There are few things more exhilarating than sitting down and mapping out your new life vision. When inspiration strikes and you begin plotting out your ultimate plan for your business, your life, and your family, the adrenaline alone seems like all the fuel you need to get you there. You’re ready to live your vision!
But after a few days, weeks, even months of pursuing your vision, those initial feelings of excitement, clarity, and purpose begin to fade. After battling against obstacle after obstacle, our fuel seems to expire, and we feel the all-too-familiar sensations of burnout. That shiny vision you once held dear now feels like a rusted and tarnished pipe dream that’s a far cry from what you’d initially envisioned. Now you’re feeling stuck.
I’ve been there too many times before. The perfect, pristine vision in my head gets tangled and muddied up during the day-to-day slog of emails, meetings, chores, family time, etc
Soon, it starts to feel like nothing is going right, and each setback or negative emotion is like another nail in the coffin of your dream. This mindset shift is familiar, right?
Instead of giving up on your vision, or going back to the drawing board to start again, sometimes the best thing you can do is cultivate a small yet powerful practice to allows you to tap into the purest emotions of your vision every single day.
It allows you to transcend the details while never losing touch with the core of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Discernment vs. Judgement
In my book, “How To Live Your Vision” I break down the practices I’ve cultivated over the years to feel into my vision every single day. But all those habits and practices hinge on a single, crucial tool in my toolbox: discernment.
Discernment refers to the ability to judge well.
The problem with this definition is the word “judge.” Too often, Type-A overachievers like me focus on the shame and drama associated with making decisions. We second-guess and doubt our every move, filtering our story through a negative lens. This is what I experience when using the word “judgement” in this context.
Discernment, however, is about refining our preferences and making decisions from a place of peace and acceptance. It’s also about getting crystal clear on the feeling you want to create by achieving your goal – both the emotion and your physical sensations.
The goal is to let go of our doubts and our fears and make choices based on our purest desires – again, this is about the feeling you want rather than the details of the goal.
This way, even if we fail, even if we veer off course, discernment helps us course correct without judgement or blame.
Instead, we accept our journey and adjust unapologetically, owning our mistakes and deliberately and joyfully harvesting lessons learned. That is discernment.
Using discernment in real life
Discernment is what allows us to identify the problem areas when our vision starts to fall apart. Whether we are held back by physical barriers or subconscious ones, discernment is our greatest ally in continuing to live our vision, even when everything seems to be going wrong.
As our vision becomes less and less clear, we begin to experience a trove of negative emotions. Laziness, reluctance, fear, anxiety, anger, and burnout overwhelm our desire to live our vision. They cloud our ability to discern the truth, and fill us with shame over our failure.
But these emotions are often the manifestation of a deeper, more subconscious fear.
There are 5 subconscious obstacles I typically encounter within myself and my clients that hold us back from acting on our vision:
- Fear of judgement/rejection
- Fear of success/failure
- Fear of losing it all
- Fear of burnout
- Fear of abandonment
These subconscious blocks are sneaky and yet have the power to be devastating to our vision.
This is where a discernment practice becomes your strongest ally.
Instead of judging yourself for being lazy, discernment allows you to take a step back and explore the deeper, more unconscious fears that are driving your negative reactions.
For example, in the very early stages of offering Impact with Influence, my premium coaching program, I felt wracked with imposter syndrome. I worried about burning out. I worried about disappointing myself and clients (fear of failure with an underlying layer of fear of abandonment).
I worried I wasn’t good enough or might not have the goods.
Ironically, even when clients were clearly crushing it and getting results like this (see image below), I’d feel like it was a fluke or I just got lucky.
It was so hard for me to believe that my work was worthy. I mean, I knew it intellectually, but owning it in my body was a whole different story.
It was while doing sessions with our program mindset coach David Boulet, that we discovered how a deep lack of self trust kept me from enjoying my clients’ success.
This was when I realized I could choose.
I could choose to face that void that I was trying to fill – that fear of disappointment and rejection – and fill it with the same love and encouragement I’d offer one of my children as they made the inevitable missteps along the path of growth.
In releasing some of my angst (by feeling it and crying and allowing it to move through me), I was able to open up the space for discernment so I could finally see what I did that helped clients so much.
Now I could focus more energy, time and resources on it.
And so my business grew and blossomed.
Once identified, discernment allows us to acknowledge these fears and feel them more deeply. Without the added shame, we can explore real solutions that allow us to get back on course. Whether it’s a good business idea that you want to take the first step on or a needed change in your life that you are ready to move from subconscious desire to fruition, discernment is your greatest asset.
One Question To Get You Started
Building a daily desire and discernment practice could manifest in several ways. A morning meditation, a vision board, collaging, etc. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula, so find something that works for you.
For me, I use my Be More Possible Journal as a daily practice to guide me (see my book “How to Live Your Vision” for more).
For now, there’s one question you can turn to to get yourself unblocked and kickstart the discernment process.
“How can I make this the best decision?”
You’ll notice the question isn’t, “How can I make the best decision ever?” because that will likely create anxiety and feed doubt. The true goal is to turn any decision you make into the right decision.
You do this by taking full ownership and searching for the hidden opportunity, no matter what.