It's not what you think. These are good A words. In fact, these 5 words lay out a process through which you can improve ANY aspect of your life. They are the basics, the foundation. So let's get to them.
Big A #1: AWARENESS
You cannot work toward a solution without awareness that you have a problem. You cannot change your attitude if you don't first become aware of what your inner voice is saying. You might not be aware that there are many ways to look at the same circumstance. For example, when my kids were younger, 3 and 5, they started a game of climbing up the outside of the banister in our house and jumping off...getting higher and higher each time. I saw them doing this and suggested they pile some pillows in the landing spot to cushion the fall. They did, and fun ensued. I wasn't AWARE that this might be a questionable activity until another mother came to my home and was appalled when my kids started goading her child into this activity. It was an a-ha moment and anytime you describe something as an a-ha moment, you are dealing with a shift in awareness. "A-ha! Other moms think this is dangerous!" "A-ha! I am in the habit of negativity when it comes to dealing with my co-worker." "A-ha! I am creating my own anxiety around this issue." Without awareness, change cannot occur.
Big A #2: AUTHENTICITY
Once you have awareness that change is needed, it is important to do a little "soul-searching" to decide the way forward that is right FOR YOU. For example, with the above scenario, once I saw this through another mother's eyes and realized she was concerned, I questioned my parenting for a minute. Ultimately, I decided it was okay because it was a chance for my kids to learn about their bodies and limitations in a *fairly safe* and controlled environment. I value adventure, and I want my kids to as well. Seeing my friend's concern, however, did cause me to keep it as a "family activity" and encourage less controversial games during play dates. That solution--allowing my kids to enjoy the activity while being sensitive to another mother's more cautious outlook--was authentic to my parenting style and my desire to be respectful of others. It is important that you check in with yourself when working toward positive change. Are you making changes that sit well with your core values? Are you allowing others to sway you? What feels right to you--regardless of societal norms and expectations?
Big A #3: ACTION
Once you have an honest conversation with yourself, you can start to take action. This might require some visualization. I recently gave a workshop on Life Balance, and attendees rated 8 areas of their lives from 1-10 where 1=Can't get any worse and 10=Can't get any better. After discussing why they ranked different areas the way they did, I asked participants to pick one of the lowest ranking areas and envision what it would look like to bring that area up two points. If they could do that with ease, I asked them to envision what a 9 or 10 in that category would look like. From there, they could start to plan some action steps toward their authentic vision.
Big A #4: ACCOUNTABILITY
Once you have action steps, how will you stay accountable to them? Do you keep promises to yourself? If you write down a goal and make a pact with yourself, will you follow through? It would be nice if we all kept the promises we made to ourselves...if we could hold ourselves accountable and always step up. However, we sometimes need support. Do you have a friend or partner or mentor who will check in with you and hold you accountable to your big ideas? One of the biggest benefits of a life coach is the accountability piece. Each session ends with the question: What are you committed to doing between now and the next time we meet? And the next session always starts with the question: How did you do with your action steps? It might sound simple, but it's extremely powerful.
Big A #5: ABUNDANCE
If you are aware of what's going on in your mind as you interpret the world around you, and if you can authentically outline some action steps and be accountable for them, then you are on your way to a life of abundance. Abundance does not mean that you have everything you want and/or that you are happy all of the time. It does not mean that you live in the big house and drive the best car and enjoy a state of constant bliss in your relationships. Abundance simply means that you look at the world from a place of gratitude and positivity. Even when bad things happen, you come at them from a mindset of abundance, realizing that you have a choice in how you look at things AND you have the ability to work toward a more balanced and satisfied life. A mindset of abundance comes from believing that you are in control of your life and from seeing the world through a lens of generosity and love, rather than a lens of scarcity and resentment. We hear stories of poor villagers who have few material goods but live happy lives. And we hear stories of famous millionaires who "have it all" but can't seem to find contentment. Abundance is not about stuff; it's completely about how you think.
To learn more about working toward positive change, contact me to schedule a complimentary discovery session.