Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life Coaching Lesson #1: Getting Real

Life Coaching Lesson #1: Getting Real

Maria Teresa De Donato, PhD, Life Strategist

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, does not go away
(Phillip K. Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon)

Get real!  How many times we have heard and, maybe, even used this expression?   Hundreds, maybe even thousands.  But what “getting real” means and why it is so important to get real?  As we will see, getting real includes several factors, among which are acceptance, understanding, awareness, focus, determination, and courage.

First of all, getting real means accepting who you are the way you are and what it is for the way it is.  The act of acceptance, however, does not necessarily encompass to give in and passively undergo whatever Life brings to you, but rather define it the way it is, give it its proper name.  All of this requires true understanding and full awareness of your Higher Self and of reality as it is, regardless how you may perceive it.  Perceptions, in fact, can be misleading.  You can, however, reset and correct them if you are aware of their dynamics and the way the wrong or unbalanced ones interfere with you, your vision, your life, and, maybe, even with your health and wellness. 

Being in denial and getting stuck thinking about the unfairness of what happened to you, of what others did to you and why, along with making excuses and indulging in fantasy land do not help you at all either.  To the contrary, they all contribute to a great loss of time, energy, and focus which only extends your agony and delays the solution to your problems and, with it, the possibility to reach your own happiness and success.

That said, looking at yourself the way you really are – not as you would like yourself to be – and examining the situation you are in as it really is – and not as you wish it were – are absolutely a must.  Besides, stop blaming other people, beginning with your parents, for they are usually the very first to be blamed for our lack of success and shortcomings, aren’t they?  Accept the fact that they all did what they could, that is had they been able to do better, they would have certainly done it.  Stop justifying your mistakes and lack of success no matter how tempted you are to doing so and how easily or hardly you try to rationalize them.  Accept accountability as a way to grow up, to mature, and to make progress in life.  Take full responsibility for the way your life is, both for what you have done to contribute to it or not done to avoid it to turn the way it did. 

Yes, you may be right; you may have had hard time growing up in a dysfunctional family and in quite unfavorable circumstances.  Yet, accepting reality, being determined to take control over your life, have the courage to put a period and turn page may be all that you need to start walking the path to happiness.  You don’t have to keep suffering for the mistakes – real or perceived as such – that others, willingly or unwillingly, did and that caused pain to you, nor keep repeating yours over and over again.  You should take this opportunity to have a new fresh start and move on with your life.  Only by recognizing something and by accepting the fact that it is what it is, you can become fully aware of yourself and the reality you are in, delineate a strategy, work towards the solution of the problem and, consequently, move forward and accomplish more.

Interestingly enough, delineating a strategy and working towards the solution of a problem, more often than not, do not actually involve a physical action but rather a mental one: acceptance, that is the act of surrender to the reality one is confronted with and the awareness of what can be done in terms of taking a different approach or experiencing a different perception or belief, and consequently, a different feeling toward that reality in order to move on.  Sometimes, by doing so, you may have the impression that the problem is miraculously solved.  The situation, however, may still be there and yet appear as having been dissipated, all of a sudden, from your view in virtue of your different approach to it and of your new way of looking at it.  When this happens you will have probably stopped self-boycotting yourself and finally tuned in with your true Self. 

This will be the start of a much better journey than the one you may have had so far.  No need to say, however, that there might be things you have to do differently as well for you should not expect to be successful by keeping doing the things you have been doing, in the way you have, and which have led to no positive outcome and still expect a different result. 

In conclusion, no matter where you are at the moment, or how bad your circumstances may be or appear to you, be aware that there is always room for improvement, for making a u-turn and embracing the much happier and brighter future which has been waiting for you.   Remember: All you need to succeed is already within you.