13 Jun Action Precedes Clarity – How the Scientific Method Helped Me to Understand That
I have always been a perfectionist. I see how being a perfectionist made me feel safe. It made me feel that I had some control over situations in which I really had none – if I was perfect, he would love me, if I was perfect, I would be successful…you get the idea.
The other side of the coin was I hid from life because I wasn’t perfect, my work wasn’t perfect, my home wasn’t perfect, my children weren’t perfect, and so forth.
I spent a lot of time during the course of my life trying to figure out how to be and act perfectly so I could then go out in the world, be seen, and create a life I was proud of.
There were several problems with this approach. First, my belief that I had control through perfectionism caused me to stay hidden and therefore I did not experience the love, success and other things I so desperately wanted. I was essentially sabotaging my own desires. Second, I was trying to get clarity before I took action and I just stayed stuck.
There is some good that came out of this belief. I learned to be a very thorough researcher which helped me as a lawyer and is a strength I have in my healing and coaching business.
I have always tried to learn as much as I can about a topic when I don’t really know anything about it. Back in the olden times, before the internet, researching was more challenging. I had to rely on books and there was no easy way to find the books that would be helpful for me. I can’t count the number of times I sat in front of a row of books in the bookstore or library skimming through ALL the books on a shelf and reading carefully the books that spoke to me.
When the internet came along, I was like a kid in a candy store. I could look up whatever I wanted at the touch of a button. I could download a book onto my phone and read it wherever I wanted. I was bombarded by people who claimed to be experts and offered their services and I could have access to them in an instant as well.
One of the coaches I worked with along the way was trying to help me through my fears of taking action without being certain of the outcome and suggested that I look at taking action like an experiment. What I got from that at the time is that I should try different things and not take everything so seriously. Looking back, I realized I didn’t fully comprehend what he was saying.
Recently, a coach who helps businesses get clarity on their message made the statement that action precedes clarity. The world kind of stopped for me at that moment because that concept made sense to me…but I still didn’t totally get it.
Once again, I did more research and I looked at that statement from all angles and then all of a sudden, my light bulb moment happened and my perspective changed.
I remembered learning about scientific experiments in school. I could picture myself with my worksheet in front of me trying to come up with the hypothesis we were going to try to prove or disprove in our experiment. No matter how much research we would do, no matter how much clarity we would try to get, the clarity would come from doing the experiment.
It made me think about my life and how I was trying to be in control of it. What I thought was…if I could get clarity about how to do it perfectly to get the intended outcome, I wouldn’t fail. I was trying to control the outcome which was something I really didn’t have any control over. In fact, by trying to control the outcome, I was blocking so many things.
I was blocking the clarity that I could get from the experiment.
I was blocking the learning experience I could gain from an experiment not working out as I intended.
I was blocking the possibility of an outcome that was even better than anything I could have imagined because it was outside what I knew to be possible.
All of a sudden, it made sense to me. It was a bells and whistles aha moment!
I have found that it’s not enough to have an aha moment.
When I have an aha moment like this, I like to take full advantage of it.
Here’s the process I uses and I invite you to do the same when you have an aha moment:
- Be aware of an aha moment when it arises and don’t be afraid of being wrong or feeling embarrassed or stupid. It helps if you understand that your viewpoint is based on survival programming.
- Talk it out with someone who is in alignment with you in terms of learning and growing rather than holding onto the past.
- Make a brave decision to consciously do things another way.
- Be accountable to yourself and others on your new way.
- Pay attention to the underlying fears or beliefs that come up that may be keeping you stuck in your old way of being. Energy work can help with that.
This has been a life-changer for me. I am no longer trying to control every outcome. I am doing my experiments. I have come out of hiding. I am feeling more alive. Who wouldn’t want that?
In what area of your life would you like to apply these principles? I would love to hear from you on how things go.
With much love!