When you look in the mirror, do you see the person you always wanted to be?
For most people, the answer is a resounding “no.”
They don’t see a version of themselves that’s even close to reaching their potential.
You fall short. You’re imperfect. You have so many flaws.
And the more you focus on those perceived negative qualities, the more unhappy and unfulfilled you seem to be.
The first thing we see when we inspect the human being in front of us is flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings.
But you’re not alone because that’s just human nature.
In fact, studies show that we view ourselves far more critically than we perceive others. We tend to ruminate on those negative qualities, blowing them out of perspective. That also leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy, as focusing our thought and attention on an imperfection only magnifies the emotion we assign to it, leading to stagnation and possibly even a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So why is it so much easier to focus on who we aren’t or what we don’t have instead of celebrating all of the good in our lives?
Why do we focus on the vast blank wall instead of on the beautiful painting that’s hanging right in front of us?
As I mentioned, it’s human nature and also exacerbated by our upbringing and environment, but it’s also a matter of choice.
Just like that – with the snap of your fingers or the flip of a switch – we can make the conscious decision to practice gratitude in every aspect of our lives.
Soon, the beautiful, unique painting will come into focus.
Look, change is hard, especially when it’s retraining our minds. No one said it would be easy.
But it is 100% within our control, and all starts with recognizing who we are and who we want to be.
We also need to – and I think this is so important – need to give ourselves permission to celebrate what we’ve accomplished and how far we’ve come.
Nothing positive can come from a solely negative state. We need to let the light in; feel the joy.
Assuming a state of gratitude instantly forces out that negative self-talk and skewed self-perception, allowing us to focus on what truly matters.
Once that recognition occurs, change can happen – but never before.
I also believe that’s consistent with everything we do and everyone we spend time with, our relationships, and the fulfillment we not only feel but offer to others.
Real change only comes from dedication to a better self, better business, and better choices. We want to doggedly pursue growth towards becoming a more fulfilled, self-actualized, and happier person.
You have to want to see the painting, not the wall.
And the powerful, magical realization is that that choice lies within us.