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Sep 4, 2023

The Key to True Progress is Actually Simple

Read time - 4 minutes

It’s a big week here in the Reeves household. My son…my one and only kiddo…the light of my life…is turning 16 on Friday. πŸŽ‰ 🎊 πŸŽ‚ And my gift to him this year is reflection on my mindset.

Contemplating this big milestone in our lives has given me many insights about life and how we go after our dreams.

So I thought I’d share my insights with you this week. They’re both cautionary and encouraging.

I love life situations that provide a perfect opportunity for reflection because it gives us great insight into what we really want. We start feeling “shoulds,” wishes, and also gratitude. And that helps us come closer to understanding ourselves and what we’re really after in this life.

Unfortunately, many of us just let time march on like a freight train, feeling powerless against it. But we’re only powerless against time that’s already gone by. That time holds nothing for us…unless we learn from it and use that new knowledge to inform how we spend time moving forward.

Here are some reasons people might avoid doing this kind of reflection:

  • To avoid feeling regret
  • The past is painful
  • It feels too heavy and cumbersome
  • Fear of realizing they don’t have what they truly want

But if you look closely at that list above, it all revolves around feelings. And feelings ARE temporary. They sometimes don’t seem like they are, but “This too shall pass” is a platitude because it continues to be true, even if it does sound trite.

So let’s look at how we can stop fearing our feelings and move forward, even if we feel negative feelings like fear or regret.

Regret when looking backward can become goals when looking forward.

When I’m brave enough to look backward, especially on a situation where I felt negatively about the outcome, I can always find ways that I would do things differently if I had another chance.

But here’s the thing…we get “2nd chances” all the time.

Life is nothing but a long string of chances.

If we’re aware of what we don’t want, that means we’re aware of (or closer to being aware of) what we do want. And we always have power in the present moment. So that means, we can always consciously move closer to the things we want.

“If I’m willing to feel any feeling, then there’s nothing I can’t do.”

I’m a long-time follower of Brooke Castillo, who is the founder of The Life Coach School.

I started listening to her podcast years ago, and in the first several episodes, she gives a basic overview of her coaching philosophy and how to apply it. (If you’ve never listened and being able to create a life you love because you’re willing to do deep work on yourself sounds interesting to you, you should ​check out her podcast​.)

She talks a lot about feelings and how to deal with them. And about how they’re only vibrations in your body. They aren’t permanent, they aren’t harmful, and they’re not something that should be feared.

And she’s right. If you’re not afraid of feeling ANY feeling – even the baddies like shame, regret, embarrassment, sorrow, and other such unpalatable feelings – there’s literally nothing you can’t do.

You’d be willing to make a fool of yourself by acting or speaking in a way that felt truly genuine and authentic. You’d do the hard things, whether or not you might fail. You’d profess your love, even if the other person might not reciprocate.

That’s called taking risks…and it’s what makes an amazing life possible. I mean, when’s the last time you heard someone wildly successful say, “Well, I just stayed in my comfort zone, never doing anything that scared me, and it turned out great!”

Big fat NOPE. That’s not how it works.

The work worth doing is always harder.

This plays right into the previous section. When’s the last time the best thing you ever did was the easiest thing you ever did?

I’ll give in here a little – sometimes amazing things seemingly fall into your lap.

But for the most part, the things that turn out to be those that you deem “great” typically require you to push beyond some limit you thought you had. You just have to make sure you’re approaching things with the correct mindset.

Is facing terrible thoughts and feelings hard? Yes. Is facing those feelings and thoughts without acting like a jerk hard? You bet.

But is it possible? With practice, yes.

We can all do hard things.

I say this to myself quite often. There are times when there’s a task on my plate that feels insurmountable. And I get it done because I tell myself, “I can do hard things.” I know this is true because I HAVE done hard things.

Speaking of my son, who’s about to turn 16, birthing him was a hard thing I got through. I won’t go into the details, but I was in labor for 42 hours. Yep…that’s not a typo. FORTY-TWO HOURS. (Now ask me why I only have one kid. πŸ˜‚)

Just because something is “hard” to do, that’s not a good enough reason not to do it. You can do hard things.

There’s good news about realizing you don’t have what you want.

It says it right there. The realization.

Now is always a new moment.

You can change your mindset to always decide to make a conscious effort toward what you truly desire.

I recently felt like I wasn’t getting as much done as I wanted to be getting done. I also looked real hard at my daily habits and realized that television was really a hindrance for me.

I knew that if I wasn’t watching television, I could get a LOT more done – both personally and professionally. So I decided not to watch tv for a while. And it’s been over 2 weeks since I turned it on.

I feel calmer, more peaceful, more productive, and more fulfilled than I have in a very long time.

Begin again. Start now. Create a winning mindset and go after what you really want.

Time, my friends, is slipping away. It truly is.

If there’s something you want to do, be, or have…don’t keep wishing and waiting.

Go after it. Time will not wait for you to gather enough courage, feel more confident, be more ready.

There’s no time like the present. And that’s why the present is a gift. 🎁

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