I think one of the most essential things to do, without which you cannot ever hope to grow very far in life, and which is also one of the hardest things to do; is to see things as they really are.
What do I mean by this?
How many times have you heard people (or yourself!) give excuses like ‘it’s not too bad’, or ‘there’s still enough time’, ‘I can still live with this’? For example, the friend you know who’s getting fatter and fatter by the day and she’s telling herself ‘it’s not that bad, I’m not that fat’ when it’s obvious to everyone that she’s busting her dress size!
I say this with a little tongue in cheek, but don’t we all do that sometimes? Now there’s a difference between positive thinking and lying to ourselves. Positive thinking is useless unless there’s a workable solution. Thinking ‘I’m not that fat!’ to boost your self-esteem is only a (false) quick fix, if you’re really, really morbidly overweight.
You’re following me on this? You have to see things as they really are first before things can change. Are you really unhappy with your job, for example, but telling yourself ‘it’s ok’ because you need to do it for the money, or for the family, or whatever? Do you feel lonely, because you don’t have friends in your life you can’t share beyond the surface with? Is your relationship with your significant other not exactly what you were looking for?
If there are parts of your life you’re not totally happy with, it’s time to stop sugarcoating it and be honest!
Now, I’m not saying to be negative about it. There’s a difference too between seeing things as they are and being negative about them. Just because you’re admitting that there are things in your life you’re not happy with doesn’t mean you’re incompetent to let that happen, or less than, or doomed, or whatever for getting your life in a way that you’re not completely happy about. Stop the judgement! It’s not about making yourself wrong, all it is, is that you got yourself a result, out of the actions you’re been doing. It does mean, however, that you are free to change it.
So what do you do?
Here’s a tip: positive thinking is useful when it has workable solutions. For the woman who’s fat, positive thinking isn’t going to help her lose an ounce…until she does something about it. Here’s where coaching comes in ‘I’m not fat I’m not fat I’m not fat!’ is different from saying, ‘I may be fat now, but I can make myself slim again!’. Now that’s what I call real positive thinking.
And starting from seeing things as they are, and building a strong personal belief in, together with setting that goal, she can start to do something with it.
So, there’s something to the old adage that ‘the truth will set you free’ after all!