In my previous post, I explored some of the things in life that can trigger deep reflection about life—who and where you are, what you are doing and if those things are a true reflection of who you want to be and what you want your life to be about.
In my case, what triggered my deep reflection was a car accident. Not a serious one—although it could have been—but one that made me realize I was not paying attention to where I was going, in my car or in my life.
I decided to take steps that would result in a better me, more specifically, a me that was more in line with my values and who I wanted to be.
If you were inspired to reflect and, perhaps, make some of these changes, too, after reading that post, I thought you might benefit from learning about the journey I took when I finally realized I was an overly busy, not terribly mindful, hurry-up-we’re-going-to-be-late kind of person who needed to change. It was time to line up my life with my goals and my values.
The Yellow Brick Road to Clarity (Clarivia)
First, there is shock, disbelief and fear. (Not unlike what Dorothy felt before meeting her friends and heading out to find the Wizard.) This is the natural course of things and you must let this happen—fully. If you end up staying there and acting from a place of fear, you can’t really move on. Fear can be a powerful driver, but real transformation needs to happen in a positive state.
Once this stage was over, how did I start the next chapter of my life?
I knew I wanted things to change, but if I wanted to get clarity, I needed to take the time to explore myself. I needed to understand what I have to offer and how the filters through which I was looking at the world affected my decisions. Most importantly, I needed to know how my thinking was holding me back. I knew these insights would be at the core of my transformation—and coaching was the best way for me to figure them out.
Blaming others for your fate
You might think that others are holding you back. That just isn’t true. By the decisions you make, YOU are holding yourself back. You can’t control what is happening to you, but you have the power to decide how you interpret it. When you exercise your power to choose how to react to external events, you become empowered, and you are no longer a victim. The question is how are you doing this?
Listen to yourself, but be skeptical
When you want to transform yourself, you will hear inner voices—not physically, perhaps, but you can bet they will be loud. We are usually our worst critics.
What are these voices telling you? Listen carefully to what your voices are telling you. Be aware of them, try to identify where they are coming from (childhood? past bad experiences? from people who don’t matter anymore?). What experiences in your life, if any, are supporting them? Is what you are hearing really true? What would your life look like if you didn’t believe these things?
This exercise is never over, and it’s sometimes uncomfortable but the rewards are huge. These are the tools you need to transform yourself.
When my journey started, I had no idea where I was headed. I think, in a way, I stopped dreaming or I had very small dreams. A couple of months later, I decided I needed a coach to help me find out about myself. As fate would have it, by the end of these coaching sessions, I knew that I wanted to become a coach! This came with considerable scariness, of course, because I didn’t have a clue about how to go about it.
But I started dreaming again. If you don’t know how to start, think about what makes you happy—or used to make you happy—and start to build a list. Could you summarize in just a few words what these things have in common? Family, peace, joy, learning—what are the most important values in your life?
Now, you should be clear on what’s important to you. For me, I am learning something new, I am helping others, I am there for my family every day. These are some of my core values: learning, contribution, family. How are you living your values?
Time to take action
So far, we have is some great thoughts about how things could be different, how our goals and who we want to be can line up with our values.
That’s not enough. Without action, nothing changes.
(For my “Type A” friends out there, I just want you to note that sometimes the action is to not act when you might have otherwise jumped in without thinking. If it’s not aligned with your values or what you really want to do, then not doing it might be among your toughest challenges.)
Now, if you do act, remember that inspired, focused action is what you are trying to achieve.
I started my journey to becoming a coach by researching coaching itself. What is it? How is it practiced? Where is it taught? Is it beneficial to people (I already knew the answer to that!) Only then did I choose my path.
It’s worth noting, as well, that while it is good to have an end goal, so you can be sure your activities align with it, it’s also important to have smaller goals and milestones, things you can work to achieve every day. I didn’t become a coach the day after my accident. It was a journey, one I continue to love and work hard at every day.
Journaling is a great way to start. It helps you see progress every day. You can come back later to see the progress you’ve made. That, in itself, is a reward. Consistency—small daily actions—is the success driver.
Then finally. . .
Success! You have arrived, congratulations! Don’t forget to celebrate!
Celebration is so undervalued. You put in the work, you grow—you deserve to pause and celebrate. This is a critical step that should be practiced at every milestone. This enables you to draw strength from your successes, motivating you to move to the next step. Think about it as an upward spiral: from there, you start with insight again, but you are on the next level of growth.
While keeping your goals in sight and your actions accelerating, remember to be mindful. If you are constantly looking ahead, you are living in the future. While you may get there someday, you will also be left wondering where your life went. The only way to live is in the present. So, keep the big vision in sight, but practice mindfulness—and celebrate—every single day.
This is the Road to Clarity. Feel free to take the method and run with it. If you need support with this, reach out, I’m always here to help.
You are not a victim of your circumstances. When you choose how you decide to interpret what is happening to you, you are taking charge of your life. You are empowered, and free to choose the life you want for yourself. This is what it means to me, to get back in the driver’s seat. If you are ready to choose your freedom, but you don’t know how, join me on one of the free masterclass webinars I am holding. Click on the link below to learn more.