“Let it be simple: where are you now? Where do you want to be instead? What are you willing to do to get there?” Marie Forleo. Marie has it right as far as how to move the needle—address your discomfort with where you are, figure out where you want to go, and act on it. But how do we determine where we want to go? In letting go of perfection, I’ve noticed a couple trends; either you want to do it all and get overwhelmed in trying it, or you literally can’t decide because your remnants of perfection still want you to pick what’s “right”. So I want to add a step: once you put down the weight of performing, make it a goal to have fun for a while. Allow yourself to breathe for a bit. Then look around you. That’s when you ask yourself the questions.
People are so willing to give up their creativity in favor of perceived security. We are absolutely taught to color within the lines and to fear what happens if we stray. Creativity isn’t glorified until someone “makes it” and even then they immediately worry about the next thing. I didn’t realize how deeply engrained that was until I had a panic attack telling my son to color in the lines. At the same time I was telling him to draw whatever he wanted, so I can imagine how conflicting that was. Regardless of what we are told, we have the ability to create virtually anything we want.
Recognizing what we want often begins with understanding what we don’t want and how we got there. The truth is, even if we aren’t where we want to be, where we are is never all bad. There are valuable traits that got us to where we stand and we need to honor that and appreciate it. I wrote a few days ago about fully appreciating where I’m at and no longer feeling the need to push. We also need to understand that just because we aren’t happy in current state, that doesn’t necessarily make us ungrateful. It means we are ready to move forward and we can be grateful for the lessons. We aren’t meant to stagnate in one spot, living in a set way. When we hear the call, we are meant to answer. It’s our job to fill the gap of where we are to get where we want (and are meant) to be.
So while it is simple, it isn’t easy. There is real work and effort involved with change. It is decisive and discerning and it is painful to give up what we are used to. It’s even a little scary because with freedom comes responsibility. Everything that happens—or doesn’t happen—is a result of your decisions and your actions. But it is worth every step. There is nothing that matches the feeling of waking up and knowing the day is entirely your own. That you get a say in what comes and that you can change direction any time. That is an entirely different level of power when we can say no to what doesn’t serve and yes to what works.
I love the clarity of Forleo’s formula. We have a tendency to overcomplicate the simplest of tasks and to frustrate ourselves with the imagined complexities of outcomes we can’t always predict. So taking stock of where we are and admitting that we want something else, and that we have the potential to see it through, that our dreams may be a reality is key to changing where we are at. There is no point in weighing ourselves down with unnecessary fears—it is well worth the calculated effort and trials to create a life you want. Don’t make it hard—we are allowed to make it easy.