Steps to Changing Your Present Reality
Ready for a Change? How Tiny Decisions Can Shift Your Experience in a Big Way
If you’re ready for a change, making small shifts in your everyday life (and how you think about your everyday life!) will make all the difference.
We often make the mistake of thinking reality is something that’s black and white—an incontestable fact. But reality isn’t the same as undisputed truth. If you asked three different people to describe the same event, they would tell three different stories.
Being ready for a change means first being aware of your personal reality.
Picture this: You’re seated at an artist’s table with a few friends by your side. It’s paint night, and you’re immersing yourself in the experience of following an instructor as she helps everyone create a simple painting of a beachy sunset. You spend an hour on your painting when you get up to grab another drink. You look around the room and notice every single sunset is slightly different.
The waves are bigger in one, the water is a little on the green side in another, and someone added a few birds to that one over there… but you all received the same instructions from the same teacher at the same time. How can they possibly be so different?
The answer, of course, is that different experiences and interpretations lead to different outcomes.
Because “paint the water blue” means a crystal-clear baby blue where you can see your toes in the sand to you, but it means a slightly greener tint to someone who grew up around colder, seaweed-filled oceans.
Our realities are just like those paintings—they are created by our unique set of beliefs and experiences. Your reality is just your perception of your reality.
Perception is Reality
When I say that “perception is reality”, I simply mean reality is a brand new, empty coloring book, and we color the pages with our biases, personal journeys, and even our fears. In essence, we create our own realities and believe them as truths. And this usually works out OK for us when we’re happily hum-drumming along the path we’re “supposed” to follow.
But when we feel the itch to step outside of our normal routine in order to pursue a dream down a road we’ve never traveled, fear tends to kick in. And that’s when our ideas about what’s real and what’s true can get in the way of living our best life.
Let me give you an example:
Recently, I was in the process of buying a house. For the past year, I’d gone back and forth on this BIG DECISION. The logical side of my brain kept saying, “You pay rent every single month to someone else so he can pay his mortgage, why don’t you just pay your own mortgage instead?”
While that reasoning made all the sense in the world to me, I still couldn’t move forward. I spent sleepless nights imagining something catastrophic would happen, like losing my job, and I wouldn’t be able to afford a mortgage.
After a while, I realized I was creating fake-problems so I could fake-solve them so I would feel better about my decision to rent an apartment. I was subconsciously changing my reality so I could stay in my safe zone.
The important point: once you’re aware you shape your own reality, you’re also aware you have the power to change it. It’s just as easy (and way more powerful) to picture an amazing, abundant future instead of the gloomy, fear-based version.
By accepting that you’re in control, you open yourself up to the possibility of a different, more fulfilling reality.
How do I start to make those tiny shifts?
If you want to shift the world around you, it’s as simple as making different choices.
I’m not talking about quitting your day job to climb Mount Everest (unless you want to). I’m talking about making teeny-tiny changes to your everyday life, such as consciously choosing to eat something different for breakfast and imagining how satisfying that first bite will be.
Every minuscule change adds up. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but, months from now, you’ll notice a shift in your reality. Consider:
- If you’ve surrendered to the dullness of the same head-to-work routine
- If you’re feeling a bit trapped by the monotony of your day-to-day
- If you’re marching toward unfulfilling expectations or uninspiring goals
Take a step back and think about the last major decision in your life.
Where did it lead you? Is that the direction you want to be traveling?
Maybe it’s time for a teeny-tiny side step.
Authored by Heather Doyle, PCC, CPC, ELI-MP – in partnership with iPEC