It is from here, from this place, this point in time, this situation, that you take your first step toward your goal. Take a deep breath, look around and acknowledge where you are.
Noticing is one thing. When you notice it is easy to dismiss your observations as a fluke, or a passing state. Noticing lets you think of things in vague terms, shifting them to somewhere outside yourself.
Acknowledgment is deeper. Acknowledgment is OWNING what you notice. It’s claiming it as your own. ALL of it – the good, the bad AND the ugly.
Acknowledging is taking whatever you notice and putting it into an “I” statement. I do that. I DO that. I do that.
Be honest with yourself. If you are twenty pounds overweight, you are twenty pounds overweight. If your golf swing produces a strong left hook, note that it’s YOUR swing that produces the hook. If you want to become a better musician but fail to practice, accept that something you are doing (or not doing) is affecting your outcome. If your company is failing because you have a problem with quality or customer service, admit the problem exists in YOUR company. Pretending it isn’t so doesn’t change the reality of the situation.
Likewise, failing to see what you do well can give you the false impression that all is hopeless. You have strengths. What are they? Set aside both false bravado and false modesty and consider that you could not have gotten to where you are, whether or not you LIKE where you are, without some positive attributes. Think long and hard and note to yourself what you do WELL.
Again, be honest with yourself. Maybe you’re a wonderful caretaker. Or great at putting. Consider that you have perfect pitch. Or that you care so much about your employees as people that you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Maybe the only positive you can posit is that you continue to show up. That’s something!
Denial is a wonderful thing. It creates blinders that keep you from seeing the reality of yourself and your situation. If you truly desire change, then you need a basic understanding of where you are – both the perceived positive and negative.
Imagine you are looking at a map. If you have no idea where you are there is no way you can head toward your desired destination.
That’s not to say you need an exact analytical evaluation of how you arrived at your starting point. Spending time assessing every minute detail of how you got to where you are and what “here” is all about can be counterproductive. If you get bogged down here, you can’t go somewhere else.
A simple, “I am here”, on your personal map will suffice. Acknowledge so you can move on.
Play tour guide with yourself. Review what you noticed about where you are now. Did you only log the “good” stuff? Did you focus only on the things you didn’t like? Or did you provide a balanced view?
A good travel writer prepares tourists not only for the marvelous but also the mundane.
What can you add to what you noticed about where you are right now?
How will you allow yourself to own ALL of it? Will you journal? tell a friend? write a song? The choice is yours.