Years ago, I had a problem, it didn’t start out that way, it wasn’t labeled that by anyone I hung out with, I was a guy that just liked to party have a big social life. The problem was I was addicted to it and I couldn’t figure out how to stop, slow down, and give myself time to recover.
Deep down I had a this fear of being alone, I had to be around people, the socialite, the person that was first to arrive and definitely last to leave.
This might sound insane, but there was a point that I was out out for 40 days and 40 nights in a row, 8 weeks with no nights in and when I say out I mean past not sleeping before 12am and carrying on into the early hours.
This skill has come in handy as a parent with young kids but I look at the world differently now. I am different.
Whether it was dinner parties with friends, clubbing until 6am, or just a wild time at a house party, I was the life and the soul of everything I did and I just couldn’t stop. I very much enjoyed it when I was there and this could be passed off as a ‘typical’ experience of a young lad in his twenties.
This is really not an issue if this is what you’re going for.
The trouble was, it wasn’t.
It was a lot of fun, but what was it costing me?
It was costing me time, the time to develop skills, to get better, to improve. I knew I was capable of more than waking up and partying my ass off. I also knew I was in pain, I knew that this was all one big distraction, one gigantic way to put off the unavoidable and push it further down the road.
I justified to myself that this was what you were supposed to do in your early twenties, it was normal, although on a deeper level I knew it was more towards the more hardcore end of the spectrum at times.
There’s only so much partying one body can take. You can’t go on if you’re at every single party, you attend everything, you have a social life that has multiple groups of friends all having exciting soirees to attend and out of this world fun.
Trips to Thailand, India, far flung European cities they were thrilling and enlightening in their own special way however I didn't give myself time to rest, rejuvenate, contemplate, I just kept pouring on the experiences.
It’s non-stop. I was non-stop. Except I was heading in the wrong direction for what I wanted my life to be. It was chaotic and cathartic but not yet maximising my full potential.
This non stop lifestyle kept me stuck, hidden and trapped in a loop of the present, focused only on what’s happing right now, but not so much focused on looking ahead, or concerned and engaged with long-term big goals that got me excited to my core.
That’s what it was costing me.
This isn’t to say I wasn’t philosophical and didn't have rewarding conversations with my friends about the future or that it wasn’t inspiring, it totally was and these conversations about life and what it could become were amazing.
The issue is, if you don’t figure out how to get yourself out of this loop you can never actually do any of the stuff you are up all night dreaming about.
You’ve got to lean into self identity transformation to then go back out, to unhook yourself.
When asked the question recently, “Did you become who you are today (disciplined, focused, driven) overnight once you had decided to move your life in another direction than the short term high of living for today?”.
When reflected on it I realised that no, I did not.
I saw glimpses of who I could be, I knew deep down that I wasn’t maximising my potential nor becoming the best version of myself, until the day I decided to take charge, to throw down the gauntlet to my old life and walk boldly towards a life of freedom.
In this article I will outline the journey and the steps that self-transformation requires as I see it based on my experience.
But first what is self transformation?
As per this blog it’s defined as
“Self transformation is a profound process that involves making intentional changes in our thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, and overall mindset. These changes lead to personal growth, fulfilment, and the realization of our true potential.”
I quite like this definition, years latter when I wrote Be The Lion I categorised it as becoming the best version of yourself by requiring a high standard for yourself in for areas, I called it The 4C’s Framework.
The 4C’s are Creation, Conditioning, Certainty and Connection.
The book is now responsible for 1000’s of individuals getting unstuck and living out their full potential by following the roadmap it provided, I call this out because I am building on top of these fundamental building blocks in this article.
1. Making the decision to change is not enough
The decision, the desire to change, the talk, comes along with a bunch of strings attached to it that you didn't ask for or realise at the time.
In reality this looks like changing your environment and in some cases saying goodbye to it forever. You’ve got to be analytical, real, objective — does what I am doing take me closer to my goal or does it cause me to stumble and fall back down into the pit of self-depreciation and self-loathing that’s become so common?
If the answer is a resounding “yes” which I can assure you it usually is, then you’ve got to remove it, as painful as it is your environment is keeping you stuck in a series of habits that aren’t productive.
You’ve got to put you first and keep putting you first. This isn’t selfish. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
When you focusing on prioritising your rejuvenation, your vitality, your connection, your sleep, your investments into yourself and your development, you become the best version of yourself and therefore can give that to others. Instead of spreading yourself thin by giving to everyone around you first, then there’s nothing left for you to grow.
As the saying goes, if nothing changes, nothing changes.
