked to do a favor, make a decision, commit to things, get used to saying “ok, let me think about it and I’ll let you know”.

2. Once you have bought the time, consider your Personal Compass before you make your decision and then stick to it.

3. Do not feel guilty about being true to yourself.

Plan what you will do if someone exhibits unacceptable behavior and then do not be afraid to act on a violation in a timely and/or professional manner. Well-communicated boundaries serve as a great screening tool for weeding out relationships that are going to cause anxiety and problems for you in the future. 

Plan what you will do if someone exhibits unacceptable behavior and then do not be afraid to act on a violation in a timely and/or professional manner. Well-communicated boundaries serve as a great screening tool for weeding out relationships that are going to cause anxiety and problems for you in the future. 

Hope:

If you can do this 5 or 6 times you will be on your way to solidifying this into your personality. Do it 10 to 15 times and it's pretty much yours.

Looking forward to being the creator of your own destiny. If you have any questions feel free to "contact me".