Recently, I’ve found myself coming back to a mantra my own lawyer lady coach has used with me for years. I’ve been thinking about this mantra lately as I work with clients who are driving toward big changes. If you find yourself at a crossroads, wanting to shake things up a bit, I offer this mantra to you as a means to guide your forward motion:
Look, See, Tell the Truth, Take Authentic Action
LOOK & SEE
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of life. Our jobs, our families, our
sanity peace of mind, our obligations, all scream for attention as we rush around putting out fires all the live long day. We get into a routine. We get used to the chaos. We know what must be done to keep everything moving forward.
But when was the last time you took at hard look at all those activities? Do you have a clear grasp of where all of your time goes everyday and what is drawing upon your energy?
When we operate on auto-pilot, we forego any opportunity for honest self-examination. Absent that, transformation is an impossibility. It is only when we take a hard look at our lives that we are able to ask–is this what I’m really wanting? What’s really going on here?
TELL THE TRUTH
This is where having an unbiased third party like a coach can be invaluable. It’s easy to tell yourself:
I just don’t have enough time, I can never lose weight, I just need to make more money, I just need to find a new job.
Those thoughts are incredibly persuasive. They ask nothing of us and they allow us to make others the villain–we are simply the victim to happenstance and bad luck. Making others the problem is easy because it asks nothing of us; we just have to continue being the victim.
Instead, when we commit to telling the truth, it means we have to start exploring possibilities beyond our powerless thinking. It requires us to seek out the facts. If you don’t have enough time, consider tracking your time for a week and trying to get a better understanding of where it’s all going. The same can be said for your spending and eating habits — What are you eating every day? Where are you spending your money?
Are we living consciously and aware of all the choices we make in every day or are we operating blinding and placing the blame outside of ourselves?
If we don’t have a clear handle on the facts underlying all the drama, it’s nearly impossible to craft workable, authentic, and lasting solutions.
In this part of the process, we take back our power. We recognize where we are losing time during the day, where we are indulging in that second glass of wine because we’ve had a long day, or where we are buying random garbage on impulse because we are trying to soothe some other unhappiness. This is the part where we own our truth and take control over our lives; where we stop letting ourselves be a victim to circumstances outside of ourselves.
TAKE AUTHENTIC ACTION
Then we decide. With all the newfound knowledge this exploration has given us, what do we want to do differently? The answer may be, “nothing.” But that nothing will be a clear and conscious choice. That answer will come from a place of power and ownership.
On the other hand, the answer might be, “I don’t want to keep spending money this way….losing time on social media…moving from job to job…eating all the things when I’m unhappy.” With those realizations, we can start taking authentic action and experimenting with solutions. That is power.
When we believe we have no control over our woes, the only solution that fixes those woes is one where all the triggers change. The boss stops being a jerk, your salary increases, your metabolism suddenly changes, etc.
When everything else is the problem, the only solution is for everything else to CHANGE.
(And we all know how unlikely that is to happen.)
When we look, see, tell the truth, and take authentic action, we take back our power and start making changes within our own realm of influence.
Today, when you catch yourself wanting to indulge in inaction from a place of powerlessness, consider what it would be like to take back your power: to look, see, tell the truth, and take authentic action.
It’s your life after all, you might as well pretend you’re in control.