When it comes to life transformation and self identity, we’re not looking for linear gains here, we’re looking for a radical exponential and expansive jumps in your identity that see you living the bigger future that you’re ultimately destined for. I saw glimpses of who I could be, but I sabotaged with strategies that feed my desire to PARTY, to not take a deeper look at what I wanted and where I was headed and kept me stuck.
I could numb the pain with activities that felt like fun but often expanded the very thing I was trying to get away from.
This built up and manifested as a dislike of myself and how I was showing up for life. This was because I didn’t prioritise my true needs or my self-worth, I didn’t feel worthy. The fun kept me trapped, chasing the next night out, which was every night, the next trip, the next adventure. Except the real adventure was to go inward. To seek self-mastery, to become the person who had the life I actually wanted, not one I was so busy distracting myself from.
2. You’ve got to believe it is possible and believe you are worthy
Self worth underpins a lot of the self-transformation process.
For me anyway, the reason I couldn’t see a way out was because my habits and poor choices were keeping me trapped in an endless cycle and the tiering process of repeatedly feeling like absolute crap.
A night out, that didn’t end when I told myself I would go home, is essentially me backtracking on the promise I made to myself and it completely undermined my word to myself. What the heck is this! I said I want to change, yet here I am repeating the same mistake again, and as a result of what seemed like fun at the time creates a bigger hole to fill. This is the fact that I now don’t trust myself. How can I? I don’t do what I say I am going to do and then expect to be filled to the brim with confidence and self-esteem.
If this is you, you’ve got to fix this cycle. It won’t stop until you can trust yourself to do what you know you should.
I found that the way to do this was to discover my big purpose, my reason for living, to have something bigger to go after than my current situation. I also found that in order to change I first needed to make myself proud. You need to believe it is possible but you also need to believe you are worthy.
The Cycle of Fulfilment That Creates Change — timjscastle.com
This came in the form of writing my first book The Art of Negotiation. It wasn’t the goal for it to become the bestseller and top 10 negotiation book used by University’s, companies and individuals a like that it is today. The goal was just to get to the end of it. To complete it. To do what I said I was going to do and to show up for myself. To start the path towards my bigger future.
After three painstaking years of writing and rewriting the manuscript, of getting slammed by publishers, and rejected, and questioning, could I really do this, could I write a book, I finally got there. I finally got the book in hand. The first time I saw it in the flesh I was sat in a Mexican restaurant in Manly Australia, with my wife and the sense of pride was unbelievable. Literally, I am telling you. If you want to change, go out there and make yourself proud, by having a goal like this, it will give you something bigger to channel your energy into.
This was the first stepping stone and it formed the part of the self-worth building block that I think is crucial.
You’ve got to rise up the your self-worth, the ability to value yourself and your thoughts, beliefs and actions. To be able to be proud of yourself and to get your head down and commit to keeping the promises you make to yourself.
Once this is done, you keep investing in yourself. Keep stepping into the unknown and bringing your future goal (the life you want) towards you. How you do this is by living and acting as if it’s already happened. Essentially you must start to operate as the person you want to become before you have what that person has in the external world. You have to build your inner world up, so that you make decisions and take actions as that person. It’s how you think and act, thats what makes the difference. When you believe you are worth it, and worthy, you have started the snowball rounding down the side of the mountain.
Now you’ve got to keep adding to it, helping it to grow and get bigger and bigger. Expanding your mindset and beliefs around whats possible. Which brings me to the next point.
3. Set bigger goals for yourself
You’ve got to go all out with your goals. They can’t be something you think you can achieve or you know is possible because these types of goals lack inspiration that is needed to get your through the tough days. To have persistence it needs to be an absolutely huge goal, something that excites you completely, gets you out of bed at 3am because you’re full of ideas. Like today in fact, I got up at 3am, I was raring to go. It’s because I am living my purpose, fully invested, and doing what I love. When you do this you change how you show up. You have too, your goal is so gigantic that it requires a bigger version of yourself, and thats exactly the point. It forces you to take big uncomfortable steps, to move into the unknown with speed and to get around people that are already doing what you want.
The big goal that you are all in on forces you to do things differently. It’s so apparent that you must change if you are to succeed, it requires a better version of you, one that can withstand the rejection, the negative thoughts, the old habits and stand up to them to create new ones that actually get you moving in the direction of the good life.
It’s the goal that informs the plan and it’s sticking to the plan that creates the daily discipline for you to become who you need to be to achieve them goal. The goal is everything! Make sure it’s a meaty goal, colossal, one that scares you. If it’s not an exciting goal you’ll not do the work consistently thats required, because your goal is too easy, too small and too safe.
4. Be consistent
Self-transformation can feel completely and utterly boring at times. You’re changing internally, your thinking, intuition and beliefs are growing but you don’t see any of the external changes that could motivate you.
If you want a different body and you’re hitting the gym twice a day, but you’re not seeing results, all you feel is tiered, aches and pains in places you haven’t felt before and no stubborn fat coming off. But it’s only been 6 weeks, so what do you expect? How bad do you want the change? As the months pass you chisel away at the marble and the masterpiece is revealed. It doesn’t come when you want it to come, it comes when its ready, I think thats part of it, when you’re fully committed to the outcome no matter what, it (the Universe) has no choice but to give you what you want. It’s that level of discipline that forces you to level up.
5. Get around a different crowd
You might not want to, but this is what it takes. You current crowd is accepting you as you currently are, the truth is as much as it hurts your current crowd probably wont like the fact that you have changed.
You’re less available, because you’ve got important self transformational shit to do. Your priorities are different. What time you go to sleep is different. What you eat is different. What you drink is different. What you read is different. What you don’t watch is different. What time you choose to wake up is different.
It is all different and people (your friends) like crabs in a bucket will try to pull you back in for fear of what it means if you escape. It shows them that it’s possible for them too and they hate that. We like consistency as humans, we deal well with the status quo, don’t rock the boat, don’t get too big for your boots, stay where we can see you.
You’re going to have to let go of some people, it’s just facts, and in doing so you make space for new people. As Bob Proctor says, “nature abhors a vacuum” so create a vacuum you must.
You’ve got to start showing up different.
As Andy Frisella says “being different is really just being your authentic self. You have to be the most honest version of yourself possible, instead of watering yourself down to conform to everyone else. When you do this, you stand out amongst a sea of carbon copies”.
6. Look at money and wealth differently
When you start to believe it is possible and you raise your standards, it affects all areas of your life. It becomes super apparent quite quickly what isn't up to standard in your life and what you will no longer tolerate. Act on this right away and remove whatever doesn’t feel right, clothes, books, art, cars, junk, jobs, people, anything that doesn’t reflect who you want to become. Chuck it out, replace and upgrade. This again, has to do with your self worth and what you will and wont accept in your life. The longer you leave it, the longer you keep old patterns and habits around, the quicker you move on your gut feeling that it’s off, the more you trust yourself and the more your confidence grows. Do you see how this works?
Then you start to feel inspired by people who are achieving amazing things instead of jealous, you start to ask for mentorship, to lean in more to what excites you, to do it for the fun of it, you accept that it might take some time, but you’re all in until its done.
Your world view money grows, you see that money is a tool and it is everywhere. You recognise that you have a unique gift to give the world and in exchange for that gift (value) you will be handsomely rewarded if you stick at it, if you rise above the mediocre. The challenge here is not, to do what you are currently doing well but to do what you are doing in the top 1% of anyone that is doing it. That’s what you should shoot for. Remember no one can do it as you would do it and thats your super power but you can’t just do the same thing a little bit better and expect floods of money to come. You’ve got to keep showing up and pushing into those unknown areas and becoming increasingly more proficient. You need to be a master of your skill, not just good.
You understand that to be wealthy you must appreciate all that you already have and that it’s the time freedom, the holidays, the memories and experiences that are real wealth. Money is not wealth. You start to be less intimidated by people with money, and places of luxury and affluence. They are no longer off limits to you, in fact you now spend more time in places that inspire you to grow and push harder for your dreams by becoming better.
You look at the world differently, it becomes a playground of opportunity and you start to spot trends. Things stand out to you differently. You spot people and their excuses a mile off.
The quality rises to the top and you gravitate towards it. You can tell who’s full of talk and who’s getting after it.
7. You create challenges for yourself.
You spend your time ideating, brainstorming ideas for your own personal growth and business growth. You become the instigator, rather than waiting for life to give you the challenges, you create the challenges, to prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually.
You break your year down into mini goals, 90 days at a time. By this September, I want to make x, or want to reach x amount of customers, write x amount of pages, travel to x amount of places, invest in x amount of companies, make x amount of new connections.
Everything becomes a game of levels for you to level up.
Once you complete one level you’re on to the next.
The Game of Levels and The Growth/Level Up Cycle — timjscastle.com
When you learn how to super charge your focus, transform your identity, unhook from old patterns of behaviour and evolve into your most authentic self, you can then take this back out to the world and put the peddle to the metal and truly empty the gas tank in the right way.
Building your network is one of the coolest things you can do for your business, career and maximising opportunities for collaboration BUT you’ve got to get the set up right for it to be a step up.
That means you, being in complete control of where you’re headed. Blinkers on, block out the noise and let’s go!
I love this topic and could talk about it forever, but I have to get on with my goals for the day.
If you think this could help someone in your life, please share it, rate it, comment and generally get it to them.
Here’s to your continued success, I hope this helps.