10/26/2015 05:19 EDT | Updated 10/26/2016 05:12 EDT

How Am I Showing Up In Life?

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Smiling friends at beach

With almost ten months of the year behind us, thoughts of what's to come in the new year that's given is only a hop, skip and jump away. Before becoming inundated with messages on how to perfect writing our resolutions or creating the vision board that causes dreams to leap from paper to reality, let's stay in the right now.

It's no secret that desire is only one piece of the puzzle. Growth another. But I know just as much as you do that what really moves the needle is the work we put in, our attitude while at it, and what slows us down or prevents the plan from moving forward more often than we would like to admit are the messages being transmitted in our "stinkin' thinking". This applies personally just as much as it does professionally.

Stop reading this for a second and take a moment to look over your goals, your vision board(s) and give pause to thought on even the things not written or posted that you secretly want but refuse to allow your authentic self permission to act on. The common denominator in what has been kept at bay and what has been stuck in derailment is the power we've given our thoughts. While life gives us many justifiable reasons to believe it's just simply not fair or its them not me, the harsh reality is that our own thinking and attitude dictate the turning points or not in how the script is written. We sometimes miss these opportunities of self-reflection because life events and "others" become the easy bait for our excuses.

Every now and again life gives us a wake-up call we choose not to ignore. After reading Brand Id's book on personal branding and participating in Jennifer Ransaw Smith's visibility launch pad, what kept resonating with me was the need to take a few steps back to look at how I was showing up in all areas of life. Shortly after, I began reading Hal Elrod's book Miracle Mornings and the prompting continued. Though I already had my own "list" of areas I wanted to grow in, I wanted to also know how I was showing up in the lives of those around me and what blind stops were there if any.

Late one night I found myself sending an email asking twenty-something people I know for their feedback on how I show up in their lives, with only one request: that they not dilute the truth in an effort to spare my feelings. Though the recipients included family, friends, and colleagues it was interesting that the responses received were very similar and echoed things I often fought life on.

One of the most thought shifting things I have done this year has rested in asking what is perceived as the hard questions -- both to myself and others. What will not happen I have determined, is that I travel through time but never maximize my personal growth potential. When we fear asking a certain question, I often think it's because we already know the answer but are not ready to face the truth. When you're ready, gift yourself with time to ask the 'hard' questions, dig a little deeper, and show up at a new level in life.