“The reality is…” Years ago, when I was first engaged in my training to be a professional life coach, I learned in a pretty dramatic way how the use of this simple and fairly pervasive statement was a sure-fire way to keep me from creating life as I actually want it. The phrase itself is brilliantly seductive; I mean, who wants to argue with reality? Well, in the interest of serving what I believe to be my purpose, I’m going to give it a valiant effort.

How often do you find yourself using the phrase, “The reality is…”? And what’s it generally in reference to? My guess is that, whenever you start to talk about what the reality is in your life, you’re trying to convince yourself or someone around you about why you cannot do something. Let me give you an example:

“I know you’d like to play basketball, but the reality is you’re only 5 feet tall — that’s just not tall enough.”

If you look at this statement, I’m sure you can hear the energy of holding someone from the thing they really want, because “reality” can’t allow for it to be true. But here’s the thing — facts and reality are two different things. There are the facts as they exist, and then there’s reality as it gets created. When one starts to present reality (the created product) as fact — which may or may not be the same — we get the circumstance which requires us to “separate interpretations”, to use a coaching phrase. Let’s look more closely at the example above:

So, we’ve got two facts — a desire to play basketball, and a definitive height. Two separate facts. And while it’s generally true that height is an advantage in basketball — many players I see are definitely tall by anyone’s standards — the fact of being only 5 feet tall does NOT mean that one is automatically unable to play basketball. In fact, I know plenty of short people who play basketball quite well. So the reality isn’t so much that this person can’t play basketball, but that they are 5 feet tall — that’s the reality. Can you hear the difference between how facts and reality get presented?

So let me ask you, what’s the “reality” that you’re hiding behind? What “reality” are you allowing to keep you from the life you want? Understand, I am not asking you to deny facts as they exist. You may well have a real health condition, a financial circumstance, or a family context that seems to run counter to the dreams you’re holding. But seeming and being aren’t necessarily the same thing. That’s what I’m really wanting you to get.

You actually get to create you’re reality; so are you creating one that serves you or one that holds you back? And how attached are you to staying held back? Because here’s the kicker: when it’s reality that’s holding you back, there’s no point in fighting for what you want, right? This, my friends, is the reason you so often create a reality that goes against what you want — you get to abdicate responsibility for creating life on your terms when reality is working against you. What I’m asking you to consider is that the “reality” you’ve created may not be entirely right. There may actually be another reality that can get created out of the facts of your life.

Bottom-line: you get to create your own reality, every moment of every day. In light of this, I assert that you are best-served by creating a reality that supports your vision for your life rather than one which has you up against a wall. So, what reality will you create out of the facts of your life?

Author's Bio: 

Gail is the principal and founder of Stellar Coaching & Consulting, a company committed to supporting professional women in living lives with ease. All of her programs and services revolve around the fundamental premise that life is more fulfilling when lived by active design instead of passive default. Her unique insights and experiences have allowed groups to work successfully on issues related to improving team function and productivity, and individuals to work towards achieving their goals without compromising a sense of balance.

Gail is the host of the twice-monthly podcast series, Your Life, Your Way, Starting Today which is available at www.stellarcc.com/landing/ as well as co-author of The Control Freak's Guide to Living Lightly: Manifesting a Life of Total Trust (www.controlfreakseries.com